Four Children, Four Musicians:  Shraga Weil
(Israel, 1963;
© Safrai Gallery)

The Four Children are portrayed as a quartet of musicians, each with his own instrument: the wise, with a shofar (for announcing the coming of the messiah as Elijah is depicted in medieval haggadot); the wicked, with a drum (typical of soldiers marching to war); the simple, with a horn; the one who does not know how to ask, with rattles (typical of a child). The quartet are formed from basic geometric shapes: wise and wicked circles; simple square; fourth child triangle and circle. The wise character is portrayed as a bearded wise man wearing a striped tallit as well as the priestly breast plate. The wicked one is a metal military machine whose armor is his body (head as a helmet with eyes, legs as stove pipes). The simple one is identified with Noah who is called "simple" (tameem), meaning wholly righteous. Above his head is the dove with an olive branch. His striped cloak may recall Joseph's coat, the sign of being chosen. The fourth figure is the only child here (smaller in stature and dressed as a child without shoes).
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