Pinchas 2023


By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron

This painting shows and emphasizes the landscape of Maarat Hamachpela and the beauty of the Land of
Israel. We chose this painting for this parshat Pinhas which talks about the preparation towards Israel’s
entrance into the Holy Land.
We see two caves, one to the bottom right and one to the bottom left, which may hint to Maarat
Hamachpela being a “double cave.” With the same double theme we see two almond blossoming trees
and two grape-vines. The almond tree may hint to the masculine since this tree, which blosoms very early
in the winter months, is considered a symbol of quick swiftness in the Torah [see Yirmiyahu 1, 11-12],
which the Arizal associates as a masculine trait. The grape-vine is a well-known symbol of the feminine,
as Tehilim 128, 3 says “your wife is like a fruitful grape-vine.”
We see ten trees or bushes with leaves of light green/white, which may hint to the ten sefirot associated
with all sanctity, expressing the sanctity of Maarat Hamachpela. We also see four trees with dark green
leaves, perhaps hinting to the four saintly couples buried in Maarat Hamachpela which is itself in Kiryat
Arba – the “City of Four.”
We see eighteen protrusions at the top of one wall of Maarat Hamachpela, perhaps hinting to the eighteen
blessings of the Amida prayer said before the Holy Presence, and it is known that Yitzhak prayed at
Maarat Hamachpela due to it being a focal point of the Holy Presence (Zohar Bo 39a). Also the other wall
has four protrusion, perhaps hinting to the four times of prostration during the Amida prayer [and/or the
four couples mentioned above].