Man with His Staff

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While waiting in the doctor’s office for my youngest son to have a procedure, I began saying Tehillim (Psalms).  When I got to Psalm 23, I quickly rummaged through my purse to find a piece of paper and pen and sketched what I felt this Psalm meant to me.

There are bright colors towards the top representing happier past times in the shtetl. These times are interrupted by the valley overshadowed with death (Auschwitz), as souls rise up to reunite with the Creator. During these difficult times the man’s staff (representing G-d) is with him all along. Now his cup is overflowing with blessings and there are calm waters, as the table is laden with an abundance of food. He is grateful for being spared from death.

The biblical verse in this painting is:

מזמור לדוד השם רועי לא אחסר בנאות דשא ירביצני על מי מנוחות ינהלני נפשי ישובב ינחני במעגלי-צדק למען שמו. גם כי אלך בגיא ש רע כי אתה עם עדי שיפתח לך הוא משנה תח אמא היא נחה מוני תערוך לפניי שולחן נגד שרי

A song of David, Hashem (G-d) is my shepherd, I shall not lack. In lush meadows he lays me down, beside tranquil Waters he leads me. He restores my soul. He leads me on paths of justice for His name’s  sake. Though I walk in the valley overshadowed by death I will fear no evil for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in full view of my tormentors. You anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows. May only goodness and kindness pursue me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of Hashem for long years. (Psalm 23)