Social Hall Screen
Name: The Calendar Cycle.
Media: Polyester yarn hooked on fabric screen
Mounting: Oak frames, hinged, each panel 29" x 78"
Artisans: R. Nadler, designer; executed by "the KI Hookers"
Description: Each panel represents a holiday in the Jewish year.
From the left, the holidays depicted are:
- Rosh Hashanah (New Year). The Hebrew words are superimposed on apples, which are
eaten with honey, a symbol of the sweetness of the New Year.
- Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). The shofar, sounded during the High Holiday period which
comprises Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, symbolizes the call for Jews to think about their faith,
repentenance, and worship. The stark simplicity of this panel reflects the holiness and importance
of this holiday,
- Sukkot (Tabernacles). Sukkot is the first of the three great harvest festivals. The
items depicted on this panel are the lulav and etrog, which play an important role in the liturgy
of this holiday. The lulav is composed of branches from three different plants, and the etrog is
a type of citrus fruit. Together these "four species" are said to represent the four different
personalities of the Jewish people.
- Simchat Torah (Rejoicing in the Law). This holiday falls at the
end of the seven-day Sukkot holiday, and is a celebration of the Jewish
people's greatest possession, the Torah or the Five Books of Moses. This
holiday celebrates the completion and the new beginning of the annual cycle
of reading the Torah in its entirety. The panel depicts a Torah scroll
dressed in its decorative cover.
- Chanukah (Festival of Lights). Chanukah celebrates the miracle of the recapture of the Second
Temple from the army of King Antiochus, the Selucid ruler of Syria by the Maccabees;
the eight candles represent the eight days the small vessel of sanctified oil lasted in the
Temple's eternal light before new oil could be prepared.
- Tu b'Shevat (New Year of the Trees). "Tu," tet-vav, is fifteen in Hebrew; the holiday
falls on the 15th day of the month of Shevat. According to the Talmud, the age of trees is dated
from this holiday to observe the law that the fruit of a tree must not be eaten until the tree
is five years old.
- Purim (Feast of Lots). Purim celebrates the story of Queen Esther and the defeat of the
evil Haman. Hamantaschen ("Haman's pockets"), purported to represent the three-cornered hat Haman
was said to wear, is a pastry delicacy very popular at Purim. Celebrants dress in costume during
this festive holiday; Queen Esther is a popular character. The "gragger," a noise-maker on a
stick, is twirled to make noise to drown out the reader of the Book of Esther when Haman's name
- Pesach (Passover). Passover is the second of the great harvest festivals, coming at the
time of the spring harvest (in Israel). Passover commemorates the events leading up to the
Exodus, when the Hebrews were freed from slavery in Egypt. It is celebrated at a ritual meal,
the Passover "seder," where many symbols of the holiday are used. Shown on the Hebrew letters
forming the word "Pesach" are, from the top, three "boards" of matzot, the unleavened bread; a
Star of David; the Paschal lamb; parsley; horseradish root (bitter herbs); charoset (a mixture
of chopped apples, nuts, and wine representing brick mortar); grapes and a wine cup (representing
the four cups of wine drunk at the seder); and a roasted egg. The word "Pesach" is superimposed
on a background representing the bricks the Hebrews made in building the Pharaoh's cities.
- Yom haShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day). The flame depicted on this panel memorializes
the six million who perished in the Holocaust.
- Shavuot (Weeks). This is the third of the great harvest festivals, and commemorates
the Giving of the Law to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. This is the time of the wheat
harvest in Israel, and the ripening of the first fruits in the Holy Land, symbols of which
are depicted on the panel.
Back to Art Gallery page.