By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron
In this painting we see the holiday of Sukkot, as appears in this parsha, as a major theme. The four species are seen above the Temple, which is itself encompassed by a Sukka, as is apparent from the green “ceiling.” We see people waving the four species to the right and left of Jerusalem, and above them are sukkot made of brick walls and branches upon them. We see six blue wings surrounding the Temple, a clear reference to the six wings of the angels, suggesting the Temple’s angelic status. We also see two yellow wings above the Temple and a central blue half’sphere just above the Temple. These seem to refer to the Kabbalistic idea that there are six more earthly sefirot from hesed to yesod, and then three more heavenly sefirot: Hochma, Bina and Da’at. Hochma and Bina are considered more aloof and therefore they may be depicted in a different color, i.e yellow, while Da’at is considerd the “soul” of the six lower sefirot we just mentioned, and this may explain why thit may be depicted by a blue half-sphere just as the lower six wings are blue. Indeed, inside this blue half-shere we see the four species also seen just above the Temple, which both the Temple and these species [the Talmud and the] Kabbalists associate with the sefira of Da’at.
We see seven, the special Jewish number, grape-vines, four to the right and three to the left. We also see seven birds to the right above, and seven birds to the left above. In general there is a strong dualism in this painting as is seen also in the dual pomegranates, the dual birds above the Temple, the dual wings, etc. As we explained in numbers of paintings, dualism can reflect the unison of the masculine and the feminine in an internal harmony and peace, a major theme of sukkot as well, as we say “may You spread upon us a a sukka of peace.” Indeed, where Rw Nachshon painted, Hebron, which means unity – hibur – carries these themes greatly, bringing peace to our entire nation through our common ancestral roots and our common Land.