• Devora Piha

Art and Forgiveness

Art Project

Draw a picture: a house surrounded with trees, flowers, hills and a river. Purposely put in a few mistakes, lines that have no place. Make them into new objects or details with existing objects. Now try to incorporate the mistakes into the picture until the mistakes disappear.


Erasing mistakes

First, before we begin, let’s learn about mistakes and forgiveness. We can erase or redo mistakes on paper with an eraser but how do we forgive real life mistakes?

How do we forgive ourselves and forgive others for mistakes we may have done?


A learning tool all around us

We all make mistakes. They are part of life. Mistakes are great learning tools. If we are smart we learn from our mistakes, either not to do them again or find ways to improve their outcome. They are readily available and we can use them to our benefit.


Mistakes can bring us down

The problem occurs when we do not realize the learning value of the mistake. Worse, yet, is when we feel guilty and put ourselves down. Even worse is when we let mistakes and guilt build up over time. This of course affects our self-worth and makes it difficult to forgive ourselves and others.


What does this have to do with art?

We can make mistakes with art too.

With art we have options. If one solution to an art work doesn’t work out to our liking we can try another solution. We can rework the painting or tear down the 3D construction and start new. We can make that extra unwanted line into an extra detail in the drawing adding life to it.


Mistakes in the Mishkan

One of the 39 Melachot (creative actions we do not do on Shabbos) is erasing (mochaik). The pious craftsmen of the MIshkan (the sanctuary in the desert) would erase the letters on the wall boards, the planks -kerashim of the Mishkan if they were not correct. The kerashim were assembled and disassemble each time Am Yisrael moved from camp to camp during their 40 years in the desert. From this we learn that mistakes happen but they certainly are not reason to let guilt get to us.


We are works of art

Forgiveness to others can begin with forgiveness for ourselves. Tshuva is open to those sincerely want to erase their past wrongs and go forward. Can we look at ourselves as a painting that is reworked until a beautiful picture emerges, one that needed time to be worked through and refined?


Now return to the project

Draw a picture: a house surrounded with trees, flowers, hills and a river. Purposely put in a few mistakes, lines that have no place. Make them into new objects or details in existing objects. Now try to incorporate the mistakes into the picture until the mistakes disappear. Color with bright cheerful colors.

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