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The candles represent any group of individuals, families, peoples or nations united in Peace.
Perhaps the candles might even represent people wearing brightly colored robes walking through the desert.
An interesting 3 dimensional effect is created with this very unique, contemporary interpretation of the traditional eight-branched Chanukah menorah, also known as a Chanukiah. The ninth candle, or shamash, is used to light the other candles--one for each night of Chanukah.
Spacers are placed behind all collage pieces, which, under bright light creates interesting shadows on the textured, watercolor paper background. It may appear as if the candles are actually flickering. All collage pieces are individually hand-painted, cut and arranged by the Artist.
Judaica Series III
Pomegranates: The seeds of a pomegranate, according to biblical teachings, number 613--the same number of mitvot, or good deeds, contained in the Torah. Twin blue lines represent the Israeli flag and a tallit or prayer shawl. Sun and moon represent the change of seasons, the passage of time and the torah being passed down from generation to generation.
Dove over Sonoma: The dove of peace soars above vineyards and golden, rolling hills. Pomegranates represent the Torah; grapevines become Hebrew letters for chai (To Life!), a menorah, and shalom (peace). We also see olive branches, grapes, Italian cypress trees and barns.
A Good Year: A stylized Magen David becomes an apple tree of life which conveys Rosh Hashona (New Year) greetings.
Dove over Jerusalem: This night time vision of peace in the holy land expresses our endearing hopes.
Shalom: The dove has been traditionally associated with peace. In the story of Noah's ark, it was a dove bringing an olive branch in her mouth which let Noah know that the waters had receded enough for life to reappear on earth.
Menorah: In dark nights in the midst of winter, Jews around the world light the menorah celebrating Hanukkah. This holiday recalls the triumph of light over darkness and justice over tyranny.
Torah II: The Torah represents the heart and soul of the Jewish people and is referred to as the tree of life. This torah has the message: Sh'ma Yisrael--which is the watchword of our faith expressing our belief in one G-d.
Mazal Tov II: Bright, jewel-tone colors and many textures highlight this card of congratulations or mazal tov.
The original watercolor painting was 14"x23".
It was digitally transformed into a 7'x12' vinyl banner for Congregation Shir Shalom in Sonoma, CA.
The banner was dedicated in a special shabbat service in Sonoma on November 14, 2009.
I wrote and presented this poem for the occasion:
Dove of Peace over Sonoma Vineyards
Banner Dedication Poem
By Nina Bonos
November 14, 2009
Yea, I walk through the Valley of the Moon, I feel her presence within and around me Sweet, purple grapes are ripening High above, the Shir Shalom Dove Grapevines become a menorah, Bright, red pomegranates recall our Torah. The golden, rolling hills of California,
And it is wonderful!
Adonai is alive in the vineyards.
While drawing and painting from my soul.
Inside the Shir Shalom window shape
A carefully crafted artistís story comes alive.
Intuitively, shapes and colors emerge
From my heart, mind and hands
To share with you.
While dancing on their vines.
Grapevines appear as outstretched arms of friends,
Reaching for one another,
Linking arms, davening and singing:
Hiney Ma Tov u-ma nayim
Shevet achim gam yachad
How good and pleasant it is when
Brothers live together in harmony.
Sings her Song of Peace.
Soaring in the blue sky towards the clouds,
The full harvest moon, and the heavens,
Her melodious song delights the ears
Of the valley inhabitants below.
We see man and womanís presence
In the bountiful valley,
In barns and homes sheltered among
Native valley oaks and Italian cypress trees.
The symbol of ancient Israel.
Multi-colored leaves become flickering candle lights,
Warming the glow of Hebrew letters spelling Shalom.
Itís seeds, numbering 613, represent the number of mitzvot
Prescribed by our Tree of Life.
Olive branches are another important peace symbol,
Reminding us of the Noahís ark dove returning from dry land,
Signaling an end to flood, and a return to peaceful times.
Expressed in pastel, rainbow colors
Are our backdrop for a wonderful life in paradise,
Here in the Valley of the Moon on a beautiful autumn day.
I feel her presence within and around me
Sweet, purple grapes are ripening
High above, the Shir Shalom Dove
Grapevines become a menorah,
Bright, red pomegranates recall our Torah.
The golden, rolling hills of California,
All images copyrighted © 2003-2021 Bonos Productionstm