My Deepest Prayers
Since I was 6 years old, my family and I have been fortunate enough to spend our summers in Israel. We had a tradition of our own: we’d spend 10 weeks on the beach in Tel Aviv, but every Shabbat my family and I would stay in a hotel in Jerusalem, walk to the Kotel on Friday evening to welcome Shabbat, and then walk back together to our hotel and have our family Shabbat dinner. Even after my parents divorce, my strong, inspiring mother ensured we continued the tradition as a family, and it’s one we all now, with families of our own, try our best to honour and keep. I couldn’t possibly count the number of times I’ve prayed my sincerest, deepest wishes in this holy setting and so as soon as I began painting my own photographs, this experience is one I’ve wanted to capture, but I’d been waiting for the right moment, and the perfect photograph. After the most difficult year of my life, as soon as I touched down in Israel, I returned, well, rushed over to the Kotel for the first time since the accident, and my loss of one of my dearest friend and artistic collaborators. I staged a special photoshoot, working to capture this image, including a philanthropy project for United Hatzalah to capture the perfect perspective. In this same visit I also wrote down ‘My Deepest Prayers’ and placed the letter in the wall. This painting took over 300+ hours of labor and I quite literally poured my tears into it. I hope the spirit of holiness, intent, and faith with which it was painted lives encapsulated in its image and provides its beholder the sense of comfort and inspiration I’ve always found at the Kotel.