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No. 08 An Affirmation of Life

Design: Gila Rayberg, Perdido Key, FL

Smalti mosaic, gold smalti, 2021

My design centers on the word LIFE, CHAI in Hebrew, which is also the numerical equivalent of eighteen, a powerful and ritualistic number in the Jewish tradition. I created a simplified version of the tree of life, to include eleven branches, each topped with a golden leaf, to commemorate the eleven lives lost in the incident. On a more personal note, my father’s name, Chaim, is derived from the same root. As a first generation American daughter of a Holocaust survivor, I grew up with a keen awareness of antisemitism, always trying my best to eradicate hatred and bigotry from my own life. It is an honor to contribute to this project. L’Chaim – To Life!