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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Destroying the Chametz Within and Truly Preparing for Pesach
 
U.S., Israel Teaming to Push Israel into Visa Waiver Program

April 18, 2014 - 5:25 PM
 
Report: Lebanese man admits to targeting Israelis in Thailand

April 18, 2014 - 5:22 PM
 
Syrian Jets Strike Targets on Ramat HaGolan

April 18, 2014 - 4:14 PM
 
Chelsea Clinton Pregnant with Non-Jewish Child

April 18, 2014 - 10:58 AM
 
Police Limit Arab Visitors to Temple Mount

April 18, 2014 - 10:18 AM
 
No Gov’t Majority for Pollard-Talks Deal

April 18, 2014 - 10:11 AM
 
Shas Party Appoints New Spiritual Leader

April 18, 2014 - 9:50 AM
 
‘Jews Must Register’ Flyer in Ukraine an Echo of Babi Yar

April 18, 2014 - 2:19 AM
 
Florida Teen Stabbed in High School Gym

April 17, 2014 - 9:31 PM
 
4 Wounded in Gush Etzion Road Terror Attack

April 17, 2014 - 1:01 PM
 
Arab Violence Closes Temple Mount to Visitors Again

April 17, 2014 - 12:26 PM
 
Jews Ordered to ‘Register’ in Donetsk, Ukraine

April 17, 2014 - 11:41 AM
 
Indyk Returns to Raise the Dead (Israel-PA Talks)

April 17, 2014 - 10:14 AM
 
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
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Arts
 

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.

 

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.

 

The Amulet, The Temple, The Disfigured Book, and The Butterflies: The Art of Yona Verwer, Robert Kirschbaum, David Friedman, and Joel Silverstein

Posted on: May 27th, 2009

SectionsArts

Throughout the ages, synagogues have housed some of the greatest examples of Jewish art, including the mosaic floors at Bet Alpha and the frescoes at Dura-Europos. Unfortunately, the fate of the works of art has been inextricably tied to their host, and much great Jewish art has perished along with the synagogues whose walls, floors, and ceilings it adorned. Not only have natural disasters and the decay process claimed many synagogues, but also many times, they have been targeted specifically by anti-Semites who sought to destroy Jewish culture and life.

 

The Amulet, The Temple, The Disfigured Book, and The Butterflies: The Art of Yona Verwer, Robert Kirschbaum, David Friedman, and

Posted on: May 27th, 2009

SectionsArts

Throughout the ages, synagogues have housed some of the greatest examples of Jewish art, including the mosaic floors at Bet Alpha and the frescoes at Dura-Europos. Unfortunately, the fate of the works of art has been inextricably tied to their host, and much great Jewish art has perished along with the synagogues whose walls, floors, and ceilings it adorned. Not only have natural disasters and the decay process claimed many synagogues, but also many times, they have been targeted specifically by anti-Semites who sought to destroy Jewish culture and life.

 

Way to Heaven by Juan Mayorga

Posted on: May 20th, 2009

SectionsArts

An unshaven man stumbles onstage, clad in a raincoat covering his pajamas. He is barefoot and shuffles among the dried leaves that litter the stage area, a long rectangular set with the audience on either side. It is a most intimate performance area, uncomfortably so.

 

Feminist Trends At The Jewish Art Salon

Posted on: May 13th, 2009

SectionsArts

It was a little surreal sitting in the sanctuary of the Stanton Street Synagogue at the opening of the Jewish Art Salon exhibit. It was hard not to notice the sharp contrast between the synagogue's tragically decaying collection of Zodiac signs painted on its walls and its dusty interior - some parts of which might still bear original grime dating back to 1913 when the synagogue was built - and the vibrant new art created by the 29 artists affiliated with the salon (including both the authors of this column).

 

Tzelem: Presence And Likeness In Jewish Art

Posted on: May 6th, 2009

SectionsArts

Jewish Art is a grass-roots movement whose time has come. It has evolved precisely because there are those who are moved by their Jewish heritage and wish to share this experience with the art world, the general public and the Jewish community. There has never been such an exciting time.

 

What’s New with Prague’s Old-New Synagogue, And Old Jewish Cemetery?

Posted on: April 29th, 2009

SectionsArts

When on April 5th, First Lady Michelle Obama visited Prague's Pinkas Synagogue with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and David Axelrod, a senior White House advisor, she expressed particular interest in the synagogue's collection of drawings by children from the concentration camp of Terez?n, which they created under the tutelage of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis (1898-1944).

 

What’s New with Prague’s Old-New Synagogue, And Old Jewish Cemetery?

Posted on: April 29th, 2009

SectionsArts

When on April 5th, First Lady Michelle Obama visited Prague's Pinkas Synagogue with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and David Axelrod, a senior White House advisor, she expressed particular interest in the synagogue's collection of drawings by children from the concentration camp of Terezín, which they created under the tutelage of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis (1898-1944).

