Berit Engen: WEFT and D'RASH – Weaving a Thousand Jewish Tapestries

  – Love, Rivalry, and Murder, He Spoke

The siblings of Genesis provide quite some material for a holy text. This first book of the Torah is full of familiar and familial dramas; three of the storytelling tapestries take place in Exodus. The siblings’ relationships are woven in few and simple shapes. I have tried to portray the brothers’ and sisters’ emotions through body language, especially positions and movements of their hands. Hands can show temper, personalities, and attitudes. Unlike manmade tools, they are always available to connect or push away.

(12/12 tapestries)

– Stories From Deep Below the Heavens and a Little Above the Earth
As the biblical narratives describe the human struggle and the potential for failure and success in all our relationships, they resonate with us in our struggles a few thousand years later. In Judaism, the domains of God and man are clearly distinct: God cannot be man, man cannot be God. In these tapestries the distinction is indicated by the nonexistent line we call “horizon”.

A tower, a ladder, a pillar of salt: I like how ideas can be expressed through stories with memorable objects.

(8/8 tapestries)

 Dos and Don’ts in T’chelet and Crimson

The 613 commandments derived from the Torah give instructions for how to live our lives as individuals and as an organized community. I chose to make these tapestries colorful and lively, celebrating the idea that a regulated foundation – a constitution – is necessary for a society to exist and thrive.

(9/9 tapestries)
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