Parshat Devarim

Oil pastel, pencil on parchment, 2012

Artist: Mira Zelechower – Aleksiun,  Poland

The Torah chapter titled Devarim shares its name with the first reading in the fifth book of the Torah. It is also the name of the first reading in this Book.  I decided to use oil pastels to create the image for this parsha (Torah portion), although I generally prefer using acrylics.

It was a very emotional and surprising experience to draw on real parchment. The columns surrounding the “flying” Torah are the text from parshat Devarim. The first column is the beginning of the chapter and the last column is text from the end of the book of Devarim. The fifth book of the Torah is the record of Moses’s reiteration of the lessons contained in the Covenant. His fear that the nation will not honor the rules of the Law given at Sinai is evident.  That is the reason a symbolic Mount Sinai is included in my rendering. In reality, this mount is no different than any other, but in my drawing it is special. The mountain is ablaze with embers and, Moses, arms uplifted, is visible on the real mountain as well as the one that is a living description in the Torah scroll. The story repeats itself — it exists not only within reality, on earth, but in the heavens as well.

About Mira

Mira Zelechower-Aleksiun graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław, Poland in 1966. She has held over 80 individual and group exhibitions. Some of her paintings are included in collections in the Vatican Museum and the museums of Warsaw, Wrocław and Ludvigshaffen as well as private collections in Poland, Europe and the US. View Mira’s work at:

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