ABOUT THE ARTWORK
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower....” (Proverbs 18:10)
A note from the artist, and CSM member, David Breuer Weil, about the website artwork:
“The image is an early painting of mine (1997) that depicts architectural spice towers (hadassim) with symbolic elements. For Hampstead Garden Suburb, with its distinctive architecture (especially Central Square itself) I thought this image may capture both a Jewish motif and a sense of the area.
In terms of the symbolism: you will be familiar with the great tradition of spice boxes that contain the spices for Havdallah. In the Middle ages spices were kept in castle keeps. This is one theory of the origin of building-form spice boxes that became widespread amongst Jewish communities in Europe. Another theory links these building-form spice boxes to the ancient Temple and early synagogue architecture. In Sephardi communities they tended to use simpler vessels, also shown here. The image of the deer refers to the quote from Pirkei Avot (“Ratz ke Zvi..”). In Poland they used small train-form spice boxes from the 19th century. One theory is that these toy-form spice boxes that attracted the interest of children also referred to the Rothschilds having financed the railways of Europe.”