The Dancer

The idea for this panel is from the end of the Book of Judges, Chapter 21, which describes the plan to provide the sons of the Tribe of Benjamin with wives after an inter-tribal war against that tribe when the other tribes had vowed not to give their daughters as wives to the Benjamites. “Therefore they commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards; And see, and, behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. And it shall be, when their fathers or their brethren come unto us to complain, that we will say unto them, Be favourable unto them for our sakes: because we reserved not to each man his wife in the war: for ye did not give unto them at this time, that ye should be guilty.”

The inscription around this panel contains only the conclusion of this account: “And the children of Benjamin did so, and took them wives, according to their number, of them that danced, whom they caught: and they went and returned unto their inheritance, and repaired the cities, and dwelt in them.” - Judges 21:23

Traditionally, this is thought to have taken place on the full moon of the month of Av. Tu b'Av (the 15th of Av) is observed in Israel as a Hebrew version of Valentine's Day. This is one of our more autobiographical pieces in that the dancer is one of the artists.

Size: 40 x 30 in.