Hatikvà (la speranza) - misto su tela, 300x150 cm (collezione privata)


Commissioned by an Israeli kippòt srugòt yeshiva (religious school that imparts the study of Torah and a method of education based on the teachings of Rabbi Kook), this large canvas will be teaching work that synthesizes the hope of religious Zionism: hence the name "Hatikva", as the Israeli national anthem in Hebrew means "hope."

The thought of Rav Kook has no political connotation, but it is completely based on the principles of the Kabbalah, and in particular on the basic concepts of lurian Kabballah, and it is for this reason that his writings are difficult to understand for those who do not have a deep knowledge of Kabbalah. The work strives to translate these difficult concepts in simple language and immediate because it is aimed at an audience of young students.

We offer readers a guide to a thorough reading of:

The painting is included between two visual brackets: from black to white, from bottom to top, from the Shoah to the third Temple in Jerusalem.


From right to left. The story develops from right to left under the direction of the Hebrew writing: the jew starts every positive action from the right, a symbol of Hessed the sefirà of love, because love and compassion should always prevail over left, a symbol of Ghevurà, the sefira of severity (first he threads the right shoe then the left, the buttons of his shirt is from right to left, etc ...).

From bottom to top. The painting starts from the bottom right corner and runs upwards to the left, this indicates the one way direction of the Jewish history. The path to Gheulà, the Redemption, it is uphill, a gradual ascent from evil to good. The lowest point in the recent history of the Jewish people is marked by the Shoah, here you have the black, the swallowing of every colour and shade.

The blue and white stripes. The picture runs on a base structure made of vertical strips, as in a keyboard of colour tones, which alternates with various shades of blue and grey in a chromatic progression that starts from black and ends in white. The fabric in blue and white stripes is the theme of the illustration: the suits worn by the Jews interned in camps were rough striped pyjamas blue and white. We find these blue and white lines in the mattress cover that the jew Holocaust survivor loads on the head while going up to Israel, in the fabric of the prayer shawls ( tallit) hung to dry next to the tents of the first camps, and then finally find it in the tissues of the Israeli flag. This grid striped blue and white, wants to show how the colours of a simple fabric can be carriers of the symbols of hope. In the blue and white striped Nazi pyjamas were locked the germs of the blue and white stripes of the tallit and the banner of the regained independence of Israel. Those colors that in Auschwitz were a symbol of horror and death, today they are the symbols of freedom! This principle is the essence of the entire Torah and all Jewish thought, the foundation of the messianic hope.

SHOAH. The Holocaust is in the bottom and emerges from the black. The strips of the great pyjamas background make up a grid of monochrome shades that melts slowly letting out the blue swallowed by black. In the bottom, at the center of the pyjamas, we see the main entrance of the camp of Auschwitz, represented as a huge open mouth that opens its jaws to devour the Jews arriving in the two windows above that looks like the crazy eyes of Satan. We see no trace of life. The images of those places now abandoned, the train tracks, the long barbed wires and the macabre sign that announces the danger of death, overlap and merge, without precise outlines, and alternating between positive and negative photographic. Even in this there is a reference to the kaballistic concepts, according to which evil has no real substance of its own, but it is a force that must be employed in the service of good ... even the Holocaust has an ultimate goal for the repair and transformation of evil into good.


Barbed wire. As we can see in the image, the barbed wire gradually takes the shape of some words written in Hebrew, these are the verses 7 and 8 of Chapter 54 of the Prophet Isaiah.

"For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you," says the LORD your Redeemer.”

These two verses contain both the appearance of rigor divine Ghevurà, and his mercy, Hessed. The words which express the severity of God seem a continuation of the barbed wire and are written in black characters, in the range where the image is seen in the positive. The words of love are written in white and clean in the range of views in photographic negative, where the blue begins to emerge from the black, even in the negative there is already the presence of the good and the power.


The Alyah- the ascent. Jews returning to Israel are called 'Olim those who ascend, the Jews who leaves Israel are called yordìm, those who fall, this connotation of ascent and descent is obviously not geographical but spiritual. According to the Kabbalah Israel is the highest place in the world from a mystical point of you, and Jerusalem is the highest point of Israel, the navel of the world through which the world receives spiritual sustenance. Thus we see the open pyjamas and white stripes to be filled of clouds taking vaguely the shape of a dove in flight, a symbol of peace and hope ... the white and blue of the sad pyjamas mix with the colours of the sky.

Even if the pain and the proof are dreadful, they are only a brief parenthesis that opens on the infinite. In this painting we see portrayed some vintage images that depict the few survivors of the Shoah who come to Israel, the land that G-d has always promised to our fathers. Religious Zionism sees this gradual return of the Jews scattered to the four corners of the earth, the beginning of the fulfillment of the messianic promises that all Israel will again be held in Zion:

then the LORD your G-d will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your G-d will gather you and bring you back.” (Deuteronomy 30, 3-4)

When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will show myself holy through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD their G-d, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind.” (Ezekiel 39, 27-28)

Here, the blue is still a small percentage of black, and the figures fade into the background, indicating the great inconvenience and the hardships that the pioneers faced in the first adaptation in the arid and uncultivated land of Israel.

The figure of the Jew with the mattress on his head and the few things he carried with him in his return to Zion, detach the net from the background, as it emerges and dominates the space and time that preceded him.


The dancing. The Jews returned to Zion lived in tents as in biblical times. The circular dance that marked this period bear witness to the joy of the homecoming of the returnees to Zion. Here is pure blue and reaches its maximum intensity.

The war of six days. Those who have commissioned the picture, have expressly requested that the image of soldiers in front of the Wailing Wall were introduced, listed after victory, the image is inserted a little 'lower than the image that precedes and follows, indicating a drop, a short descent, the reconquest of the promised land happens unfortunately at the cost of great suffering. This image closes abruptly the preceding path and leads us into the land of ideal Israel image of the garden of lost Eden. The image is divided into a puzzle where several tiles are missing: this tells us that the path of redemption is not complete and that the future is yet to be built.

The Temple. In the top, the ultimate goal of Jewish history: the reconstruction of the Third Temple. The Temple has just outlined, because there is still a vague ideal, and no one knows the precise connotations.









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