> Weekly Torah Portion > Beginner > Art of Revelation

Let There Be Light

Bereishit (Genesis 1:1-6:8 )

by Yoram and Meira Raanan

"Bokea," 2010, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 80 cm.

And God said, "Let there be light." (Genesis 1:3)

In Judaism, the creation of light ? and of the world ? is considered a continuous process, renewed daily. Every day is a new beginning. The Shabbat morning prayers proclaim that God "opens the gates of the east and breaks open the windows of the heavens," bestowing light on the world and mercy on its inhabitants.

Bokea (a Hebrew word that means "breaking though/opening") captures the ethereal light of dawn breaking through heaven's door. Light is a form of energy from which everything is made, and it travels in waves. In "Bokea" it emerges through the powerful movement of the paint. With strong strokes of the palette knife, Raanan applied the paint to create sharp diagonal lines so that the huge doors of heaven seem to be swinging open. Blue-tinged light breaks forth and emanates outward with dynamic energy from the peaceful depths of the light white/blue rakia, the watery vault of heaven.

The early morning light is both soothing and uplifting, as the painting plays with different vibrations of blue. The soft misty blue in the center gives a feeling of ethereal calm, while the darker shades of blue radiate magnetism and vitality. The two sides of the gateway have subtly different energies. The right side is ultramarine blue, while the left side is pthalo blue. Pthalo blue is more greenish, transparent, and warm; while ultramarine is colder, strong, and vibrant. For Raanan, "there is depth to blue and a sense of infinity, in the way that the sky and sea are infinite." Infinity is expressed on the continuous creation of light.

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