The first thing I remember about G-d was when I graduated from grade one 'Sunday School' at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto. Rabbi Gunther Plaut,, who in our small eyes was kind of a big deal, addressed our class of about 80, as we stood ceremoniously on the bima.
What he said resonated powerfully with 5-year-old me and became the foundation of my understanding of G-d and the dynamics of the universe He created.
Rabbi Plaut stood impressively before us in his long white satin robe. "Each of you has a little piece of G-d inside of you’, he said. What that means is that G-d is a part of you, and you are a part of G-d. Nothing can ever change that. It's forever."
Wow. I don’t know about the rest of the class, but his words deeply resonated with this five-year-old.
I’m not sure where or when I got the notion that G-d is One, but even then I somehow instinctively believed that to be the case. Even as a child, I concluded that it stood to reason that since the Creator of heaven and earth...
The Kiyor (vessel in Hebrew) was the beautiful copper washing station used by the Kohanim (high priests) in the Holy Temple in preparation for their daily Divine service.
I called this website KIYOR because the kiyor is a perfect symbol of funcational art, being both magnificently handcrafted, and an indispensable utensil for daily life in Temple.
There are many more deep and powerful lessons that can be learned from the Kiyor.
The Kiyor was made from the shiny, copper mirrors donated by the women who were slaves in Egypt. Back when Pharoah decreed that all Jewish baby boys be thrown into the Nile, the women made mirrors from copper with which to beautify themselves and seduce their husbands, who abstained from intimacy with their wives as a way of thwarting Pharoah's decree. It was Miriam, the sister of Moshe, who pointed out to the women that wh...
My philosophy and practice of art has been sparked and inspired by the incredible beauty I see all around me every day, and the irrepressible desire to use my innate creative energy to reflect that beauty. It is informed by the timeless teachings of the Torah, a fundamental teaching of which is that "God created man in His image." (Genesis 1:27)
Designing and creating beautiful things that are needed and used in the course of regular life is an authentic and meaningful way to express innate innate human creative energy. God made beautiful the necessities of our lives, and because we are made in His image, it is part of our spiritual and emotional DNA.
In addition to my original art, I consult and collaborate with individuals and businesses to create custom art and interiors that are a unique expression of their own conceptual and aesthetic sensibilites.
The size and scope of custom work can range from personalized giftware, to mixed media inst...
For about the past 10 years, I've been keeping notes for my not-yet-existing blog. Or should I say, blogs. So far, I've got a bunch of titles. 'How My Children Raised Me' is my favorite. I have lots of notes for that one.
It's true, my children raised me, at least as much as I raised them, probably more. Trying to figure out how to be the role model I wanted them to have, and then being it, was hard, but I was very motivated. I took my first parenting course at the age of 23, when I was pregnant with my first child. After that, I learned on the job, with the help of some excellent books, amazing friends with which to process the vicissitudes of parenting with., and a good therapist.
I come from a family of creative people, and I definitely inherited the gene. From the tender age of 5, when I made my first plaster of paris relief Torah with the help of my teacher at Holy Blossom Temple (really) Nursery School, I never met an arts and crafts project I did love—and couldn't do if I w...
How about, instead of jotting down the flashes of insight, revalational experiences and humorous observations that come to me on an almost daily basis as a draft in my gmail, with the subject line 'blog post idea', how about I take a few minutes, right then and there, to expand it, and actually post it on one of the many blogs I've started in my head. (A partial list includes: Here's A Thought, How My Children Raised Me, It's A Beautiful Thing, So What Now? Here's The Thing, I Was Thinking.....)
How about I just quit searching for the perfect word, stop starring at the screen until blood droplets form on my forehead, stop being afraid it won't be as good as it could be, or that there are a million blogs, what's the point?
How about I just let my brain dictate my live brain feed to my fingers which dutifully type it, slap an image on it that I don't spend 2 hours debating over and photoshopping, just because I can, give a quick edit and click 'post'?
Sadly, yesterday our mailbox was vandalized. It was very precious to me because I made it out of a cholent tureen that I made almost 20 years ago at my family's cottage. It broke on the lift coming over here, but I saved the pieces and eventually used the shards for surface decoration on this mailbox.
Like me, it has served different purpose throughout its life.
It began its life on a date with my sister at a ceramic painting place in Collingwood, Ontario.
It served us well as a cholent pot for many sweet shabbos meals in Monsey.
After it broke, I was sad, but only for a minute, because i knew I could recycle the broken pieces to create something else from it.
Now that the door has been cruelly ripped off I am more than a little sad...and mad. Who would do something like this????!!!
But now it is serving yet another purpose: it is giving me the opportunity to put in to practice my longstanding philosophy that once something has broken, the orange juice has spilled all over my fr...
How about.... instead of jotting down the flashes of insight, revalational experiences and humorous observations that come to me on an daily basis as a draft in my gmail with the subject line, 'blog post idea', how about I seize the moment, and actually write it up and post it on one of the many blogs I've started in my mind. (A partial list includes: Here's A Thought, How My Children Raised Me, It's A Beautiful Thing, So What Now? Here's The Thing, I Was Thinking.....)
How about I just quit searching for the perfect word, stop starring at the screen until blood droplets form on my forehead and stop being afraid it won't be as good as it could be?
How about I dictate my live brain feed to my fingers, which dutifully type it up, slap an image on it that I don't spend 2 hours debating over and photoshopping, just because I can and click 'post'?
This painful indecisiveness is something I experience in the ceramic studio as wel...
I always say that I get around to most things eventually. And here I am (finally) launching the blog I have been keeping notes and saving ideas for, for the past 10 years or so. I had a lot of titles: "How My Children Raised Me", "Advice Free 24/Six", "So, Here's the Thing", to name a few. Why these did not come to fruition until now is too long to go into here, plus its boring, and it doesn't really matter.
In the end—or the beginning— depending how you want to look at it, I am finally launching my blog, this very day, on my brand-spanking new gallery, Kiyor Functional Art & Decor. I am calling it, "It's A Beautiful Thing", and here is why.
This morning as I finished saying my morning blessings, and sat down with my daily green tea-tumeric-ginger-garlic-cayenne-and-black-pepper-parsley-lemon juice-date honey-coconut oil tonic*, I was thinking about the different things I have going on in my life right now.