The New Kabbalah

The Inhumanity Tryptich

Sanford Drob’s oil paintings, “The Expulsion,” “The Sacrifice” and “The Accusation” which together form “The (In)humanity Triptych,” re-envision three biblical narratives; the Expulsion from Eden, the Sacrifice of Noah, and Esther’s Accusation of Haman, all as seen through the lens of the Holocaust.  These narratives are understood by the artist to represent the Kabbalistic themes of exile, rupture and repair.

The Expulsion by Sanford Drob, Oil on Linen, 28” x 32”

The Kabbalists regarded the expulsion from Eden as a metaphor for Shevirat ha-Kelim, The Breaking of the Vessels. In this painting, I have re-envisioned the Expulsion from Eden as a prelude to the totality of evil that will befall humankind, culminating in the Holocaust. In the first panel of the triptych (above) Adam and Eve peer into the future and see the destruction of humanity in the generation of the flood, which, sadly, presages the destruction of European Jewry in the 20th century.



"The Sacrifice" Oil on Linen, 41" x 49"

In “The Sacrifice” I have depicted my own vision of Noah and his son burning the dead after the recession of the flood. The painting alludes to the God-driven destruction of humanity in the flood, and, of course, to the Shoa. As the story of Noah represents the making of covenant between God and humanity, the Holocaust suggests a rupture in that very covenant, and the highest manifestation of evil in the world. Kabbalistically, it represents the entrapment of divine light in the “husks” of evil, the Kellipot. The light within the crematorium is the fire of divinity that has been turned to abject evil through the acts of man.



”The Accusation,” Oil on Linen, 31” x 36”

The final panel of “The (In)Humanity Triptych represents the possibility for Tikkun ha-Olam, redemption. Here, Holocaust victims in a European ghetto dress up as Esther and Ahasuerus on Purim. They re-enact the scene from The Book Of Esther, where Esther accuses Haman of plotting to exterminate the Jews; only, instead of pointing at a figure within the painting, Esther points at the viewer, as if to accuse us all, and to remind us of our ethical responsibility.


Further, detailed discussions of the (In)humanity Tryptich can be accessed by clicking here.

The Lurianic Kabbalah is treated in detail in Sanford Drob's Symbols of the Kabbalah and Kabbalistic Metaphors .

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All material on New Kabbalah website (c) Sanford L. Drob, 2001-4.


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