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August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
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Spiritual Cafe: Fighting The Sin of Forgetfulness
 
President Rivlin Warns not to Accept Iran ‘with One Click of a Pen’

August 31, 2015 - 4:23 PM
 
Auschwitz Provides Tourists with Outdoor Showers to ‘Cool Down’

August 31, 2015 - 3:39 PM
 
Israel to Beef Up Security in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria

August 31, 2015 - 3:15 PM
 
Palmyra’s Ancient ‘Temple of Bel’ Destroyed in New Blast

August 31, 2015 - 1:48 PM
 
Second Temple-Era Podium May Be Discovery in City of David

August 31, 2015 - 11:44 AM
 
First Official Turkish Delegation to Israel in 5 Years

August 31, 2015 - 10:23 AM
 
In Show of Unity, Bklyn Pols Rally Against Iran Deal

August 31, 2015 - 4:32 AM
 
Pro-Israel Carson Breathing Down Neck of Pro-Israel Trump

August 30, 2015 - 7:30 PM
 
31st Democratic Senator Backs Iran Deal

August 30, 2015 - 5:54 PM
 
‘Mega” Gas Field Discovered off Egyptian Coast

August 30, 2015 - 5:27 PM
 
Elbit Wins European and African Contracts

August 30, 2015 - 4:02 PM
 
A Sign of Desperation: Iran Claims Syria Killed Israeli Soldiers

August 30, 2015 - 3:48 PM
 
Iran Rejects Daniel Barenboim’s Gesture of Peace Because He’s Israeli

August 30, 2015 - 3:15 PM
 
Wasserman-Schultz ‘Blocked DNC Resolution Supporting Iran Deal’

August 30, 2015 - 3:06 PM
 
Neurologist Oliver Sacks Dies at Age 82 in New York City

August 30, 2015 - 2:40 PM
 
Aljazeera Arab Readers Shocked by Restraint, Kindness of IDF Soldiers in Nabi Salah

August 30, 2015 - 2:37 PM
 
1 Injured in Drive-by Shooting Terror Attack Near Kedumim

August 30, 2015 - 1:43 PM
 
Large Brush Fire Contained in Galilee

August 30, 2015 - 1:28 PM
 
Israeli Woman Arrested Trying to Join ISIS

August 30, 2015 - 12:30 PM
 
Netanyahu: No Objection to ‘Civilian” Nuclear Program in Iran

August 30, 2015 - 11:01 AM
 
Soldier Injured in Suspected Car Attack

August 30, 2015 - 1:02 AM
 
Monaco Apologizes for Deporting Jews to the Nazis

August 29, 2015 - 11:54 PM
 
Obama to Jewish Organization Heads: I Understand Israelis Mistrusting Iran

August 29, 2015 - 11:43 PM
 
Clinton Puts Her Foot in the Mouth (Again) with ‘Boxcar’ Remark

August 29, 2015 - 11:37 PM
 
Iranian President Says Nuclear Deal a ‘Non-Committal Agreement’

August 29, 2015 - 11:01 PM
 
Union to Strike Ben Gurion Airport 2 Hours Sunday

August 29, 2015 - 10:05 PM
 
Official PA Media Calls Huckabee ‘Inane Creature’ and ‘Wicked Man’

August 29, 2015 - 9:45 PM
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Arts
Menachem Wecker
 

Posted on: January 6th, 2014

SectionsArts

The exhibit, according to a statement from guest curator Michele Waalkes which is posted on the museum website, “examines how faith can inform and inspire artists in their work, whether their work is symbolic, pictorial, or textual in nature. It further explores how present-day artwork can lead audiences to ponder God, religious themes, venerated traditions, or spiritual insights.”

Chanele Anne Grun Kempler
 

Posted on: December 30th, 2013

SectionsArts

Although Kempler's art is “dark,” the spirit of her humanity is ever- present.

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Portrait of a Young Rabbi, (ca. 1897) oil on panel by Isidor Kaufmann
Courtesy Sotheby’s
 

Posted on: December 20th, 2013

SectionsArts

It is a rare season indeed when two major auction houses show not only resplendent offerings of Judaica, but also multiple examples of highly unusual and rare Jewish-themed fine art. That is indeed the case now both at Sotheby’s December 19th auction and the Bonhams recent December 10th auction.

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586 BCE - Jeremiah Saving the Torah (72x72) oil on canvas by Simon Gaon. Courtesy the artist.
 

Posted on: December 6th, 2013

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As I described Gaon in a review in June 2001 (“In Search of Ancestors, Sculpture by Simon Gaon” at Yeshiva University Museum), his Bukharian Jewish roots are deeply embedded on both sides of his family, echoed in his early yeshiva education.

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Torah Ark Door (back); Egypt, 11th century with later carving and paint; Wood (walnut) with traces of paint and brass; The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (64.181) and Yeshiva University Museum (2000.231)
 

Posted on: November 22nd, 2013

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Unconditional love is a concept that sets the bar of human conduct and forgiveness at a dizzying height, challenging the very fabric of human credulity.

The Wedding Candles (1945); oil on canvas by Marc Chagall.
Kunsthaus Zurich. © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
 

Posted on: November 8th, 2013

SectionsArts

The fact that the Jewish Museum’s curator Susan Tumarkin Goodman presents these issues as the inescapable core of her exhibition demonstrates the courage to challenge her audience with deeply discomforting images and concepts.

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The Story of Jacob and Esau (2010) 11 x 19, bronze relief by Lynda Caspe. Courtesy Derfner Judaica Museum – Hebrew Home at Riverdale
 

Posted on: October 25th, 2013

SectionsArts

Lynda Caspe’s current exhibition at the Derfner Museum is an extraordinary event. In this show of 12 bronze relief sculptures and 14 cityscape paintings we have the opportunity to see the full scope of her last six years of work that, as least with the sculptures, marked a radical change in subject matter and technique.

Schonberg-101113-Crescent
 

Posted on: October 11th, 2013

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The Dome of the Rock, often represented with an Islamic crescent on top, became the image for the Temple in Jewish, Christian and Moslem art for over 500 years. How and why this historical anomaly persisted is the subject of a fascinating in-depth study of Jewish, Christian and Moslem imagery and its interpretation spanning more than 2,000 years of biblical & later history by Dr. Pamela Berger, professor of Medieval Art at Boston College, Boston, MA.

Bricks (2013), [36 x 48] oil on linen by Ron Milewicz. Courtesy Elizabeth Harris Gallery.
 

Posted on: September 25th, 2013

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The philosopher Theodor Adorno famously wrote in 1949, “cultural criticism finds itself with the final stage of the dialectic of culture and barbarism. To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.” This statement posited that the Holocaust exposed the unredeemable rotten underbelly of Western culture and therefore the very notion of creating beauty and sensitivity was at an insurmountable impasse. Alas, as cultural history has shown, he was wrong. Strikingly, it might be said that one of the few ways still provocatively available to speak about the Holocaust is in fact through poetry.

Rabbi with Torah II (#18) (1995-2005), oil on canvas by Hyman Bloom.  Courtesy White Box and Estate of Hyman Bloom.
 

Posted on: September 13th, 2013

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“Hyman Bloom: Paintings and Drawings (1940 – 2005),” currently at White Box (the cutting edge international art space on Broome Street), is a rare opportunity to observe the creative process of one of the most important practitioners of 20th century Jewish Art in America.

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“Renew our days as of old”(from Echah) (2011) Ink, acrylic and collage on paper by David Wander. Courtesy the artist
 

Posted on: August 2nd, 2013

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The “book” is a mighty big place these days and the current exhibition at MOBIA, “As Subject and Object: Contemporary Book Artists Explore Sacred Hebrew Texts,” is no exception. Highly mobile ebooks compete with online publications and traditionally bound volumes, scrolls, accordion-style tomes and folios that present equally exciting options for contemporary artists to interact with image and text in one unifying medium.

