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December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
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The Primordial Light of Hanukkah Banishes Today’s Darkness
 
ISIS Executes 100 Foreign Volunteers

December 20, 2014 - 9:58 PM
 
Temple Institute Produces Pure Olive Oil for Temple Menorah [video]

December 20, 2014 - 9:48 PM
 
UN Demands Israel Pay Lebanon $850 Million

December 20, 2014 - 9:33 PM
 
MK Elazar Stern Quits Livni’s HaTnua Party

December 20, 2014 - 8:42 PM
 
French Police Kill Islamic Terrorist Inside Police Station

December 20, 2014 - 8:09 PM
 
Red Alert in Kibbutz Nir Yitzchak [video]

December 20, 2014 - 7:49 PM
 
Chemical Attack Hero Describes How He Took Down the Terrorist

December 20, 2014 - 7:17 PM
 
Will the Arabs Form the Third Largest Political Party in Israel?

December 20, 2014 - 6:49 PM
 
Israel Retaliates: Hits Terror Tunnel Cement Factory

December 20, 2014 - 6:13 PM
 
Prosecutor in Ferguson Case: ‘Witnesses Lied Under Oath’

December 19, 2014 - 11:30 PM
 
PA Arabs Clash with IDF Soldiers in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria

December 19, 2014 - 7:49 PM
 
Rocket Fire Returns to Southern Israel – Again!

December 19, 2014 - 7:10 PM
 
Hamas on the Temple Mount

December 19, 2014 - 2:37 PM
 
Hezbollah Tries ‘Mossad Spy’ in Top Ranks

December 19, 2014 - 12:53 PM
 
Latest Election Poll

December 19, 2014 - 12:52 PM
 
‘Powerful Coalition’ of ISIS, Al-Qaeda is Narrowly Averted

December 19, 2014 - 12:16 PM
 
Gluten-Free Army Rations for Combat Soldiers with Celiac Disease

December 19, 2014 - 12:00 PM
 
Teen Terrorist in Court for Wounding Baby

December 19, 2014 - 11:05 AM
 
Ashdod Mystery: Four Found Unconscious

December 19, 2014 - 11:03 AM
 
Liberman’s Secret Plan to be Crowned Prime Minister

December 19, 2014 - 11:01 AM
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Arts
 

Posted on: November 3rd, 2010

SectionsArts

The world is complicated. Surely it seems that Divine justice is elusive. God's role is frequently masked and our human situation is terribly fragile. Yet according to artist Batya F. Kuncman our condition is "most promising." Her optimistic artwork is designed to illuminate this shadowy nature of our existence and strives for clarity and ultimate closeness to God. In "Landscapes for Humanity," currently at the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, images of infants are the tools she uses to explicate her belief.

 

Posted on: October 27th, 2010

SectionsArts

Jewish art buffs might be disappointed by channel Thirteen's new 13-part series, Art Through Time: A Global View. It takes two entire episodes (one half an hour each) and part of the third episode for a reference to Jewish art to surface. This comes in the person of Shimon Attie (born in Los Angeles, 1957), whose The Writing on the Wall (1991-3) projected pre-Holocaust photographs onto the walls of buildings in the Jewish quarter of Berlin, the Scheunenviertel. Attie's projections, which were effectively before-and-after photos of particular buildings, are particularly haunting because they reveal how much the neighborhood has changed. Another work of Attie's that is discussed in the episode is Portrait of Exile (1995), which involved submerging light boxes with portraits of Danish refugees (who fled to Sweden during the Holocaust) in a canal in Copenhagen.

