"Stitchers: Tapestry of Spirit," a short documentary film that won a Gold Camera First Place award in the 2018 US International Film & Video Festival, will debut at the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto. The film will be part of a June-October 2019 exhibit showcasing “Torah Stitch by Stitch,” a project to hand-stitch books of the Torah scroll. The film was produced by 90th Parallel Productions Ltd., Toronto.
Temma Gentles of Toronto, an internationally renowned Judaic fiber artist, envisioned a hand-stitched scroll of the entire Torah large enough for people to walk among the holy words. Her project has been worked on by more than 1,300 stitchers of all faiths in 27 countries.
Each crossed-stitched four verses of the holy book in Hebrew, and many have adorned the text with fascinating illuminations. Many had never stitched and did not know Hebrew. Stitchers were assigned a personal coach and encouraged to explore their assigned verses and respond with creative expressions and anecdotal information about their experience.
So far, about 150,000 hours of volunteer dedication over five years have brought what is probably the largest scroll in the world near to completion
The scroll is about 90 percent complete and when done will be about seven feet high and 300 feet long. It will occupy all 10 of the Textile Museum's upper-level galleries and display the entire books of Genesis and Exodus and the final third of Deuteronomy. The Creation theme of those books will be put in context with the other Abrahamic faiths with the inclusion of selected passages from the Scriptures in Greek and from the Qur'an in Arabic.To support the labor and expense of the museum exhibition debut, the charitable website Jewcer.org is collecting donations (501 (c)3 tax-deductible in the U.S.) with a goal of $54,000. Presently the effort has collected $9,645. Donations at a number of levels come with a set of benefits for the donor.
“Tapestry of Spirit” will be presented from June 12 to Oct. 27, 2019, according to the museum website, www.textilemuseum.ca. Photos: Exodus 35 3-6 and Caravan are courtesy of Torah Stitch By Stitch.