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Temple Shalom and The Open Your Eyes Committee
commissioned me to design and produce
a new Torah Mantle for the Yellin/Brant Torah pictured Below

Needlepoint Design was stitched by Deborah G. Davidson
Stitching of Mantle cover by Julie Vician

Dedicated on December 15, 2017 following is my artists statement:

Developing the Yellin/Brant Torah Mantle design
All of the Torah mantles at TS are completely or partially worked with needlepoint
so it was necessary to continue this art form in the design.
The Menorah pattern that is prevalent throughout Temple Shalom had to be
visually referred to. This geometric tree was flipped so that the branches mirror the roots.
The background rainbow color, our spectrum of visible light… visually acknowledges
sunset and sunrise, the way we as Jews count our days.
This diminutive Torah has traveled from eastern Europe across oceans and countries
to arrive here at this moment.

A true, wandering Jew. Tradescancia, (Trad – ess- KANT- see uh) is a member of the
Spiderwort family, and is commonly known as the wandering Jew plant.
It is now a ubiquitous house plant, almost impossible to kill.
Also called the “inch” plant because in the right conditions it will grow an inch a week.
If you plant it in an inch of soil, with one leaf, it will grow.
The story behind the name is a legend which tells that Jews were cursed to wander the earth forever.
The Jewish genetic response to this seems to be the same strategy of survival as Tradescancia.

For the plant, it’s main characteristics are:
1. The ability to spread and grow very quickly even under difficult circumstances.
2. Requires little or no care or intervention from people, self-sufficient.
3. Only a tiny bit is needed to propagate itself.
4. Tradescancia leaves come in a large variety of different shapes, colors and patterns.
Just like us.

We are using the variegated, leaf motif of Tradescancia, the wandering Jew plant,
that you see on this Menorah/Tree of Life design to affirm our life-giving faith.

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