The Jewish Bride
 

Posted on: July 15th, 2013

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Today is the 407th anniversary of the birth of Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. Google is celebrating it with a Goodle Doodle of the Dutch artist's 1659 oil on canvas self portrait.

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Rabbi Lieberow and Family; oil on canvas by Harry McCormick.
Courtesy Chassidic Art Institute
 

Posted on: July 5th, 2013

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At the Chassidic Art Institute one artist, Harry McCormick, has rather amazingly fathomed the authentic heartbeat of the individual Jewish life. This exhibition, running until July 25, shows a mere 16 paintings, but six of them reveal a deeply perceptive and sensitive chronicle of Yiddishkeit.

In Prayer, oil on board by Alfred Lakos.
Courtesy Kestenbaum & Company.
 

Posted on: June 21st, 2013

SectionsArts

Judaica Auctions and the exhibition that precede them at Kestenbaum & Company are always a cornucopia of aesthetic delights. The sheer variety and overall quality of the ceremonial objects and works of art make the exhibition and catalogue a museum-like experience. The current exhibition is no exception.

Jonah (2013) 48 x 48, oil on linen by Shany Saar. Courtesy the artist.
 

Posted on: June 7th, 2013

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Whether it is the disastrous report of the 12 spies or the furious condemnation that doomed an entire generation to die in the wilderness, the Torah narrative in Bamidbar turns terribly grim after the glorious inauguration of the Mishkan in the second year after leaving Egypt. With this in mind, just imagine my surprise at an encounter with two artists who address these (and other Biblical) themes right around the corner.

Image courtesy of the Detroit Art Institute
 

Posted on: May 31st, 2013

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Not far from Amsterdam, in the village of Ouderkerk on the River Amstel, lies the Portuguese-Jewish cemetery called Beth Haim. Here in this pastoral necropolis repose the remains of Jews who fled the Iberian Peninsula in the wake of the Inquisition, exiles who chose banishment over baptism, who had fortuitously managed to survive the torture chambers or dodge the stake in the relentless drive by the Roman Catholic Church to cleanse the land of heretics.

Omer Map (website image) by Yitzchok Moully. Courtesy the artist.
 

Posted on: May 24th, 2013

SectionsArts

I have always had a problem with the Omer. Doing the mitzvah of counting the Omer was of course pretty easy. Remembering to start the second evening of Passover and remembering to stop the day before Shavous took a little concentration but somehow I always managed. No, for me the nagging problem was always why was I doing this in the first place, other than the fact it was a biblical (according to the Rambam) commandment.

McBee-051013-Book
 

Posted on: May 10th, 2013

SectionsArts

The megillahs beg to be illustrated. Each is associated with a notable holiday and each presents an idiosyncratic view of Jewish history and experience. Those that are not overtly narrative cry out to be narrated while the others present the most compelling stories imaginable. Song of Songs is scandalous until tamed by rabbinic interpretation; Koheles equally assaults a pious worldview, Eichah tears our hearts out, while Esther fills us with fear and pride. And finally Ruth causes us to examine the very foundations of the Messiah. Alas, their pictorial history is uneven.

The Frankfurt Mishneh Torah, circa 1457-1465. Estimate $4.5/6 million.
 

Posted on: April 29th, 2013

SectionsArts

An exquisite collection, across generations.

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Allegory of Mercy, detail; Monumental Illuminated Esther Scroll (mid 18th century). 
Photo: The Israel Museum, Jerusalem: Elie Posner. Courtesy Sotheby’s.
 

Posted on: April 26th, 2013

SectionsArts

Michael and Judy Steinhardt are putting their magnificent Judaica collection up for sale at Sotheby’s in New York on April 29. The results of 44 years of diverse collecting will be on view from Wednesday April 24 and simply must be seen by anyone interested in Jewish visual and material culture.

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