T’sha Baav through an Artist’s Eyes

Hey KS Fans,

I hope you all are having an easy fast this T’sha Baav day. One of our KS talented friends has shared with us her unique perspective as an artist of this holy day.  Up close and personal and living in Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter , experiencing this fast on the site of the destruction ; Heddy Abramowitz  shows us the 9 days & T’sha Baav in Israel through her photos and knowledge.

I found Heddy’s blogs supremely insightful and as a lover of art and the mysteries and stories they hold, her blogs are interesting and very informative. I know you all will as well.

Easy fasting! Sarah

I have only posted a snippet of what Heddy has to offer – much more on her site about the 9 days  – really worth a look.

For more of Heddy’s blogs – Click Here

The Ninth of Av: a Roman Coin and some Photos


“Tiferet Yisrael” 2010 Heddy Abromowitz

The reading of Lamentations on Tisha B’Av  has been observed by Jews over millenia, describing the sorrow of dispersion from their land, the destruction of the Temple(s)  and the devastation of their people.  Custom includes sitting on the floor or low stools, reading in reduced light by candlelight (now by flashlights as well) and the scroll or text is read in a funereal chant.  These readings take place in synagogues and in Israel, since there is no risk of cancellation due to rain all summer, in outdoor parks, including those which overlook the Old City, and at archaeological sites.


“Reading Eicha” 2010 Heddy Abramowitz


In the Jewish Quarter, there is no lack of options for places to observe this custom.  Readings take place in every synagogue, including the newly rebuilt Hurva synagogue, at the the Kotel  (Western Wall), on Mount Zion at the traditional site of the Tomb of King David, in  yeshivot and other places as well. 

Many Jewish Quarter residents choose to read this scroll at the site of the Tiferet Israel synagogue,  a ruin of the synagogue that was destroyed in the War of Independence  in 1948.  It is located just behind the main street that brings visitors to the Kotel, and it is tucked between two well-known archaeological sites that are connected to the Destruction of Jerusalem from 70 C.E., the Burnt House and the Herodian Palace, both of which still bear a layer of ash from the day in that year that those sites were burned in the devastation.

Here are a few of my photos from a previous reading  at the Tiferet Israel synagogue.  I think it is a special atmosphere.
“Tisha B’Av in the Jewish Quarter” 2010 Heddy Abramowitz
“Tisha B’Av at Tiferet Israel” 2010 Heddy Abramowitz
“Eicha Reader” 2010 Heddy Abramowitz
Lastly,  since I started with archaeology,  I will also end with it.  Upon conquering Jerusalem, the Romans struck a series of coins called “Judea Capta” (Judea is the name of the geographic area where Jerusalem is located) , meaning Judea captured.  Though there were a number of varieties,  this one is typical,  from the collection of the Jewish Museum, showing  an exiled Jewess mourning beneath a Roman tribute. 

Rome, 71 C.E. gold, The Jewish Museum (photo Ardon Bar Hama)


About the Author: 



Born in Brooklyn, New York, Heddy Abramowitz moved to Israel in 1979 and calls the densely populated Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem´s Old City home. Her main focus is observational painting with particular interests in Jerusalem urban landscape, still life, the figure, introspective self-portraits and occasional social commentary. The cusp between abstraction and realism is amongst the issues she examines in her work.

Starting her college education as an art student at the Syracuse University School of Fine and Applied Arts, she switched to an academic track and continued art studies in tandem. In Israel, she studied with leading contemporary figurative artists including Jan Rauchwerger, Sasha Okun and was in the first Master Class of Israel Hershberg’s Jerusalem Studio School, traveling twice with the school to the Maryland Institute and College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland for cultural exchanges.

She has exhibited widely in Israel, including the Corinne Maman Ashdod Museum of Art, the Noga Gallery in Tel Aviv, the Ein Hod Gallery, Ranana‘s Gallery on the Lake, solo shows at the Jerusalem Artists’ House and poet Linda Zisquit’s Artspace Gallery in Jerusalem.

In 2004, she was awarded a full international fellowship and residency at the Vermont Studio Center and has works in the permanent collection of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Named a finalist in the International Jewish Artists of the Year Award for 2007 by the Ben Uri Gallery /London, Museum of Jewish Art,
her work was exhibited at Christie’s Auction House in London




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