It was during the final bursts of gunfire of the bloody Six Day War when the shrill, piercing sounds of the shofar proclaimed that the sacred Western Wall was back in Israeli hands. Battle-weary soldiers involved in vicious close-quarter fighting in Old City of Jerusalem lowered their weapons and began to rejoice: some sang, others wept, and many prayed.
Twenty-eight-year-old paratrooper Dubi Arie gazed at the wondrous sight before him. An overwhelming feeling rose up from deep within him -- a personal awakening that resulted from his life-long quest to understand the struggles of the Jewish people.
Although it would be several more years before he would finally put brush to canvas, the mission of Dubi Arie -- artist, soldier, farmer an holocaust survivor -- had already begun.
Deeply aroused by his experiences in the Six Day War, Dubi embarked on a massive artistic project that he perceived as a "national mission", a major contribution to his people that would require total concentration and devotion in the years to come.
"I believe, with all my heart, that my destiny was guided and contnues to be guided by the power above, towards the biggest and most important challenge in my life -- the implementation of this creation. When I succeed in this in this holy mission I will know that there was a purpose for my life. I will know that the tests which I have faced were the preparation for this esteemed purpose."
To gain perspective on his life and subject matter, the artist and his family moved to Toronto, Canada in 1974, where he was able to fulfill his dream of creation. Dubi, the former commando, who had once operated with an army and nation behind him, now operated alone -- on a one-man mission.
The process of creating "The Mission" spanned two decades. From brush to final stroke, the painting took seven years.
If a Jewish artist is to do justice to his theme, he must have emotions and experience that reflect the entire range of the Jewish march through time: the joys and sorrows, victories and defeats, failures and achievements of an ancient and courageous people -- a people who have been a light onto the nations, guiding mankind to a higher level of social justice and personal morality.
No artist could be better qualified to give symbolic expression to the history of Israel than Dubi Arie -- for he has lived it all. In fact, it is Dubi's historic and spiritual affinity with his people, his sensitivity to their historic past, and his ultimate faith in their future that has been the inspiration of his art. According to Dubi: "All my life, and everything I have endured has led me to this creation -- "Under the Wings of G-d and the Shadow of Amalek."
Surely, the personal trials and tribulations of the artist have uniquely shaped him for his monumental accomplishment -- an inspired creation that will bestow great benefit to the world. "The Mission" serves as a remarkable inspiration not only for Jews but for all mankind. At its core is a profound universal message -- end the aggression that leads to war and destruction between nations, stop the hate that divides the people of the world. It is Dubi's ardent hope that "The Mission" will impact deep feelings of unity to the Jewish people, and establish bridges of understanding between Jews and all of mankind.
"It is my belief that education is the hope of the world, and art is its inspiration"
Profile written Harold Preston Patton