Sukkot

Title:
Sukkot
Type: Oil
Dimensions: Width/Height (in inches) 60/48
Year: 2004

This painting fuses images and words from the Sukkoth Torah reading and two competing Sukkoth apocalyptic Haftorah readings from Zecharia and Ezekiel. According to both Zechariah and Ezekiel in the end of days (Acharit Hayamim), the apocalypse or Armageddon will occur on Sukkoth. According to Zechariahís vision, Jerusalem will be saved from its attacking enemies who will be converted to Judaism so that on that day ďthe Lord shall be one and his name oneĒ. All the surviving remnants of all the nations will come to Jerusalem to celebrate Sukkoth. In Ezekielís vision the apocalyptic armies of Gog and Magog descend upon Jerusalem, and are then decisively defeated by G-d thus ushering in the messianic age.

The painting portrays Moses (representing all of Israel) with the Ten Commandments (the Torah) being protected from the armies of Gog and Magog, and from the descending apocalyptic rain, fire and brimstone, by the hand of G-d which is formed by the lulavís myrtle branches. Godís outstretched translucent veiled hand also represents the traditional roof (sechach) of the sukka above Mosesí head. G-d is further portrayed as a lulav with a burning face telling Moses that he is not allowed to see the face of G-d, and live. G-d places Moses in the crack of a rock, allowing Moses to view Godís back, portrayed as the spined stalk of the lulav.

The painting portrays the Gog and Magog soldiers carrying lulavs or sporting Sukka head gear in a very unconventional and disrespectful way, as they are being defeated by G-dís descending rain, fire and brimstone. The armies consist of Assyrians, Egyptians, German Nazis and other historical enemies of Israel, who in the end of days after their defeat march toward Jerusalem to celebrate Sukkoth. The images of Gog and Magog goose-step marching soldiers have been inspired by the archeologically excavated victory Stele of Naram-Sin (Akkad, 2159-2133 B.C.).