Nava Levine-Coren, Canada/Israel
This artwork engages with two stories, one hidden and one revealed. The hidden story is that of a woman, the wife of Ohn ben Pelet, whose story is recorded only in the Talmud. The revealed story is that which is recorded in the Torah, of Korach’s rebellion and God’s response, and the underlying theme of the struggle for balance between equality and hierarchy.
The text is partly seen and partly obscured by the image of Ohn’s wife, so that she merges with or emerges from the text itself. Although her story is not written in the text of the Torah, it is a part of the history of the women in the desert and emerges from the “white fire” — the spaces in between the letters, the gaps in the story that are filled in by midrashic and talmudic accounts.
Professional Background Nava Levine-Coren is an illustrator and Hebrew scribe originally from New York and currently living and working in Jerusalem. She studied illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and learned sofrut [scribing] from master scribe, Dov Laimon, in Jerusalem. Levine-Coren writes and illuminates custom ketubot, megillot, and other Jewish documents.