Remember! Zachor! זכור!
“For there is hope for the tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.” (Job 14:7)
"כי לעץ תקווה אם ייכרת ועוד יחליף, וינקתו לא תחדל" (איוב, י"ד, 7)
These are my maternal grandparents whom I only knew in their plastic frames in my mother's living room. They are mounted on bare plywood simulating a modest coffin as prescribed by Jewish practice.
Its cover is a fragment of velvet cloth torn from a Torah ark cover on which are written the words “holy to God.” The remaining white fragments are the corners of prayer shawls that cannot be buried with their owners if the ritual fringes are intact, because the numbered wraps of macramé "spell" out the name of God. These corners were therefore clipped from the garments that were interred with their owners.
While the unfinished wood of a traditional coffin relates initially to personal loss, I and many of my generation instantly associate the greater losses of the holocaust which engulfed my grandparents before I could know them.
In the center of the assemblage is the glass door of a cemetery memorial box. Instead of the traditional candle, it contains the dry remnants of a living plant.