Into the Orchard: An exploration of Judaism in honour of the MNjcc’s 70th anniversary
By Yaara Eshet
ABOUT THE EXHIBIT
When I commenced work on this exhibition centered around Jewish values, I was hesitant. The current representation of Judaism, particularly as mirrored in the situation in Israel, doesn’t align with my personal opinions and beliefs. leaving an unfavorable impression. I was introduced to the notion of “seventy faces to the Torah,” highlighting the potential for diverse interpretations of the Torah. This encounter led me to realize that this might be my chance to persevere and illuminate the aspects of Judaism that I find beautiful, virtuous, and luminous.
I grew up in a secular kibbutz that honored both the work of the land and the connection to nature. We revitalized old customs and established new traditions. Alongside our humane values study, we read from Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) every morning and studied the Bible as history and literature. My perspective has a place on the spectrum of Judaism; my interpretation also holds a place.
And that’s how I entered P.R.D.S (Which means orchard in Hebrew but also an abbreviation for Pesht, Remez, Darsh, and Sod), that mystical Orchard which, to me, encapsulated the narratives from the Bible, Kabbalah teachings and symbols, Jewish anecdotes Folklore and mysticism, modern Israeli poetry, and Yiddish verses. My visual inspiration derived from a rich Judaic history, the aesthetics of Jewish art, and childhood recollections of my upbringing near the Sea of Galilee with all those date trees.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Ya’ara Eshet was born in Israel. She studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem and has since cultivated a prolific career as an illustrator and artist both in Israel and in Canada. She has illustrated over 30 books—for children, youth, and adults. Since 1990, Eshet has been exhibiting her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions across museums and galleries, as well as various art fairs, both in Israel and Canada.
Ya’ara Eshet has lived in Toronto since 2003 with her family and an ever-changing number of cats.
The work of Yaara Eshet is for sale. Support local artists. Bring art into your life.
Miles Nadal JCC
750 Spadina Ave. (at Bloor)