The Seventh Year

Paula Tobenfeld

About Paula Tobenfeld

My home and studio are located in Maryland, USA. Up until recently, my practice has focused solely on botanical art, with all of its rules, disciplines and details. Watercolor is my medium of choice. Careful observation, then drawing and painting the beauty of nature, for me, is a kind of meditation. The Shmita Project presented the opportunity to expand into a whole new painting universe. New techniques, new approaches, a looser style and, especially, creating narrative through composition have been part of the journey of this endeavor. I find it all highly satisfying, loads of fun and, to be honest, liberating! I encourage you to view the painting and find your own connections to Text and tradition.

About The Seventh Year

The Land rests.The archway to the fields is open for all to enter. A woman reaches for wheat.Grain is in disarray. Without flour there is no Torah.Twelve Red grapes. Tribes of Israel.Four green grapes. Holy sages entering the pardes.A fig tree grows over the wall, unpruned.Four figs. Sarah, Rachel, Rebecca and Leah.Pomegranates swell with the seeds of good deeds.Three olives. Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaacov. Peace.Ten dates. Dibrot. Minyan. Plagues?With seven species The Land of Israel is blessed.Does the nesher gather or deposit?Red threads in the nesher’s beak. Rachav. Tamar. Textiles of the mishkan. Protection against the evil eye.Seven gears. Seven years or seven Shmita cycles?How do we reckon the Shmita?“…The entire calculation is according to the time elapsed.” Mishna, Bava Metzia 3.7