The SHEKKINAH SCROLLS stand as an island within my work. This major multi-media installation is based on the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Kabblah, and is intended as a guide to the future. The four illuminated scrolls can be installed flat on the wall or within a portable circular “tabernacle” thirty-two feet in diameter. The multi-lingual scrolls (scribed entirely by women) with imagery based on the powers of Hebrew alphabet are accompanied by an especially composed sound track and harps tuned to the music, which can be played by the viewers. The underlying purpose of this epic work is to create Tikkun Olam, or the healing of the earth, through the union of the masculine and feminine principals.
The Shekkinah Scrolls
Patterned on the Dead Sea Scrolls (in particular the Habbakuk Scroll), “The Shekkinah Scrolls”, a combination of multi-lingual text and images by artist Tina Spiro, reflects a desire to reveal hidden secrets. In the latter case, however, the secrets are not only existential but also cosmological. Inspired by the ‘Kabbalah”, the mystical doctrine developed by Jews in southern France and northern Spain during the Middle Ages (13th century onward), the artist has sought to uncover the tremendous power inherent in the Hebrew Alphabet, employing it as an artistic tool. Like the divine Creator, who desired to make a world that is “very good” (Genesis 1:31), Mrs. Spiro endeavors in her work to “repair” the world that was spoiled by mankind’s foolishness and restore its lost vitality.
Central to this contemporary version of ancient scrolls of wisdom is the concept of the “Shekkinah”, the feminine aspect of God. As expressed in the Kabbalah, “Tikkun”, the healing of the earth, will be achieved by the union of the Shekkinah and God. This possibility exists in contemporary times as women become equal with men and contribute their creative intellect to the shaping of the future. For this reason the Shekkinah Scrolls were scribed entirely by women, as a complement to the male scribed text of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
In these troubled times, when evil runs rampant leaving us only to gape at unimaginable horrors, art possesses the power to redeem us from despair and transport us far away. May the inspiration of the Scrolls, the Kabbalah and the particular music and design of this installation, which combine to create a sacred atmosphere, enable visitors to rise above their present distress and undergo a truly exceptional spiritual experience of renewal.
Dr. Adolfo Roitman
Curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls
The Shrine of the Book
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem