Monday, May 20, 2013
I always bring stones and rocks home from our excursions and this large flat one came in very handy yesterday. While drawing and painting this chamsa I was thinking fondly of my friend Aiva, because it is a present for her.
The chamsa hand is a magical defense against the evil eye, it is a talisman to ward off the bad and negative forces. The five fingers of the palm are a symbolic character in many traditional cultures. Five is "chamesh" in Hebrew, and "chamsa" in Arabic, a lucky number.
The belief in the evil eye is most common with the Jews of North African origin, but has its place in modern Israel too. In Islam the chamsa hand is a magical amulet and is called "the hand of Fatima" who was a daughter of Mohamed. And Jews call it "the hand of Miriam" the sister of Moses.
Several things will make the chamsa more powerful. The eye in the center, it has to appear in every chamsa. The color blue, which symbolizes holiness in Judaism, and in the Koran it stands for glory and unity. Blue and turquoise is used to adorn mosques, and the Arabs often paint their doors blue, and have turquoise window frames. The Hebrew letters chet and jud, they form the word "chai" which means "life". And fish is a symbol for good luck as well, fish is immune to the evil eye. Also the Star of David is used as protection against the evil spirits. Today, sixty years later, it is not anymore a budge of shame and destruction, but a proud symbol of the State of Israel. The once negative meaning of the color yellow will never be forgotten - but today it is just yellow.
And of course the heart is there, as a token of love and kindness, just in case.
Here we do not knock on wood to ward off the evil eye, instead we say three times chamsa, chamsa, chamsa. Or we say "let's eat fish on Thursday", Thursday is the fifth day of the week, according to Jewish calender, yom chamishi.
The chamsa hand should have the three fingers in the middle with the thumb and the little finger at the same level. Unfortunately my thumb and pinky are not symmetrical. :-)
Friday, May 17, 2013
Drawing me? I was wondering here about it. Now I draw all the time, I mean when I have time, I draw. Instead of sewing bags, I draw now. Of course I do a lot of other things, like scratching my head and thinking. I think a lot. Or praying for a day without pain. Seriously. Or eating pizza, sharing with Dafi, one bite for me, one bite for her, she loves that. I try that with water melon too, but she just makes faces at me. I cook and bake, and I do all the household chores, yes I do, and I do them smiling, because when I am finished I can DRAW! Really what did happen? I have NO idea - I think I am reliving childhood, another childhood, a happier childhood, one with colored pencils, and paper, and markers and crayons. And because it is sixty years later, there are also acrylics - I love them, because I can cover any "mistakes" with them. I love my drawings. I do not pretend to be an artist. No, not at all. I just draw and paint happily, and you should see me, being so calm and satisfied! I am encouraging myself and giving myself praise, like a parent to a child. I don't care anymore, that I don't know how to draw realistically. And I don't draw for anyone to like it, but for myself, although my husband says he likes them, my drawings. That is cool, because I feel good when he likes what I do. And Dafi likes me drawing, she always sits beside me, almost on my feet. Well she does that with anything I do sitting, so maybe she doesn't count as an opinion in the matter of drawing.
I guess I will have to add some background color here.
Off to have a cup of coffee! :-)
Monday, May 13, 2013
HAPPY HARVEST FESTIVAL
Photo from the Internet
חג שבועות Chag Shavuot
Festival of weeks
חג הקציר Chag HaKatzir
The festival of the harvest
יום הביכורים Yom HaBikurim
The day of the first fruits
בכורי קציר חיטים Bikurei Katzir Chittim
The first fruits of the wheat
יום הקהל Yom HaKahal
The day of assembly
זמן מתן תרתנו Z'man Mattan Toratenu
The season of the giving of the Torah
Friday, May 10, 2013
Ah Sun-flower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun:
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveler's journey is done.
Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow:
Arise from their graves, and aspire,
Where my Sun-flower wishes to go!
Sunflower fields near the Gilboa mountain.
Helianthus Annuus, the lovers of light and followers of the sun - this is a beautiful myth, but actually only the buds and leaves follow the sun, the flower, once it has opened will stay, facing the east where the sun rises.
Golden, bright and proud, they bring joy to our hearts with their range of colors, the sun yellow petals, and the seed pots, changing from light green to dark orange over burnt red to the black seeds.
Sunflower oil, low in saturated fat and very healthy.
Sunflower seeds, tasty and a great source of vitamin E.
Some varieties are excellent for bird feed.
Sunflowers arranged in a vase on the table - a delight.
in their places,
Rank upon rank the golden sunflowers stand;
Gazing toward the east with eager faces,
Waiting, until their god shall touch the land
To life and glory, longingly they wait,
Those voiceless watchers at the morning's gate.
Dawn's portals tremble silently apart;
Far to the east, across the dewy plain,
A glory kindles that in every heart
Finds answering warmth and kindles there again;
And rapture beams in every radiant face
Now softly glowing with supernal grace.
And all day long that silent worship lasts,
And as their god moves grandly down the west,
And every stem a lengthening shadow casts
Toward the east, ah, they love him best,
And watch till every lingering ray is gone,
Then slowly turn to greet another dawn.
Albert Bigelow Paine
Enjoyed by us yesterday and photographed by my husband Uri Eshkar.
The last photo: my Shabatt flowers from our son's girl, who will be soon his wife - each Friday afternoon I get a bunch of flowers from her. :-)
P.S. My Japanese blogger friend Yoko turned my attention to a similar post she had about sunflowers, two years ago. Have a look here.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
(And no, I am not depressed at all - so much thanks for that!)
Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being. Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, worried, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, hurt, or restless. They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions, and may contemplate or attempt suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss of energy, or aches, pains, or digestive problems that are resistant to treatment may also be present. (Wikipedia)
This movie is very powerful and shows a vivid and clear view on depression, very worth seeing it.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Saturday, May 4, 2013
This Shabatt our color was pink - a lot of dark pink - whole areas of wonderful strong pink. Pink pink pink pink - so much pink - see for yourself!
Clover, not at all plain and simple, but gloriously beautiful, had created huge patches of color.
Click to enlarge.
Photos by Uri Eshkar.