Bronze. 276 x 20 x 63 cm
First erected at the Jewish Aged Home
Sandringham Gardens, Johannesburg.
Presently in the collection of Louis Wald.
The performance of the ritual of Kriah in the Jewish tradition as dictated in the Hebrew Bible means the rending of the garment as an expression of grief and mourning. After he learned that his family in Hungary had perished in the Holocaust, Herman Wald created this figure as a self-portrait. The figure, in the words of the artist, “… thrusts out his bare chest with his head high, in defiance of his enemies, yet with dignified hope and pride, as if to say “I am here to stay on earth, which is the birth right of every man, be he a Jew or any other race…”.
Even when Herman Wald’s sculpture is most despairing in mood, encapsulating all his suffering, it remains affirmative in the sense that it endorses the view that come what may, the Jews and their faith will survive. With this he expresses his own will to overcome.