Moshe Greenberg calls it הר הרה
Mixed media (sand, glass, one twisted lightning rod), September 2005
The Gigit Midrashim
A recent example of our collaboration is the creation of the gigit, the legendary barrel of a mountain at Sinai which would have imprisoned Israel forever had we not agreed to accept the Torah. My material was a large broken blue glass vase waiting for the lead role as gigit. I placed it on top of a framed abstract mountainous landscape that would be the Sinai desert, and then I was stuck. Elisheva, help! She redirected me with a single comment, "The glassed-in landscape as the base is competing with the glass vase as gigit. You need something of natural material… clay or papier mâché, earth." Later on I went out on the porch where my eyes lit on the sand cast of my open hands that I had recently made in an Israel Museum workshop. I set the blue glass gigit on my sculptured hands and a new relationship came into being. My hands became Israel trapped under the gigit which now looked like a transparent pregnant mountain. A Midrash tells how the Israelite men brought their pregnant and nursing wives to Sinai. God made their bellies transparent like glass so God could speak to the babies in utero: "I want to give the Torah to your elders but you will have to guarantee that they will keep it." In another version the gigit/mountain becomes transparent like an aspaklaria which means both window and mirror. This enables Israel to confront the transcendent God (through a window) and also to experience God immanent, within themselves (through a mirror). In my work the glass vase fuses both midrashim as a transparent belly or a transparent mountain/gigit. It was Elisheva's comment that sparked my process.