The Golden Dreidle

Song of Songs Ketubah, by Naomi Teplow

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Size: 19" x 22"
Medium: Giclee

As the English writing around the Ketubah (and the Hebrew within it) indicate, this Ketubah is a "collage" of scenes and elements from that most beautiful and sensual love poetry, the Song of Songs. What I tried to do is visualize and then paint the images and metaphors that the text evokes for me, focusing mostly on the landscapes, the fauna, and the flora of Israel, my beloved home country. Below, I quote most of the verses I referred to in my painting, so that if you like, you can use them in your ceremony. The translations are from the 1917 edition of the Jewish Publication Society, with slight modifications of my own, to fit my understanding of the original Hebrew text.

In the upper left part there is a scene of dawn "in the vineyards of Ein Gedi" (Song of Songs, 1:14). Above the horizon the sun is rising: "who is she that looketh forth as the dawn, fair as the moon, pure as the sun" (6:10) and on the left bottom corner is a wild dove: "O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice" (2:14).

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