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MARLENE BURNS  Abstract Painting and Photography


AMEN

A word that is used to affirm, avow, trust and believe a prayer that we have heard spoken.
The younger generation might simply say, 'word.' And what a word it is!
Our sages have had a lot to say about this word.
We are told that it is an acronym for the Hebrew statement,
 "G-d, our faithful King."

Looking at other words with the same root (shoresh), we discover Emunah ( belief and trust).
The gematria (numerical equivalents) of the three letters making up Amen is 91.
It is no surprise that 91 equals the total of the following words: 
Adonai and the ineffable name of G-d, yud, hay, vav, hay.
Perhaps, the most salient point regarding the saying of Amen is that the person who
authentically utters Amen after listening to the prayer,
is more valued than the one who said the prayer.
It is the perfect response as well, when one is unable to say the prayer him/herself.

In this visiual expression, the prayers are to the right of Amen in a cascade of bold color and brushstrokes.
The intention of using such vibrant tones is to highlight the beauty and power of our prayers
of praise, gratitude and petition.
Amen is firmly grounded at the end of the prayers to exemplify a proper conclusion.
In the contrasting, quiet space above the word, trails of gold braid and colorful threads
work their way upwards from the final letter nun.
Nun is one of several in the alphabet that takes a different form when placed at the end of a word.
A regular nun is bent and represents the humility and awe of a faithful servant.
In contrast, a final nun is long and straight, akin to the posture of one who serves G-d with love.

With whichever intention we choose, may G-d, our faithful King, hear our Amens!



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            MALACHIM                

ANGELS

“In the name of Adonai, the G-d of Israel:
May the angel Michael be at my right,
and the angel Gabriel at my left;
And in front of me, the angel Uriel,
and behind me the angel Raphael…
and above my head the Shechinah.”

(Divine Presence, feminine aspect of G-d.)

Angels are referenced throughout Hebrew Biblical and Rabbinic literature.
Their physical attributes, purposes and appearances are diverse.
Malach means messenger. These messengers deliver information, instructions, visions and prophesies.
Many stories in Torah include angels, such as the binding of Isaac and Jacob wrestling the angel.
In the Talmud, it is said that Michael, Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael surround and protect G-d’s throne.
Sometimes, in the nighttime Shema, a prayer is included
that positions these four angels in order to protect us as we sleep.
In both instances, these Malachim were chosen for their specific strengths and abilities.

There is a powerful alignment between what happens on high and what we pray for in this world.

In this image, each angel is symbolized by a ribbon, emanating from Malachim, to the right, left, front and back.
The letter aleph within the word is painted red to represent G-d.
The numerical gematria for this letter is one.
As we say in the Shema, “...Adonai Elohenu, Adonai Echad.” The Lord, our G-d, The Lord is One.
Gematria was developed by those who practiced Kabbalah to aid in mystical interpretations of texts.
The Kabbalistic tradition also tells us that these angels possess and deliver spiritual energy from the One.
The curves extending beyond the ribbons, can be seen as contrails of energy encompassing our souls.
The metallic gold beam above the word is the conduit that serves several purposes.
It directs us to the Shechinah above. It allows the angels to bring messages from the Divine to us.
It carries our energy upward to the higher worlds of spirit and the Source.



The fine art of Marlene Burns, Internationally recognized artist. A collection of her contemporary paintings and urban abstract photography.