Berit Engen WEFT and D'RASH – A Thousand Jewish Tapestries
 
(Photo: Robert Sparks)


 
The Spirituality of Structure:
When Intensity Is Hidden in Clarity

 
I have tried to make my project, WEFT and D'RASH – A Thousand Jewish Tapestries, more accessible by organizing it according to five reference categories
  • Inspired by the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible
  • Inspired by later texts and commentaries
  • Inspired by the liturgy
  • Inspired by traditions and history
  • Connecting Biblical texts and present realities
(The four menubar division lines that appear when you click on "THE TAPESTRIES: 36 SERIES" mark these categories.) 

 
Below you can click on the blue links to access a step-by-step project overview:

 
Table 1.a) I have created 36 tapestry series
Table 1.b) In order to show my chosen perspectives on these 36 vast topics I added subtitles.
 
Table 2) I am often inspired to weave more than one series on many of the topics, thus quite a few of the series are divided into subseries. They present an opportunity to expand the tapestry project while keeping the content list (and the website menu bar!) at a reasonable length and with a focus. 

Table 3) By 2021 I about 600 tapestries. Creating tapestry titles can be a challenge: I like working with words and phrases, but sometimes the title needs to be a reference rather than an imaginative title. specailly when I use a quote from a Biblical text as the complete title it might look a little didactic and boring, but it is for a reason: it simply feels 'right' given the context. 
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Tapestry galleries: I have included this document showing the images of tapestries with titles organized in the 36 series and the subseries.
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Introductory notes: I have written them for the 36 series and the subseries, you can see them all in this document.

Tapestry notes:  I have written them for the 600+ tapestries, you can see an example in this document.
 


Please contact me if you would like more detailed information regarding the tables/PDF documents, I would be happy to talk with you. (For practical reasons some of the longer tables are available as five separate docum/PDFs [according to the five reference categories].)


 
Keeping Track . . .
 
I started WEFT and D'RASH in 2007. With the intention of weaving a thousand tapestries I could be done in 2027. Although I think of 'a thousand' as an approximate number, and a phrase meaning 'many,' it states a goal. At a certain point I will have to stop and retire. Although I weave full time, each tapestry takes about five days from start to finish. Weaving fifty tapestries a year means twenty years of work in order to reach what I am aiming for.

Systematically transferring the project onto tables and naming the series, subseries, and tapestries are ways for me to make the project manageable and to help the viewers to find their way.


 
.  . . Yet the Project Is More Than the Sum Of Its Table Cells
 
The structure is intentional, not just a practical device. On the tables WEFT and D'RASH appears neatly organized in rows and columns, but as expressed in the many titles, there are layers of meaning. Also, the table cells are connected to others in an invisible web. Thus WEFT and D'RASH is  more than the sum of its table cells. It is not a list that I keep adding to at the bottom, but a frame with subframes to which I keep inserting more panes as needed and/or I am inspired to.

The project will never be really completed: the Jewish civilization is too big in both width and depth, the tapestries take too long to weave, and I am getting older. But for now, I love working at it from all angles, and in its finished form it will be what it will be. 
                                                          

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