"The Accusation” raises the question of the responsibility for human atrocities and suffering.
In the Book of Esther, Esther accuses the wicked Haman of plotting to destroy the Jewish people. Here, two prisoners in a European ghetto, dressed in the costumes of Esther and Ahasuerus on Purim, accuse us (the viewer) and point to our personal responsibility for the human suffering brought on by humanity’s inhumanity. Perhaps Esther, by pointing outside the frame of the painting, is also accusing God.
In “The Sacrifice” I have depicted my own vision of Noah and his son burning the dead after the recession of the flood. The painting alludes to the God-driven destruction of humanity in the flood, and, of course, to the Shoah. As the story of Noah represents the making of covenant between God and humanity, the Holocaust suggests a rupture in that very covenant, and the highest manifestation of evil in the world. Kabbalistically, it represents the entrapment of divine light in the “husks” of evil, the Kellipot. The light within the crematorium is the fire of divinity that has been turned to abject evil through the acts of man.
The final panel of “The (In)Humanity Triptych represents the possibility for Tikkun ha-Olam, redemption. Here, Holocaust victims in a European ghetto dress up as Esther and Ahasuerus on Purim. They re-enact the scene from The Book Of Esther, where Esther accuses Haman of plotting to exterminate the Jews; only, instead of pointing at a figure within the painting, Esther points at the viewer, as if to accuse us all, and to remind us of our ethical responsibility.
Those interested in these archetypes/symbols may wish to read about them on my website www.newkabbalah.com.
The mission style frames for each of the paintings were handcrafted in Oregon by Jim McDermott in Quartersawn Oak