 

Posted on: October 27th, 2010

SectionsArts

Jewish art buffs might be disappointed by channel Thirteen's new 13-part series, Art Through Time: A Global View. It takes two entire episodes (one half an hour each) and part of the third episode for a reference to Jewish art to surface. This comes in the person of Shimon Attie (born in Los Angeles, 1957), whose The Writing on the Wall (1991-3) projected pre-Holocaust photographs onto the walls of buildings in the Jewish quarter of Berlin, the Scheunenviertel. Attie's projections, which were effectively before-and-after photos of particular buildings, are particularly haunting because they reveal how much the neighborhood has changed. Another work of Attie's that is discussed in the episode is Portrait of Exile (1995), which involved submerging light boxes with portraits of Danish refugees (who fled to Sweden during the Holocaust) in a canal in Copenhagen.

 

Posted on: October 13th, 2010

SectionsArts

In Italo Calvino's short story "The Adventure of a Photographer," part of his collection Difficult Loves (1985), the "non-photographer" and bachelor Antonino Paraggi, finds himself increasingly alienated from his married friends who go out with their families and cameras each Sunday and "come back as happy as hunters with bulging game bags," their photographic catch of the day.

 

Posted on: October 13th, 2010

SectionsArts

In Italo Calvino's short story "The Adventure of a Photographer," part of his collection Difficult Loves (1985), the "non-photographer" and bachelor Antonino Paraggi, finds himself increasingly alienated from his married friends who go out with their families and cameras each Sunday and "come back as happy as hunters with bulging game bags," their photographic catch of the day.

 

Posted on: September 28th, 2010

SectionsArts

out half a year ago, my friend Miriam asked if I knew of any artists or architects whose repertoires included sukkahs. My thoughts immediately turned to the gorgeous sukkah my grandfather designed and built every year and to the retractable roof in the dining room at the Bostoner Rebbe's synagogue, Congregation Beth Pinchas. But for the life of me, I couldn't think of any artist who had developed an interesting aesthetic approach to the sukkah, which is the only Jewish experience (save mikvah perhaps) that completely surrounds us.

 

Posted on: September 28th, 2010

SectionsArts

out half a year ago, my friend Miriam asked if I knew of any artists or architects whose repertoires included sukkahs. My thoughts immediately turned to the gorgeous sukkah my grandfather designed and built every year and to the retractable roof in the dining room at the Bostoner Rebbe's synagogue, Congregation Beth Pinchas. But for the life of me, I couldn't think of any artist who had developed an interesting aesthetic approach to the sukkah, which is the only Jewish experience (save mikvah perhaps) that completely surrounds us.

 

Posted on: September 21st, 2010

SectionsArts

God commands Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, Sarah's only child. Our forefather gets up early and obeys, not telling Sarah, his wife of 47 years. According to Rashi (Genesis 23:2) when she finds out that Abraham had taken Isaac as a sacrifice and then had not killed him, the shock is too much for her and she dies. This has always disturbed me. Upon reflection other things about their relationship seemed problematic.

 

Posted on: September 7th, 2010

SectionsArts

Mark Podwal is a busy, busy man. He has spent the last 38 years making every conceivable kind of art: innumerable paintings, 28 illustrated books written by him and Elie Wiesel, Harold Bloom and Francine Prose, children's books, haggadot, ceramics and graphic works. Dubbed the "Master of the True Line" by author Cynthia Ozick, his pro-Israel cartoons and drawings have been featured on the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times since 1972.

 

Posted on: September 1st, 2010

SectionsArts

New York has gone through a William Kentridge craze this year. There have been scattered exhibitions in galleries throughout the cities, in addition to lectures and live performances. From the blockbuster Five Themes show at the MoMA, the Metropolitan Opera's production of Kentridge's directed-and-designed multimedia version of Shostakovich's The Nose, the South African artist has been a dominant voice on the New York art scene. For those who missed the incredible MoMA retrospective-or for those who simply wish for another Kentridge fix-a final salvo can be caught at the Jewish Museum's exhibition of part of Kentridge's Nine Drawings for Projection series.

