Good will come of this
A couple of weeks’ ago, I attended the annual launch of the Deronda Review, which is a celebration of Jewish poets and poetry in Israel. Amidst the poets, there was another speaker, Meira Ra’anan, who told the audience a remarkable story.
When the spate of over 250 miraculous wildfires hit Eretz Israel in November 2016, it burned through an awful lot of properties. One of the places it burned was Beit Meir, the village near Jerusalem and her husband, Yoram, called home.
Yoram Ra’anan has been a professional artists for 40 years, and the couple watched aghast as the flames crept closer to his art studio on the Moshav, before finally swallowing it whole. Four decades’ worth of work – 2,000 – pictures were burnt to ashes before their eyes.
Yoram turned to his wife, and told her: Good will come out of this.
That he could make that statement at that time completely boggles the mind, but his wife believes that thanks to his simple but powerful emuna, God actually turned things around for the couple.
After the disaster, Yoram rebuilt his studio and the new design was so much better than the old one had been. Then, he rolled up his sleeves and got to work on a new set of pictures. He told his wife that the disaster he’d just been through was helping him to distill something new, authentic and even more creative and expressive into his artistry now.
The couple decided to create a coffee table book that would combine Yoram’s artistic rendering of each week’s parsha with some deeper insights and explanations on the Torah that his wife was researching.
The fruit of this labor is the book Art of Revelation: A visual encounter with the Jewish Bible, that is due to be released on April 23, 2018.
During the break, there was a small crowd lingering by this book, everyone was drawn by the colours and the images, and of course the story of how it had come about. I’m an amateur artist, which means I lack the ability to really create masterpieces myself, but I can still recognize someone else’s creative genius when I see it.
And I have to say, the pictures in the book are beautifully rendered, and really do have a depth that is far more than skin-deep. There is so much to see in this book, so much to look at, so much to be inspired by.
Yoram was so right when he said ‘good will come out of this’. This book is a beautiful testimony to the power of emuna, and the human soul’s ability to rise up out of the ashes, and to turn that dust into something vibrant and alive.
Of all the many deeper spiritual messages and tales of inspiration this book holds, that for me is still the most touching.
To order a copy of the book, or to see more of Yoram Ra’anan’s stunning artwork, please visit his website HERE.