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November 28, 2015 / 16 Kislev, 5776
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Spiritual Cafe: Jacob Returns to the Promise Land
On This Violent ‘Day of Rage,’ a/k/a Friday, Closure Imposed on PA Villages

November 27, 2015 - 9:17 PM
In Wake of New Intifada Netanyahu Cabinet Reevaluating Letting the Palestinian Authority Collapse

November 27, 2015 - 2:00 PM
Ramming Attack in Beit Ummar near Hebron

November 27, 2015 - 12:52 PM
Israel Discusses Collapse of Palestinian Authority

November 27, 2015 - 12:11 PM
Israel to Open Visible Mission in Abu Dhabi

November 27, 2015 - 11:24 AM
Obama Compares First US Pilgrims with Syrian Refugees

November 27, 2015 - 11:19 AM
Islamic Terror in Europe Turning Israel into West’s Best Friend

November 27, 2015 - 10:59 AM
New ‘Riot Kits’ Help Protect Soldiers and Police from Terrorists

November 27, 2015 - 10:20 AM
Teenage ‘Scissors Terrorist’ Complains ‘I Was Just Defending Myself’ [video]

November 27, 2015 - 8:50 AM
Terrorist Killed after Injuring 2 in Ramming Attack on Dead Sea Highway

November 27, 2015 - 7:44 AM
‘Breaking the Silence’ Regret Use of their Work Against Israel

November 26, 2015 - 10:54 PM
Canada to Give Priority in Entry to Gay Refugees, Banning Single Straight Men

November 26, 2015 - 6:26 PM
IAEA Chief Warns No Guarantee All of Iran’s Nuclear Material is for Peaceful Activities

November 26, 2015 - 6:23 PM
IAF Policy: No Downing of Russian Aircraft Penetrating Israeli Airspace

November 26, 2015 - 5:47 PM
El Al Delays Flight to Rule Out Terror at Amsterdam Airport

November 26, 2015 - 5:05 PM
Yesha Council, Leaking Central Command Chief Meeting Ends in Lovefest

November 26, 2015 - 5:01 PM
Russia Shuts Border Gates to Turkish Trucks

November 26, 2015 - 4:33 PM
Update 4:22 PM: Soldier dead, 3 Seriously Hurt after Bus Overturns in Samaria.

November 26, 2015 - 4:02 PM
Abbas Tells Kerry No One Can Stop Violence – at Same Time PA Promotes It

November 26, 2015 - 3:31 PM
Former ‘Lone Soldier’ from NY Serves up Turkeys for American Olim

November 26, 2015 - 3:14 PM
New Jersey Businesswoman Launches ‘Give18’ for Victims of Terror

November 26, 2015 - 2:36 PM
Sponsored Post
Gavel and Court Lawyers Called Upon to Use Their Legal Skills to Fight for Israel

The Activist Lawyer Seminar will be held on March 7 to March 13 in Jerusalem and Northern Israel.

Botah Torah Finial (1933) Silver, glass, ink on paper, Yazd, Iran
Courtesy Yeshiva University Museum

Posted on: January 24th, 2014


The ostensible outsider frequently has the privilege of seeing the exclusive inner sanctum with fresh and unbiased eyes. Artists’ initial encounters with the Talmud are equally blessed.

Menachem Wecker

Posted on: January 6th, 2014


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


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

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

Posted on: December 20th, 2013


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.

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

Posted on: December 6th, 2013


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.

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


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


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.

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


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.


Posted on: October 11th, 2013


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


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


“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.

“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


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


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.

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

Posted on: July 5th, 2013


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


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


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


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


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.


Posted on: May 10th, 2013


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


An exquisite collection, across generations.

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