> Weekly Torah Portion > Beginner > Art of Revelation

Back to the Land

Nitzavim (Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20 )

by Yoram and Meira Raanan

"Har Habayit," 2016, collage on acrylic on canvas, 120 x 150 cm.

God will bring back your exiles and have mercy on you. God, your Lord, will once again gather you from among the nations where He scattered you. …God, your Lord, will bring you to the land which your ancestors possessed and you shall possess it; He will be good to you and make you flourish even more than your ancestors. (Deuteronomy 30:3-5)

Now, thousands of years later, we are actually living the fulfillment of this promise: we have been brought back to the land of our forefathers. Our national memory stretches back to these very hills and valleys which Abraham saw from afar on the way to the Akeidah (the Binding of Isaac).

Painted from a higher elevation overlooking this ancestral landscape, the panoramic view shows this holiest site in a lavender light, like that of the setting sun. At the same time, great beams of light arch like a rainbow in the sky.

Attached to the canvas is what looks - at first glance - like large blocks of masonry, fitted together as in the Western Wall. Actually, it is a collage of photographs of the southern slope of the Temple Mount taken over twenty years ago. This composite shape, representing both the Temple and the Land of Israel, seems to be rising from the darkness and shadows below - as if from the long exile of the Jewish People - toward the exultant light of the sky.

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