Dialog between the stone and the tree
70 cm x 70 cm
acrylic paint on fiberboard
text: inscription from the tombstone (matzevah) of rabbi Moshe Isserles (REMA) (1525- 1572)
On Lag BaOmer, the 18th day of the month of Iyar 5332 year (11 of May 1572) Rabbi Moses Isserles left this world and was buried in a grave under a tree, ia a place where he had earlier buried pages from his manuscript. And this tree "took care" about his grave.
The tree bothered Hasidic Jews, who pilgrimaged to the tomb of Rabbi Moses Isserles, because they could not approach the matzevah from all sides. Therefore they decided to cut the tree down.
As soon as an ax touched the tree, a terrible storm with thunder and lightning arose, although a while before the sky was clear and cloudless. Scared Hasidim fled away and since that time no one tried to cut the tree, growing over the grave.
During the Second World War the Germans wanted to destroy the tomb of Rabbi Moses Isserles. But they were not able to do it, because the tree leaned its branches over the tomb so tightly, that the Germans could not discern the grave. When after the war the Jews returned to Krakow, they found the cemetery completely devastated. The only intact tomb was that of Rabbi Moses Isserles, protected by the tree.”
Henryk Halkowski, Żydowski Kraków, legendy i ludzie, („Jewish Krakow”) Wydawnictwo Austeria, Kraków 2009