The Origin of the
My friend's daughter, her name is Esther, wrote a play as a high school project. It was turned into an independent film with full financial backing. The title intrigued me--
"The Mound." The story was about a moral dilemma a father faced over his sons impending death during the Holocaust. The title was changed for the movie into "Bending Light" but "The Mound" became mine.
As a designer and artist I started designing my "Mound." It is based on the Hassidic tale of the 36 hidden Tzaddikim*.
*In Kabbalistic folklore, the thirty-six hidden ones have the potential to save the world, they appear when they are needed, and one of them might be the Messiah. They come at times of great peril, called out of their anonymity and humility by the necessity to save the world. Because they can, and because we need them. We Jews began to get familiar with them, referring to them in Yiddish as the "lamed vov-niks" (lamed vov is Hebrew for thirty six), and seeing them everywhere in the anonymous acts of good people who rise to great acts in difficult circumstances. And because one of the lamed vov-niks, one of the anonymous thirty-six might be the Messiah, we tended to treat strangers with kindness and the possibility that he or she could be the one. It could be the person we least suspect, because the thirty-six, like all the sustaining notions of the world in the Kabbalah, are hidden. They may appear, they may not appear. If they do appear, they may be known, they may be unknown. In each generation, we look for them everywhere. (wise men) on whose shoulders the world rests.
-Rabbi James Goodman
In my art, the thirty-five figures are gone forever.
One is not. The others--dead!
One escapes; one of the thirty-six survives...
The Jewish people survive!
The original sketch for the "mound".