Parshat Vayetze

Woodblock print on parchment, 2014

Artist: Liliana Kleiner,  Canada

Parashat VaYeitzei is a metaphor for the search of the human soul, for shleimut (wholeness). In Jacob’s dream of the ladder and the angels ascending and descending, I see the union of the upper and lower realms of being. The images of Rachel and Leah express the union of the light and dark spheres of the feminine. And as Jacob unites with his brides, he brings about the union of the masculine and feminine worlds. The stories surrounding this image are an attempt at integrating the “good” and “evil” faces of humanity which manifest in a series of manipulations and lies carried out by the different participants.

As Jacob earlier cheated his brother in order to get his father’s blessing, so Leah’s father cheats Jacob to have his eldest daughter married first. Later, Rachel cheats her father and Jacob in order to keep the pagan gods she believes in. Observers keep learning that the truth is many layered, that each person holds just a piece of it, and that wholeness is achieved by collecting all the pieces and putting them together. Finally, the Hands in my work represent the hands of the Spirit that guides us. The 13 Stars stand for the twelve tribes (named for Jacob’s sons) with the addition of the tribe of Dinah (named for Jacob’s daughter). The Bird is the soul here on Earth, the Shechinah (Presence of God) that walks among us.

About Liliana

Liliana Kleiner is a visual artist born in Argentina and raised in Israel. She is known for her visionary oil paintingsand her earthy woodcuts created on her hand made papers. Liliana has published two art books — The Song of Lilith, 2007 and The Song of Songs, 2010. In addition to her creations on paper, Liliana works in Performance Art and Dance and in Film and Video.

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