The Shema Project resulted from a series of meetings held by the Social Action Committee of the Woodstock Area Jewish Community-Congregation Shir Shalom in early 2017. Looking to recognize and witness the fast changing reversals in humanistic behaviors occurring in our country and the world, the committee approached me to create a physical representation. Our preliminary conversations led to the creation of this design.
The quilt begins with seven primary columns representing the seven days of creation and the seven days of our week. Each of these seven rows contains 18 primary squares thereby incorporating the concept of Chai (definition: life).
In the vertical space beyond these rows are openwork sections of intertwined ribbons representing the colors of humanity. In the breaks between the squares and the rows are strips with handwritten words and images representing hope, faith and tzedakah (definition: loosely “charity” but more accurately defined as “acts of justice and righteousness”).
The seven rows cascade down and rise up to the center of the piece, surrounding squares incorporating the Ten Sefirot and the Tree of Life (these are concepts from Jewish mysticism, for a very basic explanation, see Kabbalah). The entire piece is encased by a sky of blue.
Participants in this project will complete two quilt squares: 1) one illuminating an aspect of our world filled with hope, and 2) the other bearing witness to an aspect of our world that contradicts our sense of righteousness. There is space for 52 participants per quilt. An infinite number of quilts can be completed. The only requirement to participation is living on this Earth.
Squares can be finished with pens, markers, paints, embroidery, crochet, knitting, appliqué, quilting, photographs printed on fabric or most anything one can create.
As the world bombards us with events that frighten, challenge our sense of equity or security, and cause us to question our future, we invite you to bring your concerns to The Shema Project. Our tapestry of hope acts as witness in the face of these challenges and to Shamor Vzachor – guard and member those persons and values adversely affected by our ever changing world.
If you believe breaking is possible, believe fixing is possible. – Rabbi Nathan of Breslev
Quilt designed by Holly Levison, 3 Corner Designs, March 2017
A Tapestry of Hope: The Shema Project (link to PDF downloadable for design and description).
CONTACT HOLLY LEVISON: firstname.lastname@example.org