Elbert Weinberg’s Shofar Holocaust Memorial in West Harford was inaugurated in 1981. It portrays a pair of powerful arms thrusting out of the earth and holding up a large shofar. From the front the structure forms the letter chet, the eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which means chaim (life) and also stands for chavurah (community). Similar iconography has been utilised by other post-Holocaust sculptors, for example the sculpture “Monument to the Six Million” by the South African Herman Wald installed at the Westpark Jewish Cemetery in Johannesburg.
Abigail’s painting of this monument re-affirms themes previously discussed and conveys her admiration for American Holocaust survivors who managed to resume their religious observance after the catastrophe aimed at their annihilation. In the lower level, the artist is seated in the lotus position at the foot of the memorial with four arms like the Indian goddess Saraswati, the creator of art, holding her brushes ready to record the scene. Three pictograms of conflagration of Jewish life in the Holocaust appear below the shofar: a burning city with fleeing people, family life destroyed as a Shabbat celebration goes up in flames, and a burning synagogue. In the upper level under a crescent moon that ushers in Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, the shofar blasts out the musical sounds tekiah, teruah, yevaot and shevarim. A rainbow surrounded by a host of angels rests on top of the shofar between the two hands of the monument as a reflection of G-d’s promise to Noah of “Never Again”. Above the rainbow three corresponding pictograms appear showing harmonious and peaceful scenes of a mother entering a synagogue with her children, the mother blessing the candles, and a view of Jerusalem. They indicate that what was destroyed in the lower level is restored in the higher level.