Sof Davar – When All Is Said and Done

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Sof Davar: “When All Is Said and Done”

By Jonathan Lyon April 16, 2021

Is Ecclesiastes about fearing God and Performing His commandments or about the fabric of relationship?

Woven Card stock paper.

Hand made

36cm x 37 cm

My piece on Kohelet.

Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) is well famous for his wisdom and statements. Most remembered are his statements that there is a time for every action and endeavor under the Heavens. But tempered by the fact that all our efforts under the sun are futility and a chasing after wind.

These sentiments are portrayed on the delicate and fragile border fringes of my woven paper fabric.

The woven center, however, like woven threads, is a strong and vibrant fabric.

In it, the incomplete Jewish Star is in a continuous process of construction by both Man and God together. God looks down upon His people with care as the Children of Israel look up to God for inspiration and salvation.

Is Ecclesiastes’s final conclusion of “Sof Davar” sufficient? To fear God and fulfill His commandments?

Is that truly the sum of Man? Is this the totality of the potential splendor of our Jewish People on this earth? Or is there more?

Tell me what you think! Your comments are valued.

סוף דבר…
על ידי יונתן ליון
בתלמוד בבלי, מסכת שבת, דף ל: מסופר:
“אמר רב יהודה בריה דרב שמואל בר שילת משמיה דרב: בקשו חכמים לגנוז ספר קהלת מפני שדבריו סותרים זה את זה.
ומפני מה לא גנזוהו?
מפני שתחילתו דברי תורה, וסופו דברי תורה. תחילתו דברי תורה דכתיב: “מה יתרון לאדם בכל עמלו שיעמול תחת השמש”
לפי התלמוד ספר קהלת כמעט ולא נכלל בתנ”ך של עם ישראל. ביצירה זו אנו מרגישים את האתגר לחיות חיים יצירתיים יחד עם הסתירות. החיים הם פרדוקס, והיכולת לחיות בפרדוקס זה היא שורש החוכמה. האריגה של הנייר שנחתך, ונראית גם שלמה וגם שבורה, נותנת ביטוי לפרדוקס. אלה הם חיי האנושות תחת השמש בעולם של סתירות, גם בסתירה יש שלימות.
הרב יאיר סילברמן
‏עמותת מועד זכרון יעקב

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My Profile: The Gemara says that all of our constructs and paradigms exist as a result of suppressing information. From chaos, the sum potential of all that is possible - physicists call it white noise; statisticians call it raw data - we must push away that which is unwanted. We are left to work with our visions and patterns of reality. The big question is, how well do those visions match up to what reality actually is in all its inter-related complexity and detail. On Yom Kippur, we come face to face with the reality that "The hidden things belong to HaShem our God, but the revealed things are for us and for our children forever, that we might fulfill all the words of this Torah." (Deuteronomy 29:28). God's ultimate and uncompromising reality must hold us accountable even for paradigms we are NOT aware of! Many refer to this as "The law of unintended consequences." This is why what I hold dear is not answers, but an endless path of growing awareness that attempts to come closer and closer to reality as it really is - not the "reality" that is just a projection of some inner solipsistic construction within my brain. The questions- not the answers - lead me on that path. I have become deeply committed to a life long journey of learning, growth, change, love, discernment, service, play, commitment, questioning, and valuing disagreement. At my core is the notion that without self-doubt and without valuing difference and differing opinions, one cannot develop a fulfilling and meaningful life. My art starts as a white sheet of whole paper, which represents chaos - all the possible pictures that one could create on it - onto which I impose order. Simultaneously destructive and defining, my paper-cutting adds meaning to the paper. Cutting pieces out is a creative process that graphically reveals before me my deeper paradigms so that I can scrutinize them - so that I can better understand the limits and characteristics of the space in which those paradigms work and gain insight as to where they are no longer valid. But it is not just a discovery of my internal landscapes. It is a process of becoming aware of myself within relationship and covenant. It is my simultaneous love and awe of and participation in the splendor of God's continued creation. It is my Avoda.

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