In July 2020, a friend of mine finished chanting every sentence in the torah. It was a 7-year project, and for the past four years in particular she has been chanting some of nearly every parasha, every week, even during times of personal crisis. It has been so inspiring to watch. To celebrate her very last reading, I made her this papercut.
The text is from Pirkei Avot, broken into the three circles. [Ben Bag Bag said:]
Outer circle: “Turn it over, and [again] turn it over, for all is therein.”
Middle circle: “And look into it; And become gray and old therein; and from it do not”
Small circle: “move away from it, for you have no better portion than it.”
I chose this text because this text describes what my friend did; she turned the torah over and over and over, and looked into it, into all of it. Her persistent and consistent pursuit of this project has been an inspiration to me, and given me a glimpse also of what a person can still accomplish when more advanced in years (I wouldn’t call her “gray and old” for she is bright and lively). Of course, I put the text in circles to echo the “turn it, and turn it” and if you look closely you’ll see that the torah in the center is scrolled all the way to the end.