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In The Gaza Envelope An Israeli Artist Creates Unique Judaica Pieces

Ronen Horev at work

Life around the hell-hole that is the Gaza Strip is rarely without its challenges and yet it is home to some of Israel’s most productive folks from farmers who grow their crops within slingshot range from the border fence to semiconductor engineers working just a few miles further east in Kiriat Gat.

A mezuzah housing in glass, stone, and copper wire

One of these intrepid Israelis is Ronen Horev, a mostly self-taught artist who came to art late in life. Ronen works primarily with glass, though he uses it mostly as a kind of glue, an adhesive that holds together other materials like ceramics, natural stone, wood, and metals.

Ronen’s pieces are mostly judaica, though he enjoys challenges in a wide variety of themes and media. When looking at his mezuzot (a housing for a parchment scroll containing passages from the Torah that Jews attach to their door jambs), one can feel Ronen’s deep attachment to the “adamah”, the earth of Israel, with its infinite shades of beige and brown and the occasional and rare burst of translucent color.

A contemporary design for an ancient artifact

There is a certain fragility in Ronen’s art, a fragility that so well reflects life in the unforgiving natural and man-made environment that is Israel and that serves as creative tension to the often rough and masculine reality of Israeli life.

Great art, like great food or wine, is a funnel; it draws you in with the first glance, first taste. It gives you that “wow!” moment, but it doesn’t stop there. It invites you, it entices you to go deeper, to linger on the details, to think and reflect on each and every one of its elements. Such is Ronen’s art. Its juxtaposition of the rugged and the delicate, the monochromatic and the colorful, give the viewer much to appreciate.

It is important to support artists such as Ronen, especially now. Should you consider owning a unique one of a kind custom-made piece of Judaica, Ronen can be reached at ronenhorev@gmail.com.

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