Snippets — jewish papercut art

The trees of life.

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eitz chayim it is a tree of life jewish papercut artOne of my favorite bits of Torah is where it talks about how to treat trees during a war: "When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by wielding an axe against them; for thou mayest eat of them, but thou shalt not cut them down." Read more...

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To teach, to learn, to grow: Pirke Avot.

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I have lost track of how many times I've done a papercut of the line from Pirke Avot 1:6, "Get yourself a teacher, make yourself a friend." This makes me happy, not only because I enjoy doing them but because of what it says about Judaism. Knowledge is portable, and its transmission has preserved the Jewish people against long odds. In a religion that elevates study to a holy pursuit, our teachers mean everything to us; they are our rock stars.  This particular line from the Talmud has a third part, as so many mishnayot often do: "...and judge every...

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Hashem: The Hebrew Name

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Names are supremely important in Judaism. The Creator's name ~ indicated by the Hebrew letters yud-hey-vav-hey in the Torah, the tetragrammaton ~  is so sacred we don't really know how to pronounce it at all. So, some say "Hashem" (the name) in its place or simply Adonai (Lord). Particularly observant Jews will often write G-d to express the deity, avoiding the whole word which is never to be defaced or erased. When Moses asks God who He is, God says cryptically, "Ehyeh asher ehyeh," which means something like "I will be what I will be." In the Torah , the...

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Connecting to Judaism through Art - Jewish Papercut Workshops

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Kim Phillips, artist at Hebrica Judaic Art, offers workshops in Jewish papercut art for synagogues, religious schools, Jewish day schools, and Jewish federation progams. Whether you'd want a 3-hour workshop, an elective mini-course, or weekend artist-in-residence program, a curriculum can be tailored to your needs. More on that here.  

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Jewish papercut art: creating in service to the divine.

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Many times, when I am doing my Jewish papercut art, the act of creating it becomes a meditation. The piece "B'tzelim Elohim" is based on a midrash that says that the four letters of the tetragrammaton - yud, hey, vav, hey - the unpronounceable name of God, actually make a human form when stacked vertically. As I was designing and cutting that piece, I was thinking, "What does this mean, b'tzelim elohim, really? What would happen if, when we saw another person, we believed we were seeing God?  The same happens every time I do a piece of papercut art...

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