עץ חיים היא Etz Chaim He
“She is a tree of life.” This phrase refers to the Torah. In Kabbalah – the esoteric branch of Judaism – a stylized tree is used to describe the path to The Creator – resembling in many ways the Chakras of the Yogic tradition.
The Pomegranate is believed by some to be the fruit of the Tree of Life that stood in the Garden of Eden. Many believe that each one has 613 seeds coincidentally the number of mizvot or good deeds in Judaism. I’ve never counted them though; preferring to believe it without proving it. In this piece I have used 12 pomegranates to represent the 12 Tribes of Israel.
Ruach is wind or breath, as in Breath of the Universe, a phrase I love to use to replace the single word God, especially in prayers over candles and wine. I like the notion that Divine breaths with us in our daily lives as we go about each mundane and yet holy task.
Zryeem means seeds, the kernels of life but also of thought and spirituality. I sprinkled them liberally to allow the tree to grow from them. If I had a do-over I would have scattered tiny Hebrew letters because of the belief that everything that was created was created using the Aleph-Bet. Zryeem can also mean sperm by the way – another instigator of life.
Aytz is simply a tree – this one seemingly pregnant with infinite possibility.
The Void. To mount the piece I used pure black wool fabric. For me it represents the void out of which The Torah – The Tree of Life – The Word – sprung at the behest of the Creator.