Description Tefillin, phylactery, are described as an Ote, a sign, of the covenant between HaShem, G-d, and Israel: A set of Tefillin has the Shel Rosh (head-phylactery) and the Shel Yad (arm-phylactery) with corresponding straps. The Shel Rosh and Shel Yad each contain four passages, hand written on parchment, from the Torah: Exodus 13: 1-10, 11-16, Deuteronomy 6: 4-9, 11: 13-21. The Shel Yad, worn bound to the forearm, parallel to the heart, represents HaShems strength and the directing of our hearts and emotions to His service. We each dedicate our intellect and thoughts to HaShem with the crowning of the Shel Rosh on our head. Thirteen is when a young man reaches the age of accountability for the Torah and HaShems mitzvahs, commandments. He becomes a Bar Mitzvah and begins donning Tefillin.Using micro calligraphy, Ellen Miller Brauns beautiful design repeats these four Torah portions, four times each. The words form the outline of the Shel Rosh and Shel Yad and fill the front (black area) of the Tefillins straps. The back of the straps (gray areas) are created using the blessings, recitations and declaration of intent that are recited before and during the laying of Tefillin. Using flowing red ink, Ellen repeats the words Shel Rosh filling the head phylactery box, while the words Shel Yad fill the arm phylactery box. This entire piece is framed and embraced by the prayer that is the core and essence of Judaism: Shema Israel HaShem Elokeinu, HaShem Echad (Hear, O Israel: HaShem is our G-d, HaShem is One.) Boldly centered at the bottom of the frame is the word Tefillin. This piece flows with beauty and grace, as well as being a source of strength and spirituality.In gematria, Jewish numerology, the letter dalet, the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, equals the number four. The word dalet/delet means door. Your prayers are a personal doorway to HaShem. With the donning of Tefillin and daily prayer, you are given the opportunity to open a door betwe
Ellen Braun, Karnei Shomron, Israel Member Since August 2014 Artist Statement Ellen Miller Braun was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. Drawing on her natural talent, Ellen studied fine arts at Northeastern Illinois University. Ardent Zionists, Ellen and her husband decided to follow their heart felt dream and moved to Israel with their children in 1983. Ellen and her family now live in Ginot Shomron, in the Biblical hills of Samaria. Ellen’s inspiration comes directly from Hashem, G-d, and reflects her love of her wonderful, growing family and living in Israel. All of this joins together with her deep dedication of Torah and an observant Jewish lifestyle.
The story of how Ellen began creating micro calligraphy is almost as inspiring as the works of art themselves. Before Ellen began creating these amazing works, she was already a world class artist creating soft sculptures of whimsical Chassidic figures as well as familiar Political and Biblical characters. This was another form of art that showed the painstaking dedication she has to her craft. While these figures were quite popular both in Israel and around the world, as Ellen puts it, “Hashem had new plans for me. One day I woke and the need to do this (micro calligraphy) descended and enveloped me. However, I am a person who needs time to think things over and I wasn’t ready to do something like this at that point in my already busy life. I decided not to say anything to anyone, because I knew if I did, my husband would be taking me to go get my supplies that minute!” Two weeks later, Ellen’s husband got a call from one of his friends in California. They wanted to start marketing micrography in their area and asked for Eliezer's help finding suppliers. Once Ellen heard this, she understood the gift she was being given. She told her husband about doing micro calligraphy herself... and the rest as they say, is history.
Even with her extensive art background, Ellen really just took it one step at a time. Each time she developed a piece she learned something new, starting with the fact that she is the only one in the world to use a calligraphy pen and water color paint to create her pieces. Some pieces taking as much as 11 months to create. Ellen knows that G-d was guiding her on this new journey. The first piece she created was Shir Ha Shirim - the idea was just there. The next two pieces, Ezekiel 36 and Lion of Judah, came as suggestions from her husband. Ellen began creating her micro calligraphy art in 1999, Her exquisite designs are sold as both numbered, limited fine art reproductions, and non-numbered editions, which can be viewed in her Gallery. Ellen also has created numerous pieces for private collections.
Ellen's unique micro calligraphy art can be found throughout the world, bringing inspiration, hope and joy to people from all backgrounds. Her work is featured in both public and private venues and has also been included as a page in a special women’s prayer book, "Ani Le' Dodi V'Dodi Li" and as a teaching tool in a Jewish school text book.