|Dov Lederberg - Tisha B'Av #1|
The Jewish holiday of Tisha B'Av starts Saturday night July 28th and ends the evening of July 29th. It is an annual fast day, named for the ninth day (Tisha) of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar. It commemorates the destruction of both the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem, which occurred about 655 years apart, but on the same Hebrew calendar date.
Israeli artist Dov Lederberg's series of paintings Stones on Fire, are a "zivug" between extreme close-ups of the texture of the Kotel Wall and stills of the L'ag b'Omer bonfire flames in Jerusalem, revealing countless visages and faces, as if the Kotel itself acts as a spiritual camera "photographing" its millions of visitors.
Since the fire imagery is so dominant, the paintings can be related to the Destruction of the Temple and Tisha B'Av, but since it is linked to Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai, the founder of the Zohar and whom according to the Midrash never "experienced" the Destruction, the effect of the paintings can be felt as positive and in anticipation of the Geula (redemption) and the future Jerusalem, whose walls will be "surrounded by fire". More of his works here.
|Dov Lederberg - Tisha B'Av #2|
All images courtesy of the Artist
Tisha B'Av "the Ninth of Av,") is an annual fast day in Judaism, named for the ninth day (Tisha) of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar. The fast commemorates the destruction of both the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem, which occurred about 655 years apart, but on the same Hebrew calendar date. It is also considered appropriate to commemorate other Jewish tragedies that occurred on this day, most notably the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. The day has been called the "saddest day in Jewish history".
The fast lasts about 25 hours, beginning at sunset on the eve of Tisha B'Av and ending at nightfall the next day. In addition to the prohibitions against eating or drinking, observant Jews also observe prohibitions against washing or bathing, applying creams or oils, wearing leather shoes, and engaging in marital relations. In addition, mourning customs similar to those applicable to the shiva period immediately following the death of a close relative are traditionally followed for at least part of the day, including sitting on low stools, refraining from work and not greeting others.
The Book of Lamentations is traditionally read, followed by the kinnot, a series of liturgical lamentations. In many Sephardic and Yemenite communities, and formerly also among Ashkenazim, it is also customary to read the Book of Job.
While the day recalls general tragedies which have befallen the Jewish people over the ages, the day focuses on commemoration of five events: the destruction of the two ancient Temples in Jerusalem, the sin of ten of the twelve scouts sent by Moses who spoke disparagingly about the Promised Land, the razing of Jerusalem following the siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE, and the failure of the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire.