CARON TABB

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE | SPRING 2022

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Psalms 34:15 - Seek Peace and Pursue It

Scorched wood, 22-carat gold leaf, barbed wire,  goatskin parchment, ink

14 x 3 x 3 inches

2021

The mezuzah, a Jewish ritualistic object, is often affixed to the right doorpost of a Jewish home. It distinguishes a Jewish home and is a visible sign and symbol to all those who enter of the inhabitants’ Jewish identity and commitment.

 

The mezuzah reminds us that our homes are holy places and that we should act accordingly; both when we enter them and when we leave them to go out into the world. It is a custom for some to touch the mezuzah and then kiss their hand upon entering and exiting.

 

I find the mezuzah to be a very powerful Jewish symbol. It serves for me as a reminder of what is sacred inside; the people and the values I hold dear.

 

The scroll inside of a mezuzah fulfills the commandment from Deuteronomy 6:9 and includes two passages, both of which address Jews’ covenant with God.

 

I have replaced the original Biblical text, which speaks about one’s relationship with God, to a text from Psalms 34:15, which references giving priority to relationships between humans.

 

For some, a strong relationship with God is foundational, but some now invoke religion to inflict harm on others. Here I am placing significance in the covenant between human beings rather than between human and divine. The words are written on parchment using an ancient biblical font similar to that of the Torah.

 

The translation from Hebrew reads:

 

Keep your tongue from evil

and your lips from telling lies.

Turn from evil and do good;

seek peace and pursue it.

 
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