by Cindy Weil and contributors.
In the year before the first exhibition of the IYP, I attended countless community events where we would gather to make stuff. At one event I met a young formerly Hasidic Jewish man, Feivish. He was in a profound period of transition because he had recently left his religious community and come out.
Feivish means light in Hebrew. In Judaism, light is often related to spirituality and G‑dliness. Light is also used to bring warmth and happiness to Shabbat, festivals, and joyous occasions – where candles are lit to make the house brighter. Ecclesiastes says, “And I saw that wisdom has an advantage over folly, as the advantage of light over darkness.”
I was inspired to make this totem for Feivish. It includes pieces from around the country, a payot fashioned from yarn, four circles representing the symbolic four of the Passover feast, the four mitzvot and the four matriarchs and a small piece of weaving of a Jewish star made by a young yarn artist from the Adda Clavenger School in San Francisco.