Children of the Holocaust

27-Tallis

One of the rites of passage from childhood to adulthood is the Bar Mitzvah (confirmation) at age thirteen. At that event, children traditionally receive a tallis (prayer shawl) from their parents. Most of the Jewish children who died in the Holocaust, however, were too young to have ever had a Bar Mitzvah. I use a representation of the tallis to frame each art piece; the image of each child is contained within his own tallis, the one he never received nor ever wore, as a tallis of remembrance from me.

Sample of the bottom of a hanging tallis (prayer shawl)with attached tzitzit (fringes). The commandment that Jews wear fringes is found in Numbers 15:38 and in Deuteronomy 22:12. The Children of Israel are required to make twisted threads (fringes) on the four corners of their garments to remind them of the Exodus and the injunction to perform good deeds (mitzvot).