Artworks
Elijah's Chair
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mjacobson's picture

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Elijah’s Chair by Ze’ev Radan is a little different than a barber’s chair.

While designed by Ze’ev Radan, the chair was crafted by people at the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts (this is not like the crafts we did in my sorority). This piece was meant to embody the Bezalel style, which in a sense would be the Israeli style.  The art gets inspiration from Western designs, biblical motifs, the East, and some Israeli pizzazz. If you look closely, you'll see the biblical stories of Adam and Eve, Isaac's Sacrifice, and the 12 tribes of Israel. It's like an Old Testament "Where's Waldo?".

Elijah, much to the chagrin of the other prophets, gets his own chair during a boy’s brit milah (circumcision).  He is there to prevent any harm from happening to the child which, considering the operation, could be disastrous. Technically the godfather sits in the chair, but really it’s for the prophet. Sorry, Uncle Avram. And the chair has an unofficial second purpose, which is to make the seder table even more inviting so maybe Elijah will actually show up this year*.

*This is a Passover joke.  During the Passover Seder, families will leave their door open for Elijah and he even gets his own cup of wine**.

**I agree, that is sort of wasteful. But Manischewitz is disgusting, so it’s chill.