Psalms – Tehillim
This beautifully-designed edition of Tehillim features
the moving chapters of the Book of Psalms in Hebrew,
commentary in Hebrew by Rav Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz,
and inspiring images created by the renowned Israeli artist, Baruch Nachshon.
Every illustration in this volume connects to the concept of
the text to help the reader understand the meaning of the text.
Rabbi Steinsaltz writes on the back cover:
There are books in the Bible that we study, and there are books that we read,
but there is something extra in Tehilim: they are recited.
They recite Tehillim in times of distress or out of obligation.
Sometimes we say them out of deep emotion,
and sometimes with little awareness of what is being said.
In the Talmud, it is told that at midnight there was a wind
that blew on the strings of David’s violin, and then the violin played on its own…
This commentary on Tehillim is intended to help the Psalmists
reach their hearts and minds, and join the music of King David.
A few notes on my style of painting:
Many have been confused by the stylistic tendency of my painting and struggled to define it.
There have been those who have found in it a confusion of forms and characters,
following the style of the German artist Hieronymous Bosch.
Others have discovered an Indian or Persian inflected color palette or even abstraction
of cursive lines after the fashion of ornamental Arabic script.
Still, others see psychedelic tendencies suggestive of the school of Salvador Dali.
To all of these, I answer: I paint, rather, under the influence of the Highest Providence.
He brings before me the figures and leaves me only the task of committing them all to the canvas and completing the painting.
Another related series of works was inspired by a Japanese professor with whom
I had come into contact when he asked me to paint for him “the Angel Michael in meditation.”
One dear friend, after completing a course of study in Chinese Medicine in China, brought me a long Chinese scroll.
This inspired a compelling series of works that unfolded over the significant length.
Under similar circumstances, my series of landscapes and my series inspired by the Book of Psalms found their genesis.
I have always listened carefully to criticism, particularly that offered by individuals who have no understanding of the work or its context.
This is the mode of true guidance for the artist, as a wise man once said: “love criticism for this will lift you to the desired heights.”
I slowly came to appreciate that I was making repeated use of symbolic elements as a poet plays with new turns of phrase.One can find in my work frequent groupings of seven or eighteen (numerologically representative of life (or chai) in Hebrew)
and twenty-six (corresponding to an important Divine Name).
Drops of dew are conspicuous, as are tongues of flame, the Holy Temple, the City of Jerusalem,
winged candles, tefillin, and tzitzit. Also, angels’ wings, ladders, musical instruments and – broadly speaking-
connections between heaven and earth.
Size: (cm) 13cm x 19,5cm
Author: Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz