$60 OFF with purchase of second print. Enter "TWOPRINTS"in coupon field at checkout.
$120 OFF with purchase of third print. Enter "THREEPRINTS" in coupon field at checkout.
Free Shipping Worldwide
And God said, “Let there be light.” (Genesis 1:3)
In Judaism, the creation of light − and of the world − is considered a continuous process, renewed daily. Every day is a new beginning. The Shabbat morning prayers proclaim that God “opens the gates of the east and breaks open the windows of the heavens,” bestowing light on the world and mercy on its inhabitants.
Bokea (a Hebrew word that means “breaking though/opening”) captures the ethereal light of dawn breaking through heaven’s door. Light is a form of energy from which everything is made, and it travels in waves. In “Bokea” it emerges through the powerful movement of the paint. With strong strokes of the palette knife, Raanan applied the paint to create sharp diagonal lines so that the huge doors of heaven seem to be swinging open. Blue-tinged light breaks forth and emanates outward with dynamic energy from the peaceful depths of the light white/blue rakia, the watery vault of heaven.
The early morning light is both soothing and uplifting, as the painting plays with different vibrations of blue. The soft misty blue in the center gives a feeling of ethereal calm, while the darker shades of blue radiate magnetism and vitality. The two sides of the gateway have subtly different energies. The right side is ultramarine blue, while the left side is pthalo blue. Pthalo blue is more greenish, transparent, and warm; while ultramarine is colder, strong, and vibrant. For Raanan, “there is depth to blue and a sense of infinity, in the way that the sky and sea are infinite.” Infinity is expressed on the continuous creation of light.
And God created Adam…male and female… (Genesis 1:27)
According to mystical teachings, Adam was originally created as an androgynous being who contained both male and female elements, bonded together like Siamese twins.
The relationship between masculine and feminine is the core of our existence: the relation of man and woman is paralleled in the relation of God and man, and of God and the people of Israel. So too, for Raanan, the subject of man and woman, male and female, night and day, sun and moon, unity and duality, has been a subject of continual exploration.
In this painting, the abstract beginning of the journey of male/female relationship is depicted as asymmetrical and undefined, without boundaries, leaving open the question of where one ends and the other begins. There is space and depth in their union, but also flatness and solidity, along with a sense of the ethereal. They dance together in a blue fluidity of paint. Within, are numerous relationship possibilities for they contain within them both the heavens and the constellations of their journey to becoming independent beings. They are beings of cosmic importance.
Jewel-like colors shimmer in the sunlight between the golden pillars of a numinous sanctuary. At the same time the faint radiance of the moon ascending is enigmatic and hopeful. Rays of blue light form pathways rising into this mysterious place. "Bishvili" can be translated as "my own pathway" or "just for me" as in the verse "the whole world was created just for me". There are pathway leading each of us to our own dream, our own purpose and our place in the holy Temple of the near future.
God said, “Let us make man with our image and likeness.” (Genesis 1:26)
This painting is part of a series called “The Seven Days of Creation.” The series came into being out of what Raanan calls “creative chaos – or, more accurately, artistic abandon.” Raanan recalls, “I was working on large rag papers, freely spilling and splashing paint with abandon, without any idea of where I was headed.” These colorful, highly abstract creations then became the “under-layers” for the series, Raanan choosing a given rag paper and matching it with a day of creation according to the color, light and feeling that it projected. He then worked over theacrylic base with pastel crayons.
It is uncanny how the artistic process mirrors the process of Creation. We read in the opening sentences of Book of Genesis how God shaped chaos into the world we now know: and we see that Raanan also started out with abstract chaos from which he drew the shapes of the things formed during the “Seven Days.”
The sixth day, when human beings were created, was the apex of the process of Creation. Raanan painted the sixth day in two versions. The first started out as predominately blue and red, the colors of heaven and blood, representing our spiritual and physical components. Upon this background, Raanan painted the first couple “with their bodies akin to trees that are rooted and growing. His body has a lot of light, and one can discern sinews and muscles. She is smaller, more hidden, emerging out of the foliage.”
In the first version, Adam and Eve glow with light, alluding to the Talmudic understanding they were in fact spiritual beings made of light. (Bereisheet Rabba 20:29) It was only after they had eaten the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that they acquired opaque bodies covered with skin. Adam towers over Eve, whose bluish hue suggests the moon. Indeed, the Talmud frequently compares the man to a sun and the woman to a moon, commenting on their inherent inequality. (Chullin 60b)
Between them can be seen a red field. This recalls Adam’s creation from the earth − in Hebrew, adamah, a word which shares its root with adom, meaning “red,” and adameh, meaning “I will imagine.” When Adam was created in the image and likeness of God, in some way the power of imagination was imparted to him and his descendants, who use that power to create out of the substances the earth produces.
God blessed the seventh day and declared it to be holy. (Genesis 2:3)
“Day Seven” was the last in the series “The Seven Days of Creation.” For each respective day, Raanan chose a fitting under-layer. Surprisingly, the one he chose for “Day Seven” was dark and dominated by intense shades of red. It was a challenge to transform the dark tones and infuse the painting with golden hues – a metaphor for the transformative power of Shabbat.
The imagery in “Day Seven” was inspired by Kegavna, a kabbalistic passage (Zohar Terumah 134a) recited at the beginning of the Sabbath, which expresses how joy replaces sorrow as the forces of darkness flee from the advancing light of Shabbat.
When Shabbat arrives, she unifies herself in Oneness [the Oneness below paralleling the Oneness above] and disperses the Sitra Achra [the dark forces of evil]. All harsh judgments are removed from her, and she remains alone with the Oneness of the holy light ... All wrathful dominions and bearers of grievance flee together, and there is no power other than hers in all the worlds. Her face glows with a heavenly light. … When Shabbat arrives ... she crowns herself with many crowns for the Holy King ... She takes the holy people below as her crown, and they all crown themselves with new souls.
The more one looks at the painting, the more crowns one sees – crowns within crowns and crowns within mountains. The Talmud relates that when the Jewish People gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, they each received “double crowns” of spiritual perception/or expanded consciousness. The people could see the voice of truth commanding them to “remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” Every Shabbat, as we light our candles, this potential is returned to us as we are crowned with an “extra soul” of expanded consciousness – the capacity for increased physical rest and spiritual delight.
In the painting, two candlesticks delicately rest on subtle crowns. Tinged with soft magenta hues, they look like ethereal pillars that form a doorway on a diagonal staircase which moves upward to receive once again the crowns of the “extra soul” enabling peace and joy. This symbol reflects our climb out of the mundane into a spiritual realm that can only be reached on Shabbat.