A Riddle, and a Riddle Master.
Exploring a recycled POBox in the Artist village of Ein Hod
Sometimes objects just catch your eye and I take a picture of them.
I cannot verbalize a reason – they just do.
Then, for months, sometimes years, they occupy disk-space on my hard drive. I look at them again and again – only to ignore them for another year.
Then, all of a sudden, it clicks:
There is more to the picture than meets the eye.
This picture should have been looked at with my brain in gear.
So it was with the POBox in Ein Harod.
1st reaction was – nice idea – a recycled POBox. Just a few clicks and relegation to electronic memory – that was in April 2013.
It took a few years until I noticed the caption above the box.
“דואר אחרית הימים” – in English: "The End of Days Mail"
Obviously referring to the End of Days from Isaiah 11:6
And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the kid,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.
Or in the original Hebrew:
וְגָר זְאֵב עִם-כֶּבֶשׂ, וְנָמֵר עִם-גְּדִי יִרְבָּץ; וְעֵגֶל וּכְפִיר וּמְרִיא יַחְדָּו, וְנַעַר קָטֹן נֹהֵג בָּם.
A closer look at the figurines – yes wolf and lambs, lions and leopards, goats and calves are all represented.
Even the names stenciled onto the doors allude to that sentence in the Bible:
- "Tiger" paper products - נמר" מוצרי נייר"
- The Poor Man's Ewe 1 - כבשת הרש
- Lambs - גדיים
- The Companions - החברברות
- Cheetah and Sons - צ'יטה ובניו
- The 16th Sheep 2 - הכבש ה-16
- Tiger Family - משפ' טיגריס
- Black sheep - כבשה שחורה
- Mr. Lupus Wolf - אדון זאב זאב
- Chad Gadya & Co. 3 - חד גדיה ושות
- Wolf Manor - אחוזת וולף
- PUMA LTD - פומה בע"ם
- Sheep Real-Estate - צאן נכסים
1. Refers to the Parable of the Poor Man's Ewe - 2 Samuel 12:3 – where Nathan rebukes King David
2. the name of a popular Israeli children’s book The Sixteenth Lamb (Ha-Keves Ha-Shisha-Asar) (1978)
3. Chad Gadya (Aramaic: חַד גַדְיָא chad gadya, "one little goat, or "one kid) is a playful cumulative song in Aramaic. It is sung at the end of the Passover Seder.
Now the pictures have my full attention!
Allegorical wit in a recycled POBox?
Who could be behind such a stunt?
It was right there in front of me - I should have looked at the bottom left corner of the post box – the culprit is no other than Dan Chamizer best known as the creator of the "Chamizer riddle" - writer, artist, pilot, and radio quiz master.
There is another item at the back of my mind – there is a Hebrew pun here
POBox on Hebrew is "Teivat Doar" - תיבת דואר
Noah’s Ark in Hebrew is "Teivat Noah" - תיבת נוח
Did Chamizer realize that his sculpture is a pun?
Dan Chamizer was there all the time
Thank you for such a detailed and informative article.
I have walked past this sculpture many times and never could figure out why people are so intensely interested in it. I just saw the boxes and the plastic animals and thought to myself “not much of an artist there!”
It seems that this kind of art is created in more in the head than with the hands.