To readers of Tikkun and Tikkun Daily, please see below for a special invitation from one of our contributors, Meir Rotbard, whose show goes up in Berkeley next Friday, December 15!
Dear Friends, new and old,
Hope that many special things are happening for you, wherever you are. This is a very special time in history, where we are getting to heal from the baggage of human trauma. I spent many private years, and thousands of hours preparing this work, and am so happy to finally be at a place where I can share it with you. If it resonates with you, please come on down to my opening. I would love to meet you. If you are part of the Tikkun community, you are part of the solution. Thank you for that.
Chomat HaLev 2215 Prince Street, Berkeley, California
The opening will beon Friday night,December 15.
If you would like to come, they will have Friday night, Shabbat Services at7:30 PM. The opening will be at9:30 PM.
The show is on from Dec 5th through January 20th
About the artist, Meir Rotbard:
I was born In Benei Brak, Israel and grew up in Monsey, New York as an Ultra Orthodox Jew studying to be a Rabbi. We rarely interacted with those different then ourselves, and surely not in a personal way. I never in my wildest dreams thought that my life would be any different, than the way I grew up. That was all I knew. When I was 29, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. And I knew that, my people had made a big mistake in rejecting him. I was so happy. I was finally home. I wasn’t.
Home would eventually mean making peace with who I am as a Jew, and embracing the deep love I have for Christianity, and all of my other neighbors. Feeling these two sister faiths so closely within me, sometimes at peace and sometimes at war, I felt that I had to find a way to talk about it, both to myself and to others.
I call this series “The Cross I Bear” to reflect, the immense burden and process it has been to peel back the many layers of love, hate, prejudice, conflict, faith or lack thereof that were buried within me, underneath my, black and white, Ultra-Orthodox garb.
How the pieces were made:
The parts of hand and the parts of heart
Each piece has its own, often complex, story of how it came about. But, in a general sense, I would pick one sacred text, the New Testament, for example, and study it for many months or sometimes years. I would really meditate deeply on which verses had both aspects of being deeply inspiring for my own life and at the same time felt like they were at the heart of the entire text, meaning they were the text. They are it. (I would really meditate deeply – searching for verses that were deeply inspiring for my own life and ones that felt like they were at the heart of the entire text. This was all of it. This was the essence.)
I would then, most likely, end up with about 10 or 20 verses. (In the case, of the Torah Mandala, I ended up with about 100 verses, divided into 8 categories). Then I would meditate once more, narrowing that group down to the verses that really struck me deeply. Once again, even this segment of the process sometimes took many months, as in the case of the Bhagavad Gita Mandala.
Then, there would come a day, when I finally decided which verse was the verse and which in my opinion, or at least, for me, personally, captured the essence, the heart (maybe the balls) of the entire body of wisdom. Like that is it. It’s all right THERE, in that one line, phrase or verse.
Until that point, again, depending on the text I was reading an English text, but Once I made my choice I would decide which language or lettering I would like to use for that particular piece. Of course, the Bhagavad Gita Mandala was written in Sanskrit, and the Cross of Corinthians was written in Greek, because those are their original language, and I wanted to honor that. In other pieces, however, as in The Cross of the New Testament, and in The Buddhist Cross, I used Georgian and Tibetan respectively, just because they looked pretty. (This particular Buddhist Story is not found in the Tibetan Cannon, and I had it translated into Tibetan, just because I wanted to use those beautiful letters!)
Once I decided on the shape I would be using for, that particular art piece, Cross, Mandala, Hamsa, etc. I would count all the words in that particular piece. Then I would make sure that there was enough room for every single word in that particular area. Then every piece had to be checked and counted multiple times, by me and by other scholars, to make sure that the letters were rendered accurately. Sometimes there was controversy among the scholars, as to what would be considered artistically permissible, and I made a decision as to which rendering would do the original letters justice. (This happened with my Cross of the Dao).
First I drew the letters in pencil and, then when I felt all was in order, I went over it with pen. That’s when I knew my fate was sealed. If there was any mistake, it was either impossible or very difficult to correct it after that point. Then I took my original, scanned it into a computer, and put a black layer behind it to highlight my white letters.