To my surprise, I keep discovering new layers of meaning and emotions hidden in the Shema - the centrepiece of Jewish prayer. Beyond the obvious religious importance of this declaration of faith, the Shema offers insight into cultural and philosophical elements shared by Jews around the world. This calligraphy artwork is inspired by the first word of the prayer: ‘Hear!’. The Hassidic and Cabalistic traditions examine the oneness of God to a great extent. According to this Jewish traditions, the Shema proclamation ‘God is one’ is directly manifested in all things. To me, the Shema is above all a call for openness and attentiveness. If we listen well enough, we will sense this oneness of the world which lies far beyond the grasp of rational understanding. In this piece I seek to convey this decree to listen and to perceive the oneness of the world by using the three Hebrew letters comprising the word ‘Shema’.
India Ink on acid-free Hahnemühle Paper
Private collection, Madrid