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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Destroying the Chametz Within and Truly Preparing for Pesach
 
Funeral of Baruch Mizrachi (Photo Essay)

April 16, 2014 - 11:39 PM
 
Tunisian Jew Stabbed in Djerba

April 16, 2014 - 8:50 PM
 
Israeli Hi-Tech Opens Branch in Nanjing

April 16, 2014 - 1:45 PM
 
Preparations Completed for Priestly Blessing from Jerusalem

April 16, 2014 - 12:48 PM
 
Kansas Shooting Suspect a White Supremacist, Indicted for Murder

April 16, 2014 - 12:03 PM
 
Hundreds at Bangkok Chabad Passover Seder

April 16, 2014 - 8:45 AM
 
President Obama’s Passover Statement

April 16, 2014 - 7:07 AM
 
Netanyahu: PA Incitement Caused Pre-Passover Terror Attack

April 16, 2014 - 1:05 AM
 
Passover Eve Terror Attack Draws Strong Responses

April 15, 2014 - 10:39 PM
 
4 Border Police Injured When PA Truck Hits Them

April 15, 2014 - 10:23 PM
 
Terrorists Kill Father on Way to Passover Seder

April 15, 2014 - 9:03 PM
 
Chag Kasher v’Sameach from JewishPress.com

April 14, 2014 - 3:50 PM
 
Biur Chametz

April 14, 2014 - 3:39 PM
 
2 Arrested with Paschal Lamb

April 14, 2014 - 3:13 PM
 
A Third Intifada to Begin at the Temple Mount?

April 14, 2014 - 1:07 PM
 
Israel, PLO ‘Talk’ Over Sanctions, Not Status

April 14, 2014 - 8:58 AM
 
Three Dead in Multiple Kansas Jewish Center Shootings

April 13, 2014 - 11:33 PM
 
London Teacher Threatens to Send Jewish Student to ‘Your Gas Chambers’

April 13, 2014 - 9:35 PM
 
Messianic ‘Blood Moon’ Rising on Passover Seder Night

April 13, 2014 - 9:30 PM
 
New Study: Nearly Every Israeli will Eat Matza and Keep Kosher on Pesach Eve

April 13, 2014 - 9:07 PM
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Arts
 

Singer’s Artists

Posted on: December 2nd, 2009

SectionsArts

The illustrator stands in an oft-denigrated position, scorned by modernists and traditional purists alike. For both schools of thought the sublime of art cannot be rendered literal. On the other hand, illustrators are curiously accepted if not celebrated by those in a postmodern disposition. In the last twenty years or so a creative relationship to text, narrative or non-visual motifs has gained legitimacy if not primacy in the visual arts. Under the watchful guidance of director Jean Bloch Rosensaft and the curatorial skill of Laura Kruger, the Hebrew Union College Museum casts one of its current exhibitions into this ideational fray. "Isaac Bashevis Singer and his Artists"is in its curious way an exposition on the illustrational as a contemporary motif.

 

Robert Frank’s Empathetic Photographs At the Metropolitan Museum

Posted on: November 25th, 2009

SectionsArts

In a 2008 photograph by Spencer Platt (Getty Images), a pedestrian wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and jeans and carrying a backpack walks down a rundown Detroit street. Behind him, graffiti covers the red and white brick buildings. Scrawled on one wall in enormous thick black letters, which are much larger than the figure, is the word "Help." In thinner lettering, partially obscured by the other graffiti inscription, someone has written: "It don't exist," presumably responding pessimistically to the call for help.

 

Leipzig Machzor: A Vision from the Past

Posted on: November 4th, 2009

SectionsArts

Seven hundred years ago in a synagogue in southwest Germany near the Rhine River, the chazzan opened a new machzor on Yom Kippur as he began Kol Nidrei. The congregation glanced up and gasped as they saw the new prayer book he was davening from. A freshly written large-scale parchment book presented itself to them, specially made for the bimah, to be used on all the holidays, resplendent with brightly colored illuminations and richly adorned with gold-leaf and precious lapis lazuli decorations.

