I Will Wake the Dawn Illuminated Psalms

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  • Debra Band (author)
  • Rabbi Harold S. Kushner (foreword)
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About the Book

Literary Analysis by Arnold J. Band.

An extraordinary art book infused with the awe and inspiration of the biblical Psalms.

From the acclaimed author and artist who created The Song of Songs: The Honeybee in the Garden, this breathtakingly beautiful book fuses the artist Debra Band’s stunning illuminated interpretation of selected psalms with the scholar Arnold Band’s insightful analysis of the text. In shimmering gold and brilliant color this book invites contemporary readers to experience the intense emotion embodied within the ancient verses. It features 36 of the most well-known and moving psalms, including songs of personal and communal joy, prayers for healing and redemption in times of desperation, expressions of love and longing for Jerusalem, and prayers of comfort traditionally included in mourning rites. Band ingeniously interprets each psalm through two illuminations on facing pages: one that brings to life the Hebrew text; the other that illustrates the JPS English translation. Each pair of full-page illuminations is followed by an analysis of the psalm by Arnold Band and an explanation of the symbolism of the artwork by Debra Band. This beautifully bound book can be used for prayer and study, as well as aesthetic enjoyment, and, it makes an unforgettable gift for weddings, anniversaries, and other special occasions.


Band’s richly adorned pages grow out of the tradition of medieval illumination, where artistic elements possess multiple layers of meaning and symbolism. Her imagery is drawn from biblical midrash, from history and from the world around us . . . I Will Wake the Dawn is a contemporary masterpiece, a visual feast for art and Judaica lovers.
—Jewish Woman Magazine
Debra Band has “translated” the poetry of psalms into magnificent works of visual art, providing a ‘visual midrash.’ Like the psalms themselves, Band’s illustrations are artistic creations rich in traditional symbols that are renewed by their contemporary setting. Through her art, and with the help of the accompanying explanation of the psalm texts (by Arnold Band) and of the illustrations (by Debra Band), we experience the meaning of these psalms in a new and vivid way—both verbally and visually. This is a volume of great beauty and learning.
—Adele Berlin, Robert H. Smith Professor of Hebrew Bible Dept. of English, University of Maryland at College Park

Debra Band

Debra Band is the author and illustrator of The Song of Songs: The Honeybee in the Garden and I Will Wake the Dawn: Illuminated Psalms. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in history from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, and an master’s degree in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her work includes individually illuminated and paper cut pieces that are held in private collections, community institutions and galleries in the United States and abroad.

Rabbi Harold S. Kushner

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Preview Psalm 23