The High Holidays aka Days of Awe aka Yamim Nora’im are meant to be a pinnacle of the Jewish spiritual year. But what if the words in the high holiday prayerbook don’t move you? Or what if you’re not a synagogue-goer? Or what if you’re a visual thinker, or looking for inspiration in a different way? We live in a visual society, and images speak their own language that can reach the heart in ways that text may not.

Enter Bayit’s Visual Mahzor project, a volume of art inspired by the texts of the Yamim Noraim / Days of Awe, edited by Justin Sakofs. We solicited art that arises out of the Torah and Haftarah readings for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Introducing… Bayit’s Visual Mahzor

Bayit’s Visual Mahzor can be used as a companion during services. We’ve selected an extraordinary range of artworks in many different media, each of which opens up the texts in a new way. In shul and not feeling connected with the service? Open the Visual Mahzor and let your mind and spirit ruminate on the artworks therein.

The Visual Mahzor can also be a powerful source of meaning for those who may not attend high holiday services regularly or at all. It provides a doorway into the stories and themes of the high holidays no matter where you are: in synagogue, on a mountaintop, recuperating from illness, caring for a loved one, or any of the many places where we might be when this year’s holidays roll around.

(You can glimpse one of the artworks here — a cross-stitch by Adi Karelitz.)

Details, and How to Use This Book

The book will measure 8.5×8.5″ and can easily be carried to synagogue during the high holiday season. It can also be tucked into your backpack for a high holiday season hike, displayed as a coffee table book to show Jewish pride, used as a conversation starter in living rooms or coffee shops, given to the person who invites you to a break-the-fast or high holiday meal, or delved-into as a meditative focus during the high holiday season and beyond.

This volume includes work by artists from around the world, working in many different media, including teens participating in the Amen Institute, “where art is informed by Torah and Torah is formed in art.” It’s dedicated in memory of Barry Miller, formerly of Sharon, MA, by his loving family and friends.

We’ve launched a Kickstarter to help us bring this book to fruition. Donate now!