> Weekly Torah Portion > Beginner > Art of Revelation


V'etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 )

by Yoram and Meira Raanan

"Va'etchanan," 2015, acrylic on canvas, 96 x 43 cm.

I pleaded with God at that time, saying, "O God, Lord! You have begun to show me, Your servant, Your greatness and Your display of power. For who is [like] God in heaven or on earth who can perform deeds and mighty acts as You do? Pray, let me cross over and see the good land that is on the other side of the Jordan..." (Deuteronomy 3:23-25)

The numeric value of the word va'etchanan (I entreated) is 515. The midrash says that Moses prayed 515 times to enter the Land of Israel. In the painting, his profuse supplications reverberate with energy in the brushstrokes that ascend upwards. On the bottom of the painting, the figure of Moses is infused with golden light. He reappears over his own head as a smaller, more subtle figure that seems to have ascended an imaginary blue staircase, as if his very being is projected onto a higher plane.

Moses' lifetime wish was not granted, but his prayer was answered. "Go up to the top of the mountain," God said to Moses, "and see it with your eyes." The subtler figure seems to be standing on a mountain, engulfed by a vision of the good land. Despite his intense beseeching to go into the Land of Israel, in his last words Moses gracefully accepts the Divine decree and declares that God's deeds are perfect.

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