SymbolsHoliday 1: Rosh Hashana, depicted by: a cornucopia shaped like a shofar (bottom right), honey jars representing a sweet new year (middle left, above the hut), and animal heads as we should be “the head and not the tail” (upper left).
Rosh Hashana itself symbolizes birth, and it’s when the Torah recommences the reading cycle, starting at Bereishit (Genesis). The fact that we’ve been born, or that our universe exists in the way it does, continues to beat out billions of other possibilities.
Holiday 2: Yom Kippur, depicted by weighing scales (upper right).
This holiday is about coming to terms with any wrongs which may have done, which in some sense may deserve punishment. Through requesting forgiveness from friends and the supernatural, the intention is to receive mercy instead of retribution.
Holiday 3: Sukkot/Hoshana Rabbah, depicted by: a sukkah (bottom left), the four species (middle; note the willows are being destroyed per tradition on Hoshana Rabbah).
Sukkot commemorates the survival of a people in an exceedingly harsh environment (the desert). By working together to build huts, coupled with protection from a divine cloud, there was survival despite facing death and exposure.
Holiday 4: Simchat Torah, depicted by a Torah Scroll being lifted (upper right).
Lastly, Simchat Torah honors a covenant and the granting of a guidebook. To be born in the first place, wrestle with one’s sense of self, then fight off external danger is a feat enough. Receiving a gift and special place on top of that is worthy of celebration.
Patriarch: Yitzchak (top right). The existence of Yitzchak himself was so improbable that Sarah laughed at the notion of his birth. In the image, he is fused with Yaakov at the moment he gave him the birthright, as Yizchak (who was blind) doubted that Yaakov was his son Esav (whom he intended to give the birthright to). It also reflects that Yaakov himself was second-born, and fate would have it that he would not receive the birthright.
Tribe: Ephraim (represented by the scales of Yom Kippur, under Yitzchak’s hands). Ephraim, like Yaakov, was second-born and destiny would have had him subservient to his older brother, Menashe. However, when their father Yosef brought them in for a blessing, Yaakov switched his hands on top of their heads, so that Ephraim’s head was covered by Yaakov’s right hand.
Zodiac: Libra (מאזניים). The scales take on their third meaning on top of representing Yom Kippur and Ephraim.