Seated in Seclusion: Bratslav Hasidim and Contemporary Design. It's a photography exhibit of broken chairs in isolation symbolizing the popularity of the prayer in seclusion among followers of Bratslav Hasidim.
Hitbodedut – self-secluded prayer and introspection – is practiced by Bratslav Hasidim in forests throughout Israel. These Hasidim use the salvaged parts of old chairs to create “new” chairs for this very purpose. Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav (1772-1810) believed a regular practice of hitbodedut was perhaps the most important element in one’s relationship with God. In this state the Hasid addresses God directly, sharing his most personal prayers and thoughts without the mediation of a prayer book or synagogue, as he strives to achieve spiritual affirmation and restoration. (Israel Museum)
|Catriel and Heidi Sugarman and I|
Curators of the museum exhibit contacted Sugarman and brought him to the synagogue where the chair is now located. They filmed his examination of the chair, reminisces, his descriptions of what he was given to work with and what he had to recreate. A short movie of that visit is part of the exhibition, and that's where we spent our time.
|Catriel Sugarman, master Judaica craftsman/carpenter and writer|