Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tree Deconstructed


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.  


רמון  Rimon

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.



רוח Ruach

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.


זרעים Zryeem

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.


עץ Aytz

Aytz is simply a tree – this one seemingly pregnant with infinite possibility. 


חלל Chalel

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.




Anonymous said...

A very lovely on line exhibition of your work with commentaries.
I really liked the close ups.

Anonymous said...



Yvette said...

this was a place to stay for a long time so I did....thanks for all!


FeltersJourney said...

Helen I really enjoyed reading this post... such a beautiful description of the symbolism in your Tree of Life.
Thank you

Unknown said...

Just lovely! :)

Felted House said...

Thanks so much for coming over to my blog to visit - sadly I haven't had time to blog recently due to a family crisis, or to look at yours as thoroughly as I would like, but I did enjoy reading this post and all the symbolism in your lovely work. xx

Anonymous said...

I love your Tree of Life! It's really beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it and also for the wonderful explanations of the symbolism of each element. It is perfect mounted on black .... as the void from which it came into being.

Peace and Shalom!
Susan in Nebraska