This triptych by photographer Rachel Friedlander responds to Mark 5:25-34 and the theme of "Joy."
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25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, 27 when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. 28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. 29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? 31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. 34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
The passage of the bleeding woman in the gospel of Mark has always had an affect on me. For some inexplicable reason, this story has left me with goosebumps on my arms and tears in my eyes nearly every time I’ve poured over its verses. There’s just something about it. It’s a juxtaposition of such power and such gentleness.
When this story is told, many simply assume that the woman reached for the hem of Jesus’ cloak. But the word hem is the actually the word for “fringes,” referring to the tzitzit, or tassels, of Jesus’ prayer shawl. This woman, who was completely ostracized and secluded by society, reached out expectantly to the holy, symbolic garment of the Messiah. And she was instantaneously healed, both physically and emotionally.
In this triptych, the story is told in a modern light from the viewpoint of the bleeding woman. It follows her undoubtedly potent emotional arc, culminating in wholehearted joy and completion.
Rachel Friedlander is a photographer, writer, designer, fashion lover, and avid fan of art in it’s many forms. Her life was filled with film cameras, typewriters, paints, record players, and encouragement from an early age. Every day since has been an adventure in developing her skills and finding ways to glorify her Creator through them. Through her lens, Rachel endeavors to capture that moment one savors in their subconscious—that emotional pinnacle an observer replays in their mind: a grandmother mid-laugh, the delicacy of that girl’s eyelashes, a man with his arms out in the expanse of an open field. Life is a series of moments, and Rachel would like to live them all and preserve the best. She currently resides in New York City, where she owns her own photography business and works with Jews for Jesus, using creative mediums to reach fellow Jewish people with the truth about their Messiah. You can see more of her work at www.rachelfriedlander.com and stay updated by hitting “Like” at www.facebook.com/rachelfriedlanderphotography.