Adam and Eve - The Sparks

58”x50” oil on canvas 1999

The upper lunette of this painting shows Adam and Eve imagined as newly created, in a luminous atmosphere in which the moon and sun appear together – the two great luminaries – of the day and of the night.

In the bottom section, I have attempted to render a scattering of sparks. This alludes to the Kabbalistic concept of the divine sparks of light released in the creation of the material world.

According to Kabbalistic thought, the infinite essence of God was originally expressed, and continues to be expressed, through ten “vessels” filled with the Divine light. In the process of creation, when the intensity of the light caused the primordial “vessels” to shatter, the sparks of the Divine light descended into the lower spheres of existence – to the world of human beings.

The existence of evil was made possible by the shattering of the vessels and the descent of the holy sparks. Man, created in the image of God, has been given the mission of the spiritual repair of the world by gathering these sparks and elevating them to their source by acts of goodness.

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