Hallelujah. Artist: Avraham Schiff. Laser Paper-cut
Size 17" x 11.8" / 43 x 30 cm
This paper-cut expresses gratitude to G'd on the birth of a son and a prayer for his successful upbringing, both physically - materially and spiritually, through verses and pictorial elements from the Book of Psalms:
The palm tree in the Oriental setting and the cedar in the mountains of Lebanon (upperhand corners) convey the wish enfolded in the verse in Ps. 92 13. "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow like the cedar in Lebanon."
The deer (harts)(bottom corners) depict spiritually and yearning to be near to G'd: " As the hart pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after You, O G'd (Ps. 42 2).
The centrepiece portrays Jerusalem set in a vaulted window surrounded by the mountains of Judea and vineyards. The city's gate rises from the seven-branched candelabrum, its central portal designed like a Sephardi Torah scrool, the candelabrum being the symbol of wisdom.
The following prayer is hewn around the city: "Return, we beseech You, O G'd of Hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine. And the vineyard which Your right hand has planted, and the branch that You made strong for Yourself" (Ps. 80 15-16). The psalmist likens the people of Israel to a vine and a son, and entreats G'd to narture and raise him.
The bunches of grapes symbolize plenitude and joyfulness; the figs - productivity and sweetness (Parable of Yotam); the doves evoke peace and harmony.
Avraham Schiff, born in Israel in 1964 is a graduate of the External Study Program of the Technion (Tel Aviv Branch) in Graphic Design. He has been designing and cutting Jewish paper-cuts in neo-classical style for the past 18 years. As a Talmudic scholar (P.H.D. Bar-Ilan University, 2002) and teacher of Judaic subjects he is uniquely qualified and indeed does incorporate in his art works verses sayings and motifs from the Bible Talmudic Literature and the Midrash.