Once you see Shraga Landesman’s Judaica it will be hard to look at anything else. Presiding in Haifa he draws upon the Bible, archeological finds in Israel, memories from his childhood and nature for his inspiration. His creations include, havdalah sets, Shabbat candlesticks, apple and honey dishes for Rosh Hashanah, menorahs, kiddush cups, mezuzahs and different framed pieces of art.
His havdalah set was one of the items that I was first drawn to, and have personally given as a wedding gift many times over. He uses both metals and wood to create the four components of the set. There is the candle holder in the shape of the pomegranate, the spice box in the shape of a dove, the kiddush cup and the tray that all the pieces rest on. He uses brass, aluminum or nickel as his metals along with beech wood. The set looks more like an art piece than a ritual item. It is really breath taking.
Then there are his menorahs which are equally breathtaking. His Tree Menorah also called the Garden of Eden Menorah is composed of 2 trees: the tree of life and the tree of knowledge. The antelope near the Tree of Life symbolizes the material world. The bird by the Tree of Knowledge symbolizes the spiritual world. The driving force behind this creation is the question as to why trees were created on the sixth day, and not on the day the rest of the plants were created. For Shraga the answer lies in the text itself. The two verses dealing with the creation of Man and the creation of trees on the sixth day are close together, and at the end it is written “to know good or bad”.
We also cannot forget Shraga Landesman’s apple and honey dishes. The apples and honey dish is made from stainless steel and beech wood. The Hebrew words for Happy New Year is cut into the stainless steel. There is a little glass bowl that rests on the tray for the honey. Like all of his pieces this dish comes straight from Israel.
If only we had enough time and space to highlight all his pieces, but that is just not the reality. So visit us at www.allthingsjewish.com and view many of Shraga Landesman’s pieces.