"I Gratefully Thank You"
Sculpture in bronze with swiveling marble base
by Tova Rotlevy-Cohen
Growing up in Poland in an Orthodox family, it was my mother who taught me the first prayer of the day, "Modeh Ani L'Fanechah" -- "I gratefully thank you for returning to me my soul."
The Modeh Ani prayer:
"I give thanks unto You, O living and eternal King, for having restored within me my soul, with mercy; great is your trust."
When we wake in the morning, our first sensation is that of awareness and life. From fatigue and exhaustion upon lying down to rest, we arise restored and refreshed. It is for this reason that "Modeh Ani" was written -- to thank G-d for restoring our soul during our slumber.
Jewish sages recounted a story, wherein our soul rises to heaven while we sleep, where it gives an account of the good and bad it has enacted during the day, in partnership with the body. "Modeh Ani" also serves to thank G-d for returning our soul to us despite our transgressions.
With our hands intwined, we express our gratitude
Tova Rotlevy-Cohen graduated fine art school in Israel. She studied sculpture at Santa Monica College and studios in Italy, and experimented in fashion design for High Couture Knitting Co. Throughout her diverse career, she has applied her skills toward architectural design compositions in ceramic, which have adorned many building exteriors in Israel. She is currently sculpting commissioned pieces in stone and bronze. The artist is a mother two and a grandmother of four, with whom she continues her own mother's tradition to express gratitude, and to always remember all we have been given.