Last night, Daniel and I visited a Har El couple in their beautiful old home. As we got to the corner where they told us they lived we asked a few people for directions. "Who are you here to see?" they asked, and when we said, "The Yakin Family" they grinned with recognition and were eager to help us find the door to their apartment - we don't know if everyone knows everyone in this particular neighborhood, but it seemed to us that the Yakins are particularly well known and well loved.
Abraham and Hannah Yakin live in their home near the shuk that Avraham's grandfather built 130 years ago. Hannah made aliyah from Holland in the 50's and the couple met while studying art at Bezalel. They are both prolific artists, they both paint and Hannah does wood-cuts and Avraham works with etching. Their home is bursting at the seam with beautiful works they have created - ketubot, illuminated scrolls of Esther and Ruth, masks, series about music, motherhood, animals on Noah's ark. They have eight children, all grown now, and they raised them in a home of art, music, and learning. When they were younger they displayed their work in a gallery near HUC, and gave art lessons to adults and children. They are such a warm and interesting couple and they encouraged us to come visit again and promised that next time they would take us into their studio and show us how etching is done. Their work is really beautiful - you can read wikipedia entries about them here and here, and see their work here.