aish.com > Weekly Torah Portion > Beginner > Art of Revelation

Generations of Light

Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35 )

by Yoram and Meira Raanan

"Generations of Light," 2013, acrylic on canvas, 80 X 60.

The Children of Israel shall thus keep the Sabbath, making it a day of rest for all generations as an eternal covenant. (Exodus 31:16)

For countless generations, the Jewish people have been observing Shabbat by lighting candles before sunset on Friday night. Tradition tells us that this custom stretches all the way back to Sarah. The light in her tent was even said to stay lit from Shabbat to Shabbat. The prophet Isaiah called the Sabbath "a delight ? God's holy day honored." (Isaiah 58:13). We honor Shabbat by gracing our tables with lights that bring peace and delight into our homes.

In the foreground of the painting, a myriad of jewel-like candles sheds light across a large banquet table, filling the room with a tangerine glow. The candles seem to be spreading onto the walls and rising up into a celestial ceiling. The table looks like a corridor, connecting the lights of many generations. At the head of the table, in the focus of the painting, are two figures, perhaps a parent and child, one of many families who have enjoyed the light of Shabbat throughout the millennia. Our sages have also compared the days of the week to a corridor which leads to the great banquet hall of lights called Shabbat.



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