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Tishrei - Libra


Tishrei/Libra is the month of weights and measures. The month begins with the Jewish New Year, a time of celebration and recalibration for the coming year. It is a time of taking stock of one’s life, of one’s interpersonal relationships, and of one’s actions. Tishrei is also the month of the Fall Harvest, with a period of enjoying the last moments of outdoor life before the realities of the winter set in. Tishrei/Libra corresponds approximately to September or early October in the Gregorian/secular calendar.

The video on the left shows a woman holding a book in about 1920, the year that women got the right to vote in the USA. She is shown behind the lace of the modern day Mihitzah in the Stanton Street Shul, the curtain that divides women from men in synagogues following strict religious traditions.

Today, this curtain on the first floor is actually a sign of liberation, as in the 1920s women could only sit in the upper balcony, making the prayer time of the synagogue off limits for women who could not climb the stairs. Nonetheless, it still carries with it the concept of hiding women during prayer.
electronic music: contemporary composer Bob Gluck

The central video begins with the Tishrei mural at the Stanton Street Shul: scales of justice in the center, with a field of wheat at the bottom. The imagery dissolves into grasses and fields of wheat, moving, changing, and alive.
electronic music: contemporary composer Bob Gluck

The video on the right focuses our attention on an exterior Fire Escape, the essential element of apartment buildings on the Lower East Side. Installed for safety, fire escapes provide the texture of the city landscape, the constant element in every building before the innovations of the 1960s.
sound: live street recordings of modern lower east side