Aleph: The First Breath
By Joshua Hooper (DS ’17)
My artwork is inspired by the opening verses of Bereishit, when God’s first breath calls forth light (יהי אור) out of the darkness (Gen. 1:3). This holy light (shown in blue) is timeless—the first manifestation of God’s will. The Aleph is depicted as emerging out of the darkness surrounding it while the holy light is concealed within it. The essence of this light radiates outwards (towards the lower worlds, which are expressed by the three colors that surround the Aleph’s form). The light transcends all levels of Creation.
The image of the Aleph connects the forces that are above to those that are below. The Aleph’s form is comprised of two yuds and a vav. The two yuds (above and below), depicted with lines moving in differing directions around them, represent the duality of forces. The vav that stretches between the two yuds unites these forces into a state of holy union.
I hope that this artwork will provoke reflection on the essence of the Aleph inside all of us—the breath of the One and how we can reconnect it to its Source.
This work was created as part of JTS’s Artist-in-Residence program, and is on display at JTS as part of the Corridors exhibition.