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Thinking Outside The Tzeddakah Box

16 Adar 5772 – March 9, 2012
The whole idea of an artful pushka (tzeddakah or charity box) is almost a tease, if not an outright mockery. Isn’t there something pretty backward about investing time and money in an ornate container to hold alms for the poor?

The Purim Narrative At The Pardo Palace

4 Adar 5772 – February 27, 2012
Located about nine miles north of Madrid, the Palacio Real de El Pardo (Pardo Palace) dates back to the early 15th century. Devastated by a March 13, 1604 fire that claimed many works from its priceless art collection, the Pardo Palace and its vast gardens were used as a hunting ground by the Spanish monarchs.

Iran: Israel Bombed Its Own Embassies

21 Shevat 5772 – February 14, 2012
The art of protesting too much is best left to the professionals.

John Logan Approximates Mark Rothko

18 Shevat 5772 – February 10, 2012
Red By John Logan; directed by Robert Falls; starring Edward Gero and Patrick Andrews Jan. 20 – March 11, 2012 Arena...

Hebrew Bible From Lisbon At The MET

3 Shevat 5772 – January 26, 2012
Within Shakespeare’s worldview, an assassination like Macbeth’s of King Duncan upset the so-called Great Chain of Being, or the cosmological organizational chart, in which power structures that were clearly articulated could only be disrupted at a cost.

In Search Of South African Jewish Art

1 Shevat 5772 – January 24, 2012
I went to the South African Jewish Museum in Cape Town with high hopes of seeing how South African Jews uniquely approached the fine arts and Jewish ritual objects.

Have Artists Envisioned Nebuchadnezzar As Hero Or Villain?

9 Tevet 5772 – January 4, 2012
“Despite the fateful part he played in Judah’s history, Nebuchadrezzar [Nebuchadnezzer is sometimes referred to this way] is seen in Jewish tradition in a predominantly favorable light,” wrote Henry W. F. Saggs, the late Assyriologist, toward the end of his Encyclopedia Britannica entry on Nebuchadrezzar II (c. 630—c. 561).

The Physics Of Flame Combustion

20 Kislev 5772 – December 15, 2011
Just because the miracle of Chanukah defied physics doesn’t mean illustrations and illuminations of the Temple and Tabernacle menorahs haven’t grappled with the physics of flame orientation.

Sotheby’s Auctions Three “Long-Forgotten” Chagall Paintings

4 Kislev 5772 – November 30, 2011
It’s hard to imagine an authentic Chagall painting or drawing that isn’t important, particularly to people who care about Jewish art.

Jewish Depictions Of Hell

19 Heshvan 5772 – November 16, 2011
Although it’s the Hebrew month of MarCheshvan—known as “mar” or bitter, because it’s devoid of holidays, unlike the preceding month which has the High Holidays and Sukkot, and the next month which ushers in Chanukah—that’s not why I’ve been thinking about hell (gehinnom in Hebrew) a lot lately.

It’s My Opinion: “Big Spending”

18 Heshvan 5772 – November 14, 2011
This week's Art Basel Miami Beach is billed as the largest contemporary art fair in the hemisphere. Until recently, the prognosis for a successful event had been bleak. The worldwide financial crisis had all but devastated the arts. Now, Art Basel, and the art world in general, has reason to celebrate. It seems that prices are up and big spending has returned.

Interview With Gittela Welcher

5 Heshvan 5772 – November 2, 2011
As any graduate student can attest, time is limited. In between writing papers, doing readings for classes, attending seminars, and spending time with family, it’s often difficult to have time for other activities.

An Ancient ‘Obsession’ with Sukkot Iconography

20 Tishri 5772 – October 18, 2011
In some ways, Sukkot is the most contemporary of holidays. Many pay good money and invest a lot of time and effort to obtain a beautiful etrog-indeed its biblical name is "fruit of the beautiful tree"-and the most visually appealing lulav, hadasim and aravot. There are various schools of thought on whether to refrigerate or not to refrigerate, to wrap in aluminum foil or wet paper towel, all with the goal of preventing the four species from spoiling and jeopardizing their smell and visual appearance. There is no specific requirement that the schach covering the sukkah be alive-indeed it cannot be made of something still attached to the ground-but the entire atmosphere of Sukkot is one of growth, natural living, and disengaging from our comfort zone. Indeed, it is on the extended Sukkot holiday that a prayer is offered for rain, the source of life.

