Menachem-Av @ Sefer Yetzira


Sefer Yetzira, ascribed to the Patriarch Abraham, is a basic treatise for Jewish Mystical Meditation. Several of its chapters deal with the unique qualities of each of the 12 Jewish months and their association with a specific Tribe, Constellation, Attribute and Hebrew Letter.

The Tribe (and gemstone) for Menachem-Av is Shimon.

Shimon שמעון was incised on the פטדה Pitdah, which some commentators translate as an emerald,
hence the scintillating green colors in the painting.
Other sources of inspiration include:
1) the desert banner of Shimon, which showed the city of Shechem שכם ensconced between the mountains
and which was the central city of the tribe in Israel.
2) the suggestion of an ear shape or sound wave ripples which hints at the meaning of the Hebrew word Shimon – שמעון “diminutive” hearing, the inner hearing of the still voice of the soul.
(Genesis 29:33) G-d has heard that I was unloved
כי שמע ה’ כי שנואה אנכי

Hearing and its rectification is the special attribute or quality of Av and relates remarkably with the ear-like shape of the Hebrew Letter ט Tet which permeates this month.


Tet is the Ninth Letter of the Hebrew alphabet and obviously connects with “holiday” of Tisha b’Av – the Ninth Day of Av, which commemorates the Destruction of the Temples and other tragic events in Jewish history. But if we listen to our Shimon שמעון, our “inner hearing”, we can find comfort מנחם in the promise of the prophets and the month becomes – מנחם-אב Menachem Av.


The change from what would seem to be a tremendous downfall to a messianic vision of the future is also hinted by the Constellation for the month of Menachem Av – Leo the Lion and according to the forced prophecy of Bilam:

הֶן-עָם כְּלָבִיא יָקוּם

Look! A people that rises itself (from a crouching position) like a Lion.
Without the “inner hearing” of our faith, we can fall into the despair that what seems to be our “crouching position” in the world is The Reality, when in fact it is a springboard to a New Era.

About the Author
Dov Lederberg is engaged in the converging vectors of art and science, but receives added inspiration from Kabbalah teachings & meditation and tries to create visual forms (in paintings on canvas but also video art) conducive to mystical experience and self-transformation. 
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