Arieh Allweil, “To the Liberated Jerusalem”
This is a painting by Arieh Allweil titled “To the Liberated Jerusalem” that appeared in a Haggadah he illustrated in 1949. In the centre of the painting is a Hebrew soldier holding the Menorah from the temple. Around him are other figures including a refugee arriving at the shore holding a weapon, a family in hiding, a girl, and a soldier with a sword. The illustration also depicts buildings, walls, mountains, and an illegal immigrant boat landing.
The painting provides a modern interpretation of the story of the Haggadah, showing the redemption of the Jewish People from the horrors of the Holocaust and the establishment of the Jewish State. The Menorah, famous from the picture on the Arch of Titus, is being proudly carried by a Jewish soldier. The traditional words from the end of the Haggadah, “Next year in the rebuilt Jerusalem,” have been altered to read “to the liberated Jerusalem.”
This work was also included in a collection of paintings by the artist from 1956 called Allweil: 70 Pictures. In his introduction to the Haggadah, Y.M. Lask emphasised that the soldier’s grasp of the Menorah rather than a weapon implies the spiritual and religious content of the establishment of the state – the restoration of the stolen Temple vessels and the spiritual rebirth of the nation rather than a purely military endeavour.
The painter Arieh Allweil (1901-1967) was a Zionist pioneer, which is reflected in this and other paintings in the Haggadah.
Jewish History teachers can use this illustration to discuss the Holocaust and the ensuing emergence of the State of Israel.
Jewish Studies teachers can use this source to examine the connections made throughout history between the Exodus and current events.
This resource can also be used as an example of illustrated Haggadot.
Art teachers can use this image to explore how art can be used to link different periods of history.
In addition, Art teachers can also show this image when discussing illustrated Haggadot and use of illustrations in Judaica.
Describe this drawing.
Who is the figure in the centre of this drawing?
How is he dressed?
What is he holding?
What image appears in the top left of this picture?
What is the person holding?
Beneath the soldier is a family. What are they doing?
Reading Between the Lines
Why has the artist depicted someone walking out of the sea?
What does this represent?
Why are the family in hiding?
Who are they hiding from?
Why is the soldier carrying the Menorah?
What does it represent?
Look at this image. How are the two images connected?
How has the artist changed the well-known phrase, “Next year in the rebuilt Jerusalem”?
Why has the artist connected the Holocaust and the Exodus?
What did you feel when you looked at Arieh Allweil’s picture?
If you were to make an illustration for a Haggadah showing the main themes of twentieth-century Jewish history, what images would you include?
Allweil’s illustration shows images relating to the establishment of the State of Israel and images of Jews hiding from persecution.
Do you think that there is a connection between the two topics?
If so, what is it?
Create a collage of images from Jewish history when the phrase “Next year in the rebuilt Jerusalem” might have been particularly relevant.