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Friday, 2 May, 2014 - 4:40 pm

One of the most special blessings in Jewish practice is the "shehecheyanu" blessing. When we get to celebrate a Jewish holiday again, when we move into a new home, and even when we get to taste the first fruits of the season - we say a blessing thanking G-d for reaching this joyous occasion.

This week I heard this bracha (blessing) with such kavanah (intention) that I have never heard before.

A few days ago our dear friend and accomplished artist Naomi Spiers completed the third and last portion of the Mechitzah (divider) for our Shul, made with paper cut art inside a glass panel in a wooden frame.

Many of you have seen the other two parts of the Mechitzah of the seven species of Israel and the twelve tribes. Now, if you think the first two were amazing, you will be astonished by the fine details of the third panel on the theme of Jewish Holiday!
Last Tuesday, Naomi traveled from her home in Salt Spring Island to deliver the third panel to the Shul. After placing it - she called out-loud with tears in her eyes this blessing of Shehecheyanu, "blessed are you G-d...who granted me life, sustained me and enabled me to reach this occasion".

When sitting with Naomi afterwards, I was interested to know the amount of hours she put into this project, but she was reluctant to give me this information… With the help of her brother-in law we figured that over 3,000 hours went into making this master piece!

Naomi had one request "I need a new project” she said “this was what I would wake up in the morning for, it gave me meaning to my life...”

I had the privilege to hear the blessing of "Sheheciyanu" from a woman who wasn't only grateful for living to see her project completed, but who lived three years of her life with one purpose - to beautify a house of prayer!

I invite you to honour Naomi at the Kiddush tomorrow in Shul for her great artistic accomplishment, and perhaps even more importantly – to get inspired by her commitment and devotion.

Comments on: "Shehaciyanu"

Michael Friedman wrote...

I don't think it's an exaggeration to call Naomi's Mechitzah a masterpiece of synagogue art, testament to her commitment to Yiddishkeit and to the memory of her husband Reuven, z"l.

Rachel Stouwer wrote...

That is stunningly beautiful!!! WOW!!!!!

Elisabeth Gelb wrote...

Shabbat Shalom,
Naomi has lovingly shared her vision, dedication and patience and immersed us with breathtaking works of art.
Naomi, as we 'catch our breath', we are anticipating your next project!
with love,
Elisabeth and George

Gershom ben Abba wrote...

G-d provides a common sheet of paper to make something so beautiful as this. Shouldn't we all work to achieve similar levels of beauty or is that especially reserved to particularly chosen and gifted people and is what forms the common dross of life left to mankind in general....? Thank you Naomi for your gift of beauty and what you have produced for us.
Gershom ben Abba