The linguistic progression begins with God’s declaration at Mount Sinai, “Behold I come to you in the thickness (or darkness—av) of the cloud” (Exodus 19:9). It is out of darkness that the Divine Presence is revealed to the Israelites. The transition for the nation at this point in its history reminds us of Avram’s journey from the darkness of idolatrous belief in his homeland to the light of the knowledge of one God. From the embryonic roots of the Jewish people, we segue to the Hebrew midwives (meyaldot ha-ivriot, Exodus 1:15). In their courage, lovingkindness, and wisdom, they defy Pharaoh’s orders and become a vehicle for national survival. Moses witnesses an Egyptian taskmaster brutally beating a slave whom he recognizes as a Hebrew and considers a brother (ish ivri m’ehav, Exodus 2:11). This incident awakens Moses’ identification as a Hebrew and marks the beginning of his leadership. The design culminates in the expression v’he’evarta shofar teruah, “You shall sound the shofar blast” (Leviticus 25:9) heralding the Jubilee Year in which all property and slaves are returned to God. Creating a transition from darkness to light, from slavery to freedom, the entire composition reflects the biblical verses they portray, as well as the hopeful direction of the seder narrative.
Dimensions: 29.9 X 41.2 cm | 11.7 X 16.2 in