 

Posted on: August 25th, 2010

SectionsArts

A tallit with pastel-colored circular candies on the atarah (literally crown, the top, embellished portion of the garment); a hand held golden bulldozer used to collect chametz on Passover; a mezuzah that shows the three letter name of God (shin, daled, yud, the Sustainer) on a computer keyboard above an "Enter" button, where the text of the mezuzah appears (in the typography of a Torah scroll) on the monitor.

 

Posted on: August 25th, 2010

SectionsArts

A tallit with pastel-colored circular candies on the atarah (literally crown, the top, embellished portion of the garment); a hand held golden bulldozer used to collect chametz on Passover; a mezuzah that shows the three letter name of God (shin, daled, yud, the Sustainer) on a computer keyboard above an "Enter" button, where the text of the mezuzah appears (in the typography of a Torah scroll) on the monitor.

The Tenth Man – oil on canvas (6.5’ x 10’) by Brian Shapiro
Courtesy the artist
 

Posted on: August 19th, 2010

SectionsArts

Two Jewish holidays particularly command us to be connected with our vast history. Most notably Passover demands that we feel as if we too went out of Egypt with the Jewish masses. Less obvious is Tisha b’Av.

 

Posted on: August 11th, 2010

SectionsArts

As I sit to write this article less than a week before my wedding, my mind keeps returning to a particular work, which one must grapple with if one intends to take the history of Jewish art seriously.

 

Posted on: August 11th, 2010

SectionsArts

As I sit to write this article less than a week before my wedding, my mind keeps returning to a particular work, which one must grapple with if one intends to take the history of Jewish art seriously.

 

Posted on: August 4th, 2010

SectionsArts

Imagine you are a mohel and, thank God, business is booming. It's a good living and you even have time to sit and learn in between the jobs that seem to crop up at least once a week. In addition, you do a bit of doctoring and tutoring a few children in heder. You think, "Perhaps I should have a siddur to replace my father's worn-out printed volume that he got from his father and then from his father oh so many years ago. Here I am in Trebitsch who can help me find something...nice. Oh, I know, Aryeh ben Judah Leib. He is getting really famous for making hand written books with beautiful decorations over in Vienna where he has set up shop. He makes his seforim for important people, even those Yidden who serve at the royal Court - just like they used to do maybe two hundred years ago before we had Hebrew printing. Why not, I'm doing well, doing God's work. It's a hiddur mitzvah."

 

Posted on: July 28th, 2010

SectionsArts

Monkeys and apes are generally symbols of base passion, particularly lust, in Western art. Giovanni Battista Foggini's 17th century bronze sculpture "The Fall of Man" shows not only the serpent dangling from the Tree of Knowledge tempting Adam and Eve, but also a monkey seated behind the tree eating an apple. Foggini may have gotten the idea from Jan Brueghel the Elder, whose 1612 painting "Garden of Eden" features a monkey prominently, or from a c. 1410 "The Garden of Eden" by an unknown artist in Frankfurt. A century earlier, Martin Luther had famously referred to Satan as "God's ape," building upon the then-popular view of monkeys as unintelligent animals that simply mimicked primitive human behavior.

 

Posted on: July 14th, 2010

SectionsArts

"If all mankind minus one were of one opinion," wrote the political philosopher John Stuart Mill in his 1859 treatise On Liberty, "mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."

 

Posted on: July 14th, 2010

SectionsArts

"If all mankind minus one were of one opinion," wrote the political philosopher John Stuart Mill in his 1859 treatise On Liberty, "mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."

 

Posted on: June 30th, 2010

SectionsArts

Ben Shahn's "Allegory" (1948), which is part of the collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, shows a lion with a fiery mane standing in an abstract red, blue, green and purple landscape. A bright red-orange structure in the bottom left corner might be a burning building. Underneath the lion is a heap of people, probably dead but perhaps sleeping. The sky is also a mixture of fire and smoke and the painting resembles depictions of hell in medieval manuscripts, where eternal punishment is often personified as a menacing and demonic beast. Whatever the allegory Shahn is depicting, one can be sure it is not intended to be a happy setting.

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