Preparation for the Jewish festival of Passover has kept my tikkunknitting needles flying, and although I was engrossed with the work of creating a ” knitted seder” for my family and the Pattern for Peacebuilders series, the TikkunTree and Israeli-Palestinian conflict were never far from my thoughts. Our Passover seder table includes a plate full of the ritual symbols of the holiday, commemorating the narrative of the liberation of the Israelites from servitude in Egypt. Committed to Passover as a symbol of freedom for any and all of us, as an opportunity to gather, share traditions, and build hope for a peaceful future, a knitted cup for the prophet Elijah, whose anticipated arrival by Jews presages the achievement of an age of universal peace, was the tikkunknitting project of the moment.
No seder is complete without enumeration of the Ten Plagues, purportedly inflicted on the Egyptians for their Pharoah’s defiance of the Israelite God. While researching and creating knitted representations of the plagues. The plague of frogs (the second plague) is an interesting example of religious irony, the Israelite God turning the table, so to speak, on the Egyptians – suffocating them with their own beliefs and traditions, rendering them lifeless with their own symbol of life (the frog-headed goddess Heqet). It’s also a connection to modern experience of plagues … most notably, the plague of conflict in Israel-Palestine. Frogs have long been a part of the landscape of Israel-Palestine; indeed, fossilized tadpoles have been found in the Negev (source). But the symbiotic relationship between the life of frogs and the land is seriously threatened in modern times. According to the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, habitat destruction, pollution, invasive species and disease have endangered six species of amphibians in Israel. And one specie, the Israel/Palestine Painted Frog, has been extinct since the 1950’s, when its Galilean lake habitat was drained to accomodate the expanding post-war Jewish population (see source; and the reconstructed images of the Painted Frog).
So here’s a new addition to the TikkunTree: a TikkunTree Painted Peace Frog (all he needs is a bit of “paint” (to be added momentarily) ..
If you have an interest in crafting frogs, they’ll have a home on or under this peace tree.
A plague of peace frogs … what a thought.
Knitters will find a pattern for this origami-style felted frog available as part of the Patterns for Peacebuilders series. Additional information about the Passover seder in general (my knitted seder), is available at “Why is This Knit Different from All Other Knits?“; more about the ethical implications of the holiday for current peace efforts soon (on the TikkunKnits blog). Photos of the knitted seder can be found here.
Other frog patterns that might be interesting to try:
- an amirigami treefrog (C), and another, Mr. Frog
- a frog bean bag (K)
- a winged frog (K)
- a flat frog fridgie (C) (pretty cute!)
- a frog pouch (C) (ready to catch flies!)
- stuffed small frog (K)
- frog (hackey sack) (C)
- a simple origami jumping frog
- youtube money frog demo (why not make a donation to a peace-building group?)
- youtube origami frog demo (for a splendid, and challenging bit of folding; would work with stiffend fabric)