Looking for something therapeutic to do during your next Covid-19 lockdown? How about an adult coloring book based on the Jewish mystical tradition called Kabbalah?
David Friedman has, for the past 40 years, been creating colorful Kabbalistic art filled with Hebrew letters, geometric patterns, symbols and mandalas.
Friedman, who studied at the Rhode Island School of Design before moving to the Holy Land, has long been a popular stop on Birthright tours of the art galleries in the , Friedman completely redrew 50 of his paintings fromthe past four decades, omitting the color.
“I’ve done it differently than the original,” he notes, indicating that there’s always something new to be found in Torah.
It’s not just a gimmick to sell more of his art. Rather, “the Kabbalistic concept of a world which was made incomplete, for us to complete, and to make more beautiful” is a key component of the Jewish concept of tikkun olam, repairing the world.
Friedman’s book contains black-and-white artwork on one page, and on the facing sheet, Kabbalistic teachings, meditations and even artistic guidance, all written by Friedman.
The large-format book’s wood-free, extra-thick paper pairs well with colored pencils and fine-point markers, explains Padway, who moved to Israel from Berkeley, California, in 2010.
You can buy the coloring book, which is available in both English and Hebrew versions, online or in Elements Café in Safed, where Padway can sell you a vegan burrito or burger (take away for now) to go with your spiritual stimulation.
To see the coloring book on Instagram, click here.