Partings of the Sea and the Immigration Debacle

Play clip to hear Rabbi Heiligman discuss the Partings of the Seas
More on both pieces

The Midrash, (the ancient rabbis’ “fan fiction” about the Bible, so to speak) provides back story to the Biblical text. The sages imagined that when the Sea parted for the Israelites, all the water in the world parted at that moment. At my Passover Seder in 2017, I looked around at the diverse group of people at our table, and was struck by how powerful and meaningful the story of the Exodus to people throughout the world. I was inspired to depict for our generation, the many Partings of the Sea. Most of these are in-progress photos.

The vast majority (over 2000) of the dolls are Guatemalan “worry dolls.” The dolls were purchased wholesale, and those pieces would not have been possible without the Guatemalan artists whose names I do not know. Some are thrift shop specials, and some I made myself. For many I have created clothes, hairstyles, headwear, props, and other adaptations.

Moses and Miriam at the Parting of the Sea (in progress)
Harriet Tubman leads runaways from slavery to freedom on the Underground Railroad
Rosa Parks and Rev Martin Luther King at the Montgomery Bus Boycott (in progress)
Cesar Chavez and Delores Huerta lead the United Farm Workers off the field for the Lettuce and Grape Strike and Boycott
South Africa anti-Apartheid Activists
LGBTQ Pride and Civil Rights
The March for Our Lives, without life there is no liberty
The Immigration Debacle

The Immigration Debacle (in progress detail photos)

There are now six children’s graves depicted, and the father and daughter washed ashore on the Rio Grande. There are no words I can say.