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The Golden Dreidle

Eshet Chayil, "A Woman of Valor" Ketubah, by Naomi Teplow

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Size: 18 1/4" x 23"
Medium: Giclee

This painting attempts to make literal the figurative phrase at the end of chapter 31 of Proverbs (quoted above), a chapter which is customarily read on Friday nights at the Shabbat dinner table, and is often given by Jewish men to their wives as a gift of art and calligraphy expressing their love and appreciation. Figuratively speaking, the complimentary things that people tell about "the woman of valor" to her husband when he sits in the city gates with the elders of the land -- describing the good work she does, her kindness, diligence and excellence -- these things "praise her in the gates". What I tried to do here is depict an actual gate, with the ancient city of Jerusalem (or one similar to it) behind it, and then put the different kinds of work and good deeds the Woman of Valor does in a series of murals above and on both sides of the gate. The comparison of the woman to the merchant ships which bring food from afar is on top. Below it, on both sides of the gate, the woman herself is depicted as she weaves, sews, works in her vineyard and her field, makes bread for her household and gives charity to the needy. These activities represent the hard work, the kindness and the devotion of today's modern woman, whose activities are only different in form, not in essence.

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