During two recent trips to Israel in 2016 and 2017, I witnessed not only with my eyes, but also through my camera lens, the abundant beauty of this magnificent country. I also felt it in my heart. These feelings and photos were my inspiration for creating the Tiferet exhibit. I literally took thousands of photos of Israel’s magnificence, and after much deliberation, narrowed those down to the 50 images in the exhibit. My goal, as I chose each photo, was to create an atmosphere that captures the beauty and magnificence of the land of Israel. My intention is for you to take a mini-journey of Israel, and in the process, feel transported and uplifted.
The exhibit begins with a stained glass window in the Ha’Ari Synagogue in the old city of Tzfat, in Northern Israel. Although stained glass is not transparent, the window invites you to begin to look through it, and provides a glimpse into the beauty you will see as you enter this journey. Each subsequent photo flows into the next, with a welcome sign inviting everyone in, and a road sign pointing the way. As you go through exquisite doors, you arrive in the magnificent old city of Jerusalem. Beauty continues to flow and unfold throughout the colorful marketplace, and into the natural radiance of the land…the flowers, water, desert, animals, and art. As you turn the corner, love, unity, and peace are right in front of you. The journey ends, or perhaps, more accurately, it begins again, with a beautiful sunrise over Jerusalem. Each new day gives you the chance to create more love, peace, and beauty in your own life, and in the world around you.
Tiferet is a Hebrew term that embraces beauty, glory, and magnificence. It’s definition goes beyond words. It is an energy, a feeling, that is recognized as you experience something glorious, radiant, breathtaking and magnificent. Tiferet is one of the ten sefirot on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, which is depicted on the stained glass window. Tiferet is at the center in red.
Many people have told me that the photos of the doors are their favorites. Throughout Israel, I encountered magnificent doors. Some of the doors in the photos are closed, and some are open. Closed doors are full of potential. They are a barrier, a boundary, and hold the essence of mystery. When you face a closed door, you face a choice of whether you want, or are ready, to go through and see what’s on the other side. An open door allows you to explore and cross the threshold into something new. A door is a portal, and the ones in the exhibit invite you to enter the journey and explore the beauty that surrounds you. When you slow down and notice what’s around you and in front of you, Tiferet can be found almost anywhere.