This painting reflects my intention to create an original image that can be open to as many interpretations as possible. I deliberately chose to paint this by hand in order to capture the process, action, motion and imperfection of creation. This image can be interpreted as a representation of the creation of the earth; it can also be seen as the singularity (before the Big Bang), the Mind of God, a Platonic sphere, a cell, an atom, an element, and so on.
After I completed the painting, Nicholas Gura, the author of Divine Wisdom and Warning, read this passage to me from the opening of Genesis:
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was was upon the face of the deep.”
The phrase “without form, and void” is tohu va-vohu in Hebrew. The gematria, or numerical value, of tohu va-vohu is the same as that for the Hebrew word misparim (430), which means “numbers.” Therefore, this phrase can also be read as: The earth was numbers, or numbers and darkness were upon the face of the earth.
Additionally, the first line of Genesis in Hebrew reads, “In the beginning God Et.” Et represents the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet—aleph to tav, which is equivalent to A to Z in English. In other words: In the beginning God created everything from A to Z . Because Te in Hebrew also means “the cell,” the phrase can be interpreted as: In the beginning God created the cell—the basis for all life.
I’ve included these two Hebrew letters on the cover: they are not readily apparent in order to convey the mystery of Gematria: what is seen and unseen, and yet to be discovered.
As you read this book, certain number combinations on the cover will take on new meaning.