Gallery Guide

Bryna’s gallery is arranged according to the Jewish holidays and festivals.  It begins with the High Holidays, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, and ends with Rosh Chodesh Elul, the month of repentance.  A picture is worth a thousand words and as you will see, these pictures may be interpreted in a myriad of ways.  They reflect time and space, prayer and holiness.  They direct and inspire us to return to purity and authenticity, hope and joy.

The paintings you will see are not merely interpretations of nature, or reflections of  the heavens and the earth, they are also interpretations of the Bible.

(צפניה א:יב)

Take for example this picture.   The inspiration for this painting  emanated from Yom Yerushalayim and was originally entitled “Yerushalayim Oro Shel Olam”. As Chanukah arrived, the picture graced our Chanukah table appropriately  transforming it to “Haneirot Halalu Kodesh Haym”.  It wasn’t until teaching the Book of Tzefania that year, that the painting became an illustration of “Achapeis et Yerushalayim Baneirot”.  The forlorn prophet searched Jerusalem unsuccessfully  for a single man of righteousness, thereby giving a new dimension to this picture.

(יחזקאל לד:יב)

Another touching example is the painting of a flock of little sheep.  It was originally part of the children’s gallery, painted for my grandchildren.  I had intended that the little sheep would turn into clouds and metaphorically the babies would turn to dreams.   I gave the painting the name “Anachnu Amo V’tzon Mar’ito”.  The verse, which translates “we are His nation, the flocks of His shepherding”, is taken from Psalms 100-a song of gratitude for  G-d’s everlasting love and providence.  My friend Esther Parnes observed the picture and suggested it be retitled as “K’vakarat Ro’e Edro”, a verse from Ezekial 34:12 which we say in the High Holiday liturgy.  This verse describes G-d, the ultimate Shepherd determining who will live and who will die, by directing the sheep under His staff.  She then added “Perhaps you’d like to include this painting on another auspicious day- the 7th of Adar, birthday of Moshe Rabeinu, who loyally shepherded us through the desert.

I often find myself quoting my father of blessed memory, who used to teach us that whenever we undergo experiences in life, be they good ones or bad, we should make a vessel. That vessel can be painting a picture, planting a tree, writing a poem or telling a story. What is significant is to save the experience, the feelings, the wisdom, the depth, and the inspiration of those moments within the vessel.  In this way, they will not be forgotten.   Thereby, he blessed us with the words of Moshe asking G-d to bless the work of our hands with His grace and glory.

וִיהִי  נֹעַם אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ עָלֵינוּ וּמַעֲשֵֹה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנָה עָלֵינוּ וּמַעֲשֵֹה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנֵהוּ: (תה’ צ יז)