Spiritual Reflections
Elyssa Wortzman Spiritual Reflections Acrylic, mixed media on canvas
Creation
2011
Acrylic, mixed media on canvas
7 boxes, 20 x 20 x 3 in

Commission for Jewish Community Center of Harrison, Harrison, NY.

From the chaos of the void and the separation of dark and light, through the seven days of the birth of the universe, each box in the Creation series extracts the essence of one day of the process of formation.

DAY ONE
The separation of dark and light, signifying the presence of opposites (black and white, dark and light, good and evil) in all things.

DAYTWO
The separation of the sky and the waters to create the firmament (earth), signifying the presence of the natural elements in all of creation.

DAY THREE
The creation of trees/plants/flowers signifying the life-sustaining force of nature.

DAY FOUR
The creation of the sun and the moon, signifying the masculine and feminine lights that guide our way.

DAY FIVE
The creation of winged creatures, signifying our ability to take flight in our journey to unite with each other, community and the Divine.

DAY SIX
The creation of Adam, the first human being, a two-faced creature combining the masculine and feminine elements, signifying the need to recognize and reunite these aspects of our selves to achieve wholeness. The fractured pieces of mirrors embedded in the paint reflect and include the viewer in the original creation. Only being able to see glimpses or parts of one ’s self, forces the viewer to consider both the brokenness of the world and her role in the ongoing creation of her reality.

DAY SEVEN
The day of rest, Shabbat, signifying the final exhalation, the point of greatest unity and stasis, the calm before the storm of creation begins again.

Elyssa Wortzman Spiritual Reflections Acrylic, charcoal on canvas
Jacob's Ladder
2011
Acrylic, charcoal on canvas
24 x 36 in
Elyssa Wortzman Spiritual Reflections Acrylic, charcoal, mirror on canvas
4 Forces of Nature
2011
Acrylic, charcoal, mirror on canvas
4 boxes, each 12 x 12 x 3 in

An ancient midrashic source speaks of the four elements giving birth at the beginning of time: “the fire gave birth to light, the water gave birth to darkness, the wind gave birth to spirit, and the earth gave birth to humanity.” Each box represents one of the forces of the created world: earth, air, fire and water, called gufim by Maimonedes. The boxes can be arranged in any manner, reminding us that they are found everywhere, in every direction.
Elyssa Wortzman Spiritual Reflections Acrylic, charcoal on canvas
Om Shanti Shalom
2011
Acrylic, charcoal on canvas
18 x 24
Elyssa Wortzman Spiritual Reflections Giclée print on watercolor paper
Woman of Valor
2009
Giclée print on watercolor paper
8 x 10

This blessing is traditionally bestowed on the matriarch of the family on Shabbat by her partner or spouse in recognition of all she is and all she has done. Chayil can connote bravery, capability, triumph or wealth. By praising our mothers, wives, friends and lovers we recognize the great impact their acts, work and ideas have had on our lives. The Talmud teaches that: “Every woman has a mind of her own.” Eshet Chayil recognizes each woman’s unique contribution to Jewish family, community and tikkun olam.
Elyssa Wortzman Spiritual Reflections Giclée print on watercolor paper
Bedtime Shma (Angel Blessing)
2009
Giclée print on watercolor paper
8 x 10

In this stirring poem, often sung by parents to their children, we call upon God and the angels to protect us as we sleep. Surrounded by the angels Michael, Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael, and the feminine presence of God, Shekhinat-el, we place our bodies and souls in the palm of God’s hand during the dark night until we awaken. This poem can also been used as a personal meditation for general anxiety or sleep problems.
Elyssa Wortzman Spiritual Reflections Giclée on watercolor paper
Hamsa
2010
Giclée on watercolor paper
8 x 10
Elyssa Wortzman Spiritual Reflections Giclée on watercolor paper
Child's Blessing
2009
Giclée on watercolor paper
8 x 10

This blessing is traditionally bestowed on children Friday evening after lighting Shabbat candles. Parents place their hands on the child’s head and say:

For a boy: Ye’simcha Elohim ke-Ephraim ve’chi-Menashe

For a girl: Ye’simech Elohim ke-Sarah, Rivka, Rachel ve-Leah

Then continue for both:
Ye’varech’echa Adonoy ve-yish’merecha. Ya’eir Adonoy panav eilecha viy-chuneka. Yisa Adonoy panac elicha, ve-yaseim lecha shalom.
Elyssa Wortzman Spiritual Reflections Giclée on watercolor paper
The Lost Princess
2011
Giclée on watercolor paper
5 x 5 (or larger)

From the story of the same name by
Reb Nachman of Breslov about the journey of
the King’s chamberlain to find the Princess,
cast out by the King’s harsh words.
A parable of the journey of the soul
in search of the Divine.
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