 

Hyman Bloom’s Unreal Rabbis

Posted on: October 28th, 2009

SectionsArts

It is only appropriate to begin a Hyman Bloom review with a Chassidic tale. A young man left his village to train as a menorah maker says Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, and returned years later as a master designer. His father invited the local lamp makers to see his son's talents but grew angry when each guest found a different fault in his son's alleged masterpiece. The son then explained he had created the worst work imaginable. If the locals found just one fault each in his work, it was due to their blindness to their own aesthetic errors.

 

Kupferminc’s Wanderings

Posted on: October 21st, 2009

SectionsArts

Mirta Kupferminc is an artist who has made her artistic mission a search for meaning in a world profoundly unstable, problematic and filled with the terrors of memory not entirely her own. As the child of Holocaust survivors, uprooted from Europe and transplanted in Argentina, one prevailing motif for her is that of a witness to the Holocaust one generation removed. A prominent text panel quotes Saul Sosnowski: " to be a witness who loves unconditionally; daring to judge G-d over Auschwitz and find him guilty; and pray to him still, even there, even in Auschwitz."

 

Does Daniel Levin Know the Location of the Second Temple Menorah?

Posted on: September 30th, 2009

SectionsArts

There is no denying that Dan Brown has become one of the most successful contemporary writers on religious art. The Lost Symbol recently sold a million copies on its first day of release, and it would only take 81 such days to surpass total sales of The Da Vinci Code. Perhaps because of his success, many are less than impressed with Brown's writings. "Usually we read the script, but in this case it wasn't necessary," a spokesman for the Roman archdiocese told The Telegraph (UK), explaining why a permit was denied for filming "Angels and Demons" at one of its churches. "Just the name Dan Brown was enough."

 

Zeroing In On Blacklisted Jewish Actors

Posted on: September 16th, 2009

SectionsArts

Though the members of the House Committee on Un-American Activities had a copy of Lucille Ball's signed 1936 communist registration card, they accepted her excuse that she joined the party just to please her grandfather, because her name wasn't Jaffe, Chodorov, Berman or Phillip Loeb. So says Jim Brochu in his one-man show about Samuel Joel "Zero" Mostel, which argues that McCarthyism overlapped to a large extent with anti-Semitism. "She could have called her show I Love Lenin and they would have forgiven her. And they did forgive her," he adds.

 

Yael And Sisera In Art And Propaganda

Posted on: September 2nd, 2009

SectionsArts

When charged by the Prophetess Deborah, wife of Lapidoth, in Judges to free the Jews from the tyranny of Sisera, general of the Canaanite king Jacin's army, Barak the son of Abinoam famously responded with the biblical equivalent of "I'm right behind you." Deborah agreed to accompany Barak to Kedesh but told him Sisera would die by a woman's hand. Barak accepted the terms, and Sisera was eventually lured into Yael's tent, where she fed him milk to make him drowsy and drove a tent peg through his head.

 

Esther’s Swoon Revealed: Tintoretto’s Masterpiece

Posted on: August 26th, 2009

SectionsArts

Earlier this summer I went up to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to see the blockbuster exhibition, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice. While rarely have I seen as many masterpieces collected together in a traveling show, one painting stood out for both its Jewish subject and the surprising way it narrated the dramatic story of Esther appearing before Ahasuerus. The painting, Esther Before Ahasuerus by Tintoretto, (1518-1594) was painted just as the 29-year-old artist was making his mark in Venetian society.

 

Why Was The Prato Haggadah Left Unfinished?

Posted on: August 19th, 2009

SectionsArts

When the Cistercian abbot Stephen Harding commissioned an illuminated bible in 1109, he wanted to ensure its accuracy. So he did what any good scholar (but very few medieval Church leaders) would do; he sought rabbinic counsel so that he could have access to the original Hebrew. The so-called St. Stephen's Bible, which can be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's current exhibit, Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages, represents a rare collaboration of rabbinic and Christian scholarship.

 

Why Was The Prato Haggadah Left Unfinished?

Posted on: August 19th, 2009

SectionsArts

When the Cistercian abbot Stephen Harding commissioned an illuminated bible in 1109, he wanted to ensure its accuracy. So he did what any good scholar (but very few medieval Church leaders) would do; he sought rabbinic counsel so that he could have access to the original Hebrew. The so-called St. Stephen's Bible, which can be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's current exhibit, Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages, represents a rare collaboration of rabbinic and Christian scholarship.

