MAKE THE NEW YEAR 5768 (2007-2008)
A SUCCESS THROUGH BEAUTY
We shall revise through pictures the process of
preparation and self-improvement which we underwent
during the holidays, from the time we began teshuva
to the time of repentance and pardon which we asked
for and received, to the resolutions we made, particularly
that of loving our brothers.
We are one nation, a nation in which each individual
is indispensable and as worthy as another: there
are no super-Jews, nor super-religious Jews, nor
untouchables (who are always the other). We are
like the letters of a Torah scroll: each letter
is as holy as the other, none is privileged and
if a single letter is omitted, the entire Torah
scroll is rendered invalid (pasul).
So, let us fulfill the plenitude of the entire nation:
we have a lot of work to do in this respect.
We should never forget the following: even if some
nations and religions have demonstrated, sometimes
or often demonstrate incredible cruelty and limitless
we must never forget two important principles:
- The role of the Jewish people is to be a light,
through the Torah, unto all the nations and to serve
as a permanent channel for the blessing of Creation
for all the nations of the world.
- Just as the Torah should be adhered to by and
among all the Jewish people, we must also adhere
to the teachings of the Torah in our relationships
with all other nations.
They themselves remind us of this in many ways:
by enjoying coming to Israel for the Festival of
Succot (even if their goal is ambiguous), and by
demanding of us a standard of morality which they
themselves do not show towards others or towards
There is solely One eternal Creator for all of
I have illustrated these positive reflections,
which are essential in order to steer the nascent
year, with the powerful paintings of Roee Suffrin,
of Jerusalem. If these new, still available works,
speak to you and if you are touched by the way they
capture the powerful inner light of Jerusalem, and
you wish to contact this impressive artist, contact
here: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 972-2-0524483461
Let us always remember the
sincerity and profundity of the days of teshuva (repentance/
when we truly discovered the essential light, the one
(Painting by Roee
Suffrin. Jerusalem. 80x60)
Now, let us maintain together this perfect
equilibriumfrom our feet on the ground to our entire bodies,
hearts, heads and celestial antenna, steeping ourselves
directly in the spirituality of the divine love.
A song rises within us, capturing and preserving all the
strength of Creation.
(Painting by Roee
Let us now advance through
action and let us be propelled
by a regained creative force, which is that of the Torah:
(Painting by Roee
Henceforth, all of Creation
and every individual, professional, collective and political
action will be perceived in the true dimension of the
creative Presence, and will be so harmonious and peaceful
that our gaze will be
full of beauty and goodness like that of painters. Sublime,
complete, perfect happiness.
Each person and every Jew still has to renew every day
his or her total, personal combat:
in the face of the diverse propositions of the Sages,
in the face of the wise, rich, and powerful,
in the face of our own wisdom, intelligence, wealth and
the child in us must be able to emerge,
without fear of the immensity, and without fear of our
in order to "fulfill our light".
Even more so, this is vital for the world.
I repeat what I said above: we all know that, if just
one letter of a Torah scroll is in anyway damaged,
then the entire scroll is rendered invalid (pasul).
In the same way, the rebirth, every day, of the child
within us is essential for all of us.
Jews regularly recite this phrase: “naar hayiti
GAM zakanti …I was a child and I also acquired wisdom,”
which means that I am, simultaneously, at this very moment,
a nascent child and a wise, mature person.
The challenge we must constantly meet is that of continued
To my mind, this image by Roee Suffrin, like all his other
works, expresses well the continued challenge of light
and its environment and its eternal victory.
(Painting by Roee Suffrin.70x50)
In Latin languages, a child ("enfant"
in French) stems from the Latin “in-fans”
which means he who is incapable of speech and has no right
to talk. In contrast, in Hebrew a child is called yeled
(walad in Arabic), which means he who is constantly “nascent.”
May the child in us be ever present this
year and be nascent for ever.
Then the world will be reborn for the good of us all and
all the nations of the world.
A world in which all humans are in the image of God.
God bless us! God bless every one!
Be strong and courageous !
Isaiah, ch 62, 1-7:
1. For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's
sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof
go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a
lamp that burneth.
2. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all
kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name,
which the mouth of Hachem shall name.
3. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of
Hachem, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.
4. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall
thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be
called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for Hachem delighteth
in thee, and thy land shall be married.
5. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy
sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over
the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.
6. I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which
shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make
mention of Hachem, keep not silence,
7. And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he
make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
Note: People ask me why I chose Roee Suffrin’s
paintings to illustrate this article.
The reason is that I feel they exert on those who look
at them an inner, lasting impression and they arouse and
reveal in people the challenges of light and routine.
But even more so, the paintings evoke in each of us, here
and now, the presence of a powerful source of light which
surges out more strongly than the entire frame that surrounds
them and this source mobilizes the strength of the model
and that of the onlooker, connecting him to things which
he thought were no more than just the stuff of daily life
and enabling him to see what he did not see before –
that he is the proprietor of a terrain of surging sources
The presence of this radiography of being serves as a
mirror for the onlooker, spurring him to say: I feel a
little bit more convinced each time of the unfailing presence
in me of this light.
While there are no more prophets, our tradition assures
us that we are the sons of prophets, that is, of those
who see and teach us to see what exists: life is infinitely
more powerful than doubt. This light pinpoints the target:
objective reality in more sense than one.
The role of a painter may be a humble one. But when he
gives us this – particularly when it comes from
a man still young of age and who does it with humility
– our strengths are awakened.
I have expressed this in words.
It is his role to express it in images, and yours to feel
the inner image and feeling.
He awakens in us the “Hear truly Israel: he who
is the God of us all, it is He, a living, powerful unity
of being. And he is ONE. So is our being in this presence.”
Let us listen then for a moment to these images of Roee
Suffrin and find in them: subjects presented as simple
reality, the reflective concentration of the figures,
darkness, and the zone where strength and powerful joy
surge forth and radiate.
More Paintings by Roee
(Painting by Roee Suffrin)
The process of transmitting
the Jewish tradition and the emotion it involves is very
well rendered here and reminds me of my own experience:
the bright, pure light of the young, modest man, who does
not know but wishes to learn, is respectful and attentive.
The ancestor whom one feels carries within him every generation
going back to Moshe Rabbenu, Moses our Master. He holds
himself erect, conscious of the celestial presence for
whom he is only a spokesman. And between them, flickers
the essential light: the light is the source of everything
and it illuminates each person according to his or her
nature. Finally there is the gravity of the written word,
of the Book, which is handled with respect. All eyes are
centered on the presence
the Torah ”
(Painting by Roee Suffrin)
In my eyes, the power of this
painting lies in the way it grasps the inner challenges
faced by each of the figures. All are inclined, all are
searching, each in his own direction. Each figure is respected
and each will have to guess the enigma posed by the Torah
and relate it to himself. Transmitting the Jewish tradition
in itself is not enough. At this stage, there is no room
for facile enthusiasm, there is no guru who knows everything
better than anyone else. The man who possesses years of
learning and the young man are in the same situation,
when they open the holy text and confront the questions
it raises. And the wisest is not necessarily the one who
is dressed in clothes that are graded according to his
level of knowledge. Reality unites all the figures in
the same place and it is solid like Creation.
Let us remember that we were together at Sinai and that
each individual plays a vital role in the process of Creation,
just like each letter of the Torah is essential in order
to ensure the completeness of the holy text. If one letter
is missing, the entire scroll is rendered invalid. So
let us study together. And let us look more at this painting
and we shall learn a lot.
(Painting by Roee Suffrin)
Again we confront the questions
posed by Torah, and we do not have the option of fleeing
or of fooling ourselves. Each of the figures possesses
wisdom, strength, and knowledge, but suddenly, as they
stand before the open Torah scroll, each one is humbled:
the light which we know resides in the Torah is no longer
perceptible, because of the gap between the immensity
of the Torah and our limited abilities.
The moment of silence that ensues is necessary in order
to avoid saying inanities…….in this way everyone
is put in their place.
Only the young boy dares to confront the Torah directly
and demands to know. He is not part of the eminent hierarchy
but his challenge is the truest. He represents the future,
and therefore the present.