An Ancient ‘Obsession’ with Sukkot Iconography

In some ways, Sukkot is the most contemporary of holidays. Many pay good money and invest a lot of time and effort to obtain a beautiful etrog-indeed its biblical name is "fruit of the beautiful tree"-and the most visually appealing lulav, hadasim and aravot. There are various schools of thought on whether to refrigerate or not to refrigerate, to wrap in aluminum foil or wet paper towel, all with the goal of preventing the four species from spoiling and jeopardizing their smell and visual appearance. There is no specific requirement that the schach covering the sukkah be alive-indeed it cannot be made of something still attached to the ground-but the entire atmosphere of Sukkot is one of growth, natural living, and disengaging from our comfort zone. Indeed, it is on the extended Sukkot holiday that a prayer is offered for rain, the source of life.

An Ancient ‘Obsession’ with Sukkot Iconography

In some ways, Sukkot is the most contemporary of holidays. Many pay good money and invest a lot of time and effort to obtain a beautiful etrog-indeed its biblical name is "fruit of the beautiful tree"-and the most visually appealing lulav, hadasim and aravot. There are various schools of thought on whether to refrigerate or not to refrigerate, to wrap in aluminum foil or wet paper towel, all with the goal of preventing the four species from spoiling and jeopardizing their smell and visual appearance. There is no specific requirement that the schach covering the sukkah be alive-indeed it cannot be made of something still attached to the ground-but the entire atmosphere of Sukkot is one of growth, natural living, and disengaging from our comfort zone. Indeed, it is on the extended Sukkot holiday that a prayer is offered for rain, the source of life.

The Politics Of Jewish Calendars

10 Av 5771 – August 10, 2011
Although jokes abound about how punctual German Jews (Yekes) are, the concept of "Jewish Standard Time," presumably mocking the non-Germanic segments of the Jewish population, has earned an entry in Urban Dictionary for "15 minutes late to everything" or "being late to an important event."

Philadelphia Museum Exhibit Showcases Chagall’s Jewish Circle

5 Tammuz 5771 – July 7, 2011
Although the subject matter of Marc Chagall's 1910 painting Resurrection of Lazarus clearly comes from Christian scripture, the artist put his decidedly Jewish mark on the image twice over. Chagall depicted both a Star of David and two hands - signifying the priestly blessing - on the tomb from which the haloed Lazarus has emerged. Although Jewish burial traditions tended to represent the priestly hands with the index and middle fingers touching and the ring and small fingers touching and a gap in between, Chagall, perhaps forgetting the convention, elected to spread all the fingers out evenly.

Chagall’s Bible Images

28 Iyyar 5771 – June 1, 2011
Ironically the same quote by art critic Robert Hughes cited in my May 20th review "Chagall and the Cross" namely that Marc Chagall was the "quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century," is applicable in our consideration of Chagall's images for his graphic masterpiece, The Bible. Except here it illuminates the truth: his greatness as a Jewish artist is founded on his lifelong obsession with the Torah. No matter how far he strayed from his Jewish roots, even his late-in-life dalliance with Judeo-Christian universalism as surveyed in that review, nothing could compromise his amazing insights and comprehension of the Torah narratives.

Moriah’s Illuminated Torah

21 Shevat 5771 – January 26, 2011
Avner Moriah, the well-known Israeli artist, has illuminated the Book of Genesis. No small feat, he has conjured images for all the major narratives as well as alluding to other analogous stories throughout the Torah. He sees the first book of Torah as nothing less than "a poem," a minimalist text that yields an unending series of explorations of the mysteries and conundrums of the human condition. While this is hardly the first nor largest of his explorations of biblical and Jewish narrative, it is easily the most ambitious.

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/arts/thinking-outside-the-tzeddakah-box/2012/03/09/

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