Ps. 139: I and Thou
Deborah Feinstein was a Museum director, educator, and curator for over 20 years, With her first graduate degree in Islamic art from Harvard University, Deborah has lectured widely on religious, historical, and cultural connections among the three religions through the visual arts. Four years ago, she completed a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies at Hebrew College, bringing the visual image as an interpretative tool to her learning. She is also an artist who creates Jewish illuminated miniatures. Deborah is a trustee of Hebrew College, a board member of the Vilna Shul, Boston’s Center for Jewish Studies, and is a major initiator of the USHMM’s travel program.
Statement from the Artist:
I and Thou: Psalm 139
“Oh Lord, you have searched me and know me.”
What inspires me? I walk in the woods or view other art images or listen to music with kinetic rhythms or read the timeless words of the Bible. These stimuli arouse my desire to “uncover” a hidden majesty and connections. I look, as Martin Buber would suggest, to see the sacred in everyday life. It is the “Here and Now.”
In my pastel drawing, you see two trees as a metaphor of the intimate relationship between G-d and Man. Relating to Psalm 139, G-d’s overwhelming presence is everywhere. This large tree is connected to the earth, the air, and the sky. This tree is eternal like the night darkness, omnipotent as the golden clouds. Most importantly, G-d is in relationship here with the smaller tree metaphor of the man. God “searches” for me—I feel his presence. The great limb of the large tree bends and shelters me. “You know me.” His essence is in me and around me. Our relationship is mutually supporting—a sacred bond formed from intimate connections, many “encounters” and many “returns.”
The Lord is present. We are not alone.