Lamentations: Chapters 4-5


Collection:  The Five Scrolls

Other in the set:  Lamentations: Chapters 1-3

  • Needlework by Ilana Limoni

  • Origin of main illustration:  Gebhard Fugel’s

         “An den Wassern Babylons”

  • Other illustrations were inspired by and adapted from online images found here and here

  • Text from the Complete Hebrew Bible found here

  • Psalm 137  and Eli Tsiyon from Siddur Sim Shalom for Weekdays (Rabbinical Assembly for Conservative Judaism, 2009 edition)

  • Completed in 2018

  • It took about ten months to make

Materials and technique:

  • Petit Point Canvas made from cotton with an 18 mesh mono weave (i.e., 324 stitches per square inch)

  • Threads are silk, cotton, wool, rayon and metallic fibers, plus different kinds of beads are embedded

  • Technique is a variety of stitches


  • H: 86½”   W: 38”  (unframed)


Process in general:

The first phase of creating a scroll panel entailed Ilana free form stitching in petit point the Hebrew text onto the canvas, referencing a graph of the Hebrew alphabet she created.  Chapters and verses start at the margin, with a new chapter also signified by a larger first letter.  Since Hebrew is written from right to left and the verses have different number of words, the left side of each panel had blank spaces to be filled with drawings.  Also, Ilana reserved the top of the canvas for a significant scene.  As her longtime artist was no longer available, Ilana asked her daughter Tami to recreate illustrations found online.  In the second phase, Ilana stitched the artwork and then she covered the remainder of the canvas with a background.  Additionally, Ilana designed the border and used the same one for both panels in this set.

Other comments:

The scene at the top of the canvas is of the exiles lamenting on the River of Babylon (Psalm 137). The other illustrations include the burning of the holy Temple, a modern rendition of the Temple and a famous oath to never forget Jerusalem.  

This is the only panel in the collection of Biblical scrolls that includes some verses that are not from the scroll depicted.  Thus, to highlight that distinction, the applicable texts were stitched in different color threads.