The Joy of Kabbalat Shabbat

Loving Greeting Shabbat Outdoors
I have very fond memories of the times when I prayed and danced outdoors on some Friday nights in Jerusalem. I will never forget the happiness I felt as I joined hands with my sisters after candle-lighting. We were not really aware of the men on the other side of the mechitzah as we danced and sang to welcome Shabbat. I remember feeling the earth beneath my feet, smelling the scent of the trees around us, and looking up at the stars in the heavens above.
As a result of these wonderful Friday night experiences, for which I am still very thankful, Kabbalat Shabbat is one of my favourite and most recurring themes.

My First Painting: ‘Kabbalat Shabbat’
The first time I painted this subject was in 2011. At this time I lived in a studio apartment in Nachlaot, Jerusalem. Since my one room had only a very small window it was quite dark and not conducive to painting. As a result, I painted outside. So my first Kabbalat Shabbat painting is very small. I enjoy painting outside using watercolours, so this didn’t bother me. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
However, after a while I began craving painting on a larger scale.

Kabbalat Shabbat Painting

My Second Painting: ‘Greeting Shabbat
About two years later, I moved from Jerusalem to a four-room apartment in Beer Sheva, where I set up one of the bedrooms as a studio. One of the very first oil paintings that I did on a large canvas was on this theme. For this second painting, ‘Greeting Shabbat’, I chose to use a limited palette in order to express the idea of spirituality.

Greeting Shabbat Painting

My Third Painting: ‘Shabbat Joy
Recently, in 2022, 11 years after my first Kabbalat Shabbat painting, I felt the urge to return to my beloved theme.
For some years now I have been experimenting with digital artwork, using my large iPad, Apple pencil and Procreate software. This was my media of choice for my third Kabbalat Shabbat painting – ‘Shabbat Joy’. My goal was to use strong colour to increase the feeling of joy. I also wanted the women to be the focus and have missed out the men all together!

Shabbat Joy Painting

My Fourth Painting: ‘The Joy of Kabbalat Shabbat
Finally, as soon as I finished ‘Shabbat Joy’, I painted ‘The Joy of Kabbalat Shabbat’. I completed this just two days ago. It is also a digital artwork, based on my first painting, but with a lot of changes.

The Joy of Kabbalat Shabbat Painting

Outdoor Praying Due to Covid

For some time now, I have been finding quiet places in my neighborhood to pray outdoors, due to the problems associated with Covid. I continue to enjoy praying outdoors.

Verse 3 from Isaiah Chapter 6

וְקָרָא֨ זֶ֚ה אֶל־זֶה֙ וְאָמַ֔ר קָד֧וֹשׁ | קָד֛וֹשׁ קָד֖וֹשׁ יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֑וֹת מְלֹ֥א כָל־הָאָ֖רֶץ כְּבוֹדֽוֹ:

”And one called to the other and said, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.’ “

You can see more of my Shabbat paintings in my SHABBAT GALLERY.

I would love to know which painting is your favourite. Please let me know in the comments below. Thank you.

8 Responses to The Joy of Kabbalat Shabbat

  1. Thank you for your good wishes and your encouragement, Leon.

  2. Thank you for pointing out this problem, Darlene. Although I had a link to my SHABBAT GALLERY, I didn’t give the links for the 4 Shabbat paintings. I have added the links now.

  3. What a lovely thoughtful, appreciative comment. Thank you so much, Esther!

  4. Esther Levison says:

    Chana, I really love this sharing of personal story and reflection behind your art theme. It offers a sense of history and nostalgia that is very meaningful and beautiful.
    The luminous colors of ‘Shabbat Joy’ immediately imbues me with joy! It is an electrifying work of art. I think each creation is so wonderful, however I am particularly appreciating ‘Shopping in the Shuk for Shabbat’ right now. The rain with the softly glowing lights under the shelter evokes a warm, wistful feeling.

  5. Darlene says:

    I only see one painting here, and love it! I would also love to see the other paintings you wrote about.

  6. Leon says:

    Have a great shabbat
    And be inspired for more great paintings

  7. tamar says:

    Nice to get an insight into the artist’s mind

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