 

Kinderish Kunst: Na?ve Art

Posted on: August 5th, 2009

SectionsArts

As a matter of principle, I must begin this column by stating bluntly that in my opinion the column's subject, Mayer Kirshenblatt, though he is a very talented storyteller, is not a very good painter by any means. Normally, that would present the end of the story. There are more than enough great artists who grapple with Jewish subject matter and themes that this column does not need to address work that is anything but first rate.

 

Kinderish Kunst: Naïve Art

Posted on: August 5th, 2009

SectionsArts

As a matter of principle, I must begin this column by stating bluntly that in my opinion the column's subject, Mayer Kirshenblatt, though he is a very talented storyteller, is not a very good painter by any means. Normally, that would present the end of the story. There are more than enough great artists who grapple with Jewish subject matter and themes that this column does not need to address work that is anything but first rate.

 

A Jewish Thought Bestowed Upon The Nations: Yaakov Agam, 2009 World Games

Posted on: July 22nd, 2009

SectionsArts

Kinetic sculpture is an art that has existed since ancient Egypt. To be considered kinetic the sculpture has to have parts that move or are in motion, like a mobile that hangs over a child's crib.

 

Teaching Chekhov To Recite The Havdalah

Posted on: July 15th, 2009

SectionsArts

In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, a troupe of Athenian actors, "rude mechanicals" according to the sprite Puck, meets in the woods to rehearse "the most lamentable comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby." Puck frustrates the efforts of Quince, Snug, Flute, Snout, and Starveling to practice when he turns Bottom into a donkey. "If he come not, then the play is marred: it goes not forward, doth it?" worries Flute, but in the end the play-within-a-play transpires on schedule, with all its absurd disclaimers designed not to frighten the court ladies.

 

Moshe Hammer: Art as Prayer, Prayer as Art

Posted on: July 8th, 2009

SectionsArts

True genius is a rare commodity. Five years ago, 26-year-old Moshe Hammer, z"l, a Lubavitch artist who frequently worked through the night, stepped outside for a walk in Los Angeles, to clear his head and recharge his creative batteries. As was his custom, Moshe rambled miles from his apartment in the Fairfax district.

 

Poland’s Jewish Ghosts

Posted on: June 24th, 2009

SectionsArts

About 2,500 years ago, the prophet Jeremiah, having predicted Nebuchadnezzar's imminent destruction of the First Temple, composed the famous line, "Why did I leave the womb - to see toil and pain - that I may live out my days in shame?" About 500 years later, Joseph ben Matthias, also known as Josephus, observed and recorded the destruction of the Second Temple by Roman emperor Titus, claiming in Book VI of the "War of the Jews" (chapter nine) that 1.1 million Jews were killed and 97,000 were enslaved in the siege.

 

Poland’s Jewish Ghosts

Posted on: June 24th, 2009

SectionsArts

About 2,500 years ago, the prophet Jeremiah, having predicted Nebuchadnezzar's imminent destruction of the First Temple, composed the famous line, "Why did I leave the womb - to see toil and pain - that I may live out my days in shame?" About 500 years later, Joseph ben Matthias, also known as Josephus, observed and recorded the destruction of the Second Temple by Roman emperor Titus, claiming in Book VI of the "War of the Jews" (chapter nine) that 1.1 million Jews were killed and 97,000 were enslaved in the siege.

 

Tobi Kahn’s New Harmony

Posted on: June 17th, 2009

SectionsArts

Imagine if we could all work and live together in harmony. We ask for this three times a day, "May it be good in Your eyes to bless Your people Israel at every time, in every hour, with Your peace." This ancient plea, harmony between us and our G-d, harmony between us and our fellow Jews and mankind, is one of the most fundamental yearnings we experience. We are not alone in this deeply human quest.

 

Pieter Lastman’s David And Uriah Paintings

Posted on: June 10th, 2009

SectionsArts

In one of the most complex and controversial of biblical narratives, the book of 2 Samuel recounts an almost operatic moment in which Uriah the Hittite, husband of Batsheva, was instructed by King David to unknowingly carry his own death sentence to the Jewish general Yoav (Joab). Had Uriah betrayed his king's confidence and opened the letter, he could have surely have escaped death.

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