Sunday, September 11, 2016

Welcoming the Shabbat queen

Welcoming the Shabbat queen:

Debra Band’s book combines illumination, beauty, art, and science

Kabbalah Shabbat is a celebration of beauty.  It’s many other things as well, of course. It’s the introductory service that ushers in Shabbat and so it marks the beginning of that paradoxical day that exists outside of time, even as its passage is marked by the appearance of stars, and the sun’s passage across the sky, and lengthening shadows, and then more stars.

Debra Band’s new book, “Kabbalat Shabbat: The Grand Unification,” illuminates and explicates and glories in Kabbalat Shabbat. She’s an illustrator and a writer; her lushly art-filled book, with its intricate designs, deeply symbolic but also surface-level lovely, go through the entire Friday night experience, both at shul and at home. She knows and writes about midrash and kabbalah. And because her late husband, David Band, was an astrophysicist, and because she discovered, to her great surprise, that all those disciplines come together in some ways, all have made their way into her book. It is, in fact, a grand unification.

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