 

Max Miller’s Kaddish: A Year’s Journey In 50 Shuls

Posted on: April 22nd, 2009

SectionsArts

To make a pilgrimage is to travel far and participate in something holy, singular and transformative. Upon the death of a parent, Jews make a pilgrimage thrice daily to a synagogue to participate in the same ritual, the Kaddish said over and over. It doesn't have to be far or near. It simply must be a place that Jews have decided is holy.

 

Kestenbaum Auction Includes Several Hebrew Books With Decidedly un-Hebraic Iconography

Posted on: April 14th, 2009

SectionsArts

The title page to a 1610 edition of 12th-century poet and legal scholar, Eliezer ben Nathan's "Even Ha'ezer" ("Stone of Salvation," per I Samuel 7:12) features a woodcut that looks fairly standard at first glance. Two pillars flank the central alignment of the Hebrew text, and two birds perch atop the columns. Beneath the pillars are two lions and two hands, configured in the manner of the priestly blessing, with a gap between the joined index and middle fingers and the ring and small fingers. This combination of hands and lions constitutes the printing mark of Moses ben Bezalel Katz of Prague, who was a Kohen.

 

Wolloch Holocaust Haggadah

Posted on: April 7th, 2009

SectionsArts

We are taught: "In every generation one is obligated to regard himself as though he had gone out from Egypt." How difficult, what a leap of imagination for us in a free America, surrounded by friends and family, secure in our past and future yiddishkeit, to feel the terrors of long ago. Indeed we might forget, we might wish not to remember events in our own time and the time of our parents that were remarkably similar to the Egyptian horror. David Wander's Holocaust Haggadah reminds us with a somber art that is defiantly infused with hope and compassion.

 

Foreign Policy Of The Absurd

Posted on: April 1st, 2009

SectionsArts

If Iranian-Israeli relations are ever to improve, will the miracle originate amongst policymakers and trickle down to the masses, or will civilians grow so tired of the conflicts that they insist upon crafting their leadership in their own pacifistic image? This question is of course well above the pay grade of a column on Jewish arts, but it is central to Motti Lerner's "Benedictus," in a limited run at Theater J at the Washington DC JCC.

 

MFA Boston Vs. The Metropolitan Museum: Does The Bible Belong In Art Exhibits?

Posted on: March 18th, 2009

SectionsArts

When Ephron the Hittite discussed a real estate transaction with Abraham in Genesis 23:10 that would secure the late Sarah a burial plot beside Adam and Eve, what was he wearing? How had Hittite art and interior design changed by the time David secretly sent Uriah the Hittite, husband of Bathsheba, to the front lines to die in 2 Samuel 11? When Achan - the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah - stole from the booty of the decimated city of Jericho in Joshua 7:1, what color was the Shinarite (Babylonian) cloak that he poached?

 

Is Asher Lev An Idolater?

Posted on: March 4th, 2009

SectionsArts

A Chassidic prodigy alienates his community by painting nudes. When he dares to crucify his mother in two of his paintings, the Rebbe has no choice but to banish him from Brooklyn and ship him off to Paris. There is no escaping the provocative plot of Chaim Potok's 1972 novel, My Name is Asher Lev.

 

Seforim And Spirituality At Sotheby’s

Posted on: February 25th, 2009

SectionsArts

The sea of people pouring out of the elevators on the tenth floor of Sotheby's varied greatly in their age, dress, and religious associations. But as they entered the exhibit, they shared a universal expression of awe and reverence. Thirteen thousand rare and ancient books looked down from the shelves and the crowd stared back in fascinated silence.

 

Seforim And Spirituality At Sotheby’s

Posted on: February 25th, 2009

SectionsArts

The sea of people pouring out of the elevators on the tenth floor of Sotheby's varied greatly in their age, dress, and religious associations. But as they entered the exhibit, they shared a universal expression of awe and reverence. Thirteen thousand rare and ancient books looked down from the shelves and the crowd stared back in fascinated silence.

 

Falling Trees And Exploding Pomegranates: Ori Gersht’s Beautiful Yet Tragic Metaphors

Posted on: February 18th, 2009

SectionsArts

The young couple sitting behind me in the small black box theater at the Hirshhorn Museum could not stop giggling at Ori Gersht's film, "The Forest."

 

Falling Trees And Exploding Pomegranates: Ori Gersht’s Beautiful Yet Tragic Metaphors

Posted on: February 18th, 2009

SectionsArts

The young couple sitting behind me in the small black box theater at the Hirshhorn Museum could not stop giggling at Ori Gersht's film, "The Forest."

 

Are There Jewish Aspects To Annie Leibovitz’s Photographs?

Posted on: February 4th, 2009

SectionsArts

The other photographers snapped their pictures of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the outgoing president as he boarded his helicopter, Marine One, officially marked "United States of America." But Annie Leibovitz took a different approach to her photo of the 37th president - the only one to resign in office.

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