Parshat Chayei Sarah 2021


By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron                                                         

לשכנו תדרשו
Discover the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land

The Artwork of Baruch Nachson Z”L

With gratitude to Hashem and with appreciation towards the Hebron Fund, I am now beginning my tenth year of weekly divrei Torah about Hebron and our Holy Land of which Hebron is its founding Jewish city. As we have done for several years, we will discuss a specific theme throughout this year – the artwork of Hebron’s Baruch Nachshon z”l. Since the famous Hebron artist Baruch Nachshon recently passed away, we will discuss his artwork as he organized according to the parsha with his brief comments. Our intention is to add commentary to a possible meaning of his artwork. In the painting attached here, you will see Baruch Nachshon’s painting of Maarat Hamachpela, as he drew from an angle he was able to reach before the so-called “peace” talks. Although the painting seems quite realistic and factual, we should note that there is a “four-steps” theme and that the vine has exactly seven grapes. The four steps seem to allude to the other name of Hebron, Kiryat Arba, literally the “City of Four.” The theme of four used specifically in the context of stairs may allude to the four Kabbalistic worlds that are “staired” one on top of the other: Atzilut, Briah, Yetzira, and Asiah. Indeed, commentators link the “City of Four” to the four “elements”: fire, wind, water, and earth (note: although these elements may seem archaic in modern science, modern science also agrees to states of matter indicative of the elements, earth=solid, water=liquid, wind=gas, fire=.

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