Yitro (Exodus 18-20 )
"Har Sinai," 2008, pastel on paper, 75 x 60 cm.
Mount Sinai was all in smoke because God has come down on it in fire. (Exodus 19:18)
All the people saw the voices, the flames, the blast of the shofar, and the mountain smoking. The people trembled when they saw it, and so they stood afar. (Exodus 20:15)
When the people gathered around Mount Sinai, a heavenly supernal light settled on top of the mountain and then set the mountain ablaze. In the painting, it glows hot and luminous, radiating into shades of yellow and blue, illuminating the mountain and the multitudes of people below. The people were not so much painted as stippled in with strokes of pastel, which were then blended by hand. These strokes defined the shapes of the people and also created a sense of the multitude. There is a roughness of texture, tactile feel, and a good deal of layering which create a shimmering and vibrating effect, a visual echo of God's voice speaking and reverberating from out of the fiery light.
Our sages tell us that the people not only heard, but saw the voices of revelation, not through an image or form, but through a great powerful voice. These fiery sound waves continue to resonate in the depths of the soul of our nation ? a voice that calls to us, inviting us to always remember what we saw at Mount Sinai.