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Love Your Neighbor

Kedoshim (Leviticus 19-20 )

by Yoram and Meira Raanan

 

"Kedoshim," 2014, acrylic on canvas, 70 x 100 cm.

...Love your neighbor as yourself... (Leviticus 19:18)

Intricate floral designs emerged as Raanan began this painting by playfully splashing colors on a vertical canvas. Later, he turned the canvas sideways and began painting over some areas with white. In this process, figures surfaced against the white background. The warm range of colors captures a broad spectrum of people harmoniously interacting with each other under a peaceful canopy.

The flower-like circular shapes that spangle the painting could also be interpreted as crowns. In the morning prayers we acknowledge how God crowns the nation of Israel, and each of us individually, with tiferet - beauty, truth and harmony. Our role is to bring truth to the world, but we can only truly fulfill our mission when we love and connect with each other, and become a powerful unit.

The commandment to love one's fellow is said to be the foundation of the whole Torah. Each person is part of the collective soul of Israel and each person contains a part of all others.

According to Tomer Devorah, "All Jews are family; and one should therefore desire the best for his fellow, view his neighbor's good fortune benevolently, and cherish his friend's honor as his own - for they are one and the same."

In the painting, the robes of the figures seem to merge into one another, reflecting interconnectedness. Each person is part of the colorful tapestry of Klal Yisrael, the collective soul of Israel.



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