Life is filled with uncertainty. Poverty and shortage against the opulent lives of few. Six days of work against the day of rest. A time for war and a time for peace. But joy is hidden in the small moments, those that enter your heart and stay there to our last day. “The Fiddler” is a creation that describes the Jew in exile. His clothes are ragged and he sits on the roof of his rundown home in the European darkness.
The stillness of the night is filled with the sounds of the violin.
On one of those gloomy nights, the music of a Jewish fiddler is heard from afar, riveting its listeners. It is not a tune of joy; the violin’s cry exudes from a heart familiar with crises, worried about the future and seeking happiness. A silent string tune. The fiddler’s eyes are closed tightly, he is detached from his surroundings. The tempo gradually increases. The villagers know the fiddler; after all, it is he who brings them joy at weddings and important events. The stillness of the night is filled with the sounds of the violin. Just a bit more and the troubles will disappear, one more draw of the bow and we will forget the persecution, poverty, and hardships. In a split second, the violin’s cry is replaced by sounds of joy; the fiddler opens his eyes, revealing a spark of hope. The villagers are unable to stop him and they all join in a dance of hope and perfect harmony.
The Jewish fiddler is a metaphor for the abounding Jewish joy. Musicians have the power to bring joy to the heart and turn the tables. The artist designed “The Fiddler” as a gesture to their work and upon their inspiration. It is a piece reflecting hope, a desire for change. The narrow streets of ancient Europe and its roads, the wooden fences and rickety structures against the moonlit mountains and forests all filled with joy as the fiddler takes his place on the roof.
In his masterpieces, Jewish painter Marc Chagall portrays the Diaspora Jew as a surreal depiction of a fiddler. As a gesture to the artist and his influence, the artist chiseled the big fiddler on the roof of the famous “Chagall House”