Despite the State of Israel is only 73 years old, Jewish art goes way beyond.
The first mention of Hebrew art is related to the Temple in Jerusalem, where you can find beautiful icons. Afterwards, during the Roman occupation of Israel, artists were presenting ongoing events by portraying battles containing animal representations.
An old synagogue in Syria, dating from the 3rd century, was covered with biblical scenes from the floor to the top. Other than that, Israeli art can be found in many other synagogues found before the 18th century. Besides this Jewish wall art, there are many other proves of Jews being amazing painters and artists. For example, you can take Kiddush goblets, ornamented containers for mezuzah, silver crowns placed on Torah scrolls, and many other objects meant to bring Jewish art tradition to life.
Jewish Holiday Decoration
As one of my personal favourites, I would point out Jewish holiday decoration. Since Israelis love their holidays and respect an old tradition, they kept traditional decoration and art related to holidays as well. For sure, one of the most impressive art-related holidays is Sukkot.
On this holiday, the first thing Israelis are doing – building a sukkah. It’s a place to live, eat, pray, and in some cases, sleep during Sukkot. That way, Israelis are paying tribute to their ancestors that travelled through the desert after the exodus from Egypt.
According to tradition, Israelis are decorating the place with paintings on the walls of a sukkah. Besides this, during the intermediate days of Sukkot, there is Celebration of Place of Water-Drawings, known as Simchat Beit HaShoeivah in Hebrew. This tradition is related to water drawings made during carrying the water up Jerusalem pilgrim road from the pool of Siloam. According to Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, the holiday got the name by divine inspiration drawn during the Jewish movement to the Promised Land.
Building and Decorating Sukkah
As mentioned, the sukkah is a place Israelis build for their Sukkot celebration. There are several rules to follow when building it. Sukkah is an outdoor hut covered with vegetation. It should have at least three walls, and the part of the roof should remain open – only the space under the open sky is considered kosher. You can build walls of sukkah from any materials – fiberglass, panels, waterproof fabrics. What is important; the walls will not move on the wind.
When it comes to the roof, it needs to be properly covered with vegetation – bamboo poles, evergreen branches, corn stalks, etc.
Inside sukkah, you can bring chairs and tables since the place is meant for meals during sukkot. Also, you can invite friends and family to join your sukkah.
Many families are decorating walls of their sukkah with Sukkot posters, fresh fruits or other decoration made from vegetation. Besides this, you can use paper chains, tapestry, or any other craft decoration representing motives related to Sukkot.
If you prefer not to build a sukkah yourself, there is a possibility to order a ready-made sukkah and place it wherever you want. After setting it up, you can still go on and decorate it with wall decors, posters, tapestry, or any other decoration of choice.
Sukkah Decoration DIY
Yes, it’s possible. You can make sukkah decoration yourself if you wish. There are several handy tricks to make perfect decoration before Sukkot. Since the whole point of the sukkah and all the decorations are to be made of natural materials, here are some things you have in your house you can use to decorate.
If you have any fruits that are almost up to date, you can cut them, put them in the paint, and simply trace the paper. There, you’ve got a nice wall decoration for your sukkah.
Other than that, you can use old fabrics you have, cut them into interesting shapes and hang them on the rope — another interesting decoration for your sukkah walls.
Examples of Sukkah Decoration
If you prefer to decorate the sukkah with some pre-made decorations, choices are various. You can choose between posters, waterproof wall decors, tapestry, canvas wall art, etc. Many galleries are selling art specially made for your sukkah decoration. Also, you can find it for online order. In just a few clicks, you can get what you need!
On all of these Jewish artworks, you will see presentations of sukkah, Jews moving towards Promised Land, Sukkot celebration, or simply nature in its purest shape.
Whatever you choose to decorate your sukkah, you will not make a mistake!