web analytics
April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘NYC’

Parshas Mattos-Mass’ei

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Vol. LX No. 29 5772
New York City
CANDLE LIGHTING TIME
July 20, 2012 – 1 Av 5772
8:02 p.m. NYC E.D.T.

Sabbath Ends: 9:14 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Weekly Reading: Mattos-Mass’ei
Weekly Haftara: Shim’u Devar Hashem (Jeremiah 2:4-28, 3:4, 4:1-2)
Daf Yomi: Nidah 60
Mishna Yomit: Kesuvos 2:7-8
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 86:1 – 87:2
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Ma’aser Sheni v’Neta Reva’i chap. 11; Hilchos Bikurim chap. 2
Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 4:36 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:22 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Pirkei Avos: 2

Parshas Pinchas

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Vol. LXIII No. 28 5772
New York City
CANDLE LIGHTING TIME
July 13, 2012 – 23 Tammuz 5772
8:07 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sabbath Ends: 9:24 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Weekly Reading: Pinchas
Weekly Haftara: Divrei Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah 1:1-2:3)
Daf Yomi: Nidah 53
Mishna Yomit: Kesuvos 2:7-8
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 86:1 – 87:2
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Ma’aser chap. 7-9
Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 4:30 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:19 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Pirkei Avos: 1

This Shabbos is Shabbos Mevarchim. Rosh Chodesh Av is one day, this coming Friday.

The molad is Thursday morning, 29 minutes, 6 chalakim (a chelek is 1/18 of a minute) past 12:00 a.m. (in Jerusalem).

Rosh Chodesh Av, Thursday Evening. At Maariv we add Ya’aleh VeYavo. However, if one forgot to include Ya’aleh VeYavo (at Maariv only) one does not repeat (see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 422:1, based on Berachos 30b, which explains that this is due to the fact that we do not sanctify the month at night). Following the Shemoneh Esreh, the Chazzan recites Kaddish Tiskabbel followed by Aleinu, and Mourner’s Kaddish.

Friday morning: Shacharis with inclusion of Ya’aleh VeYavo in the Shemoneh Esreh, half-Hallel, Kaddish Tiskabbel. We take out one Sefer Torah from the ark. We read in Parashas Pinchas (Bamidbar 28:1-15), we call four Aliyos (Kohen, Levi, Yisrael, Yisrael), the Ba’al Keriah recites half-Kaddish. We return the Torah to the Aron, Ashrei, U’va LeTziyyon – we delete La’menatze’ach, the Chazzan recites half-Kaddish; all then remove their tefillin.

Mussaf of Rosh Chodesh, followed by Chazzan’s repetition and Kaddish Tiskabbel, Aleinu, Shir Shel Yom, Borchi Nafshi and their respective Kaddish recitations (for mourners). Nusach Sefarad say Shir Shel Yom and Borchi Nafshi after half-Hallel. Before Aleinu they add Ein Ke’Elokeinu with Kaddish DeRabbanan.

Mincha: In the Shemoneh Esreh we say Ya’aleh VeYavo, followed by Chazzan’s repetition and Kaddish Tiskabbel, Aleinu and Mourner’s Kaddish.

Birkas Hamazon: In the Grace after Meals we add Ya’aleh VeYavo as well as mention of Rosh Chodesh in the Beracha Acharona (Me’ein Shalosh) at all times.

Kiddush Levana: we wait until Motza’ei Tisha BeAv.

As we have now entered the Nine-Day period of mourning for the destruction of our Beth Hamikdash, we refrain from numerous activities, such as bathing with hot or cold water. We are proscribed from cutting our hair or nails. We do not launder clothing until after Tisha BeAv, nor do we eat meat or drink wine, with the exception of the Sabbath or a Seudas Mitzva such as a Bris or Siyum Masechta (see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 549-569 for a complete review of the laws for this period).

The following chapters of Tehillim are being recited by many congregations and Yeshivos for our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael: Chapter 83, 130, 142. – Y.K.

Kestenbaum’s Gems

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Kestenbaum & Company
242 West 30th Street, 12th floor, NYC
212 366 1197; kestenbaum.net
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters
Graphic & Ceremonial Art including the Cassuto Collection of Iberian Books
Exhibition: Sunday, June 17 through Wednesday, June 20th.
Sun: 12 noon – 6pm; Mon-Wed: 10am – 6pm: or by appointment
Auction June 21, 2012: 3pm

The exhibitions that precede Judaic auctions are rather special events for anyone who has a feeling for the fabric of Jewish life as it has been lived for the last 500 years. Not only is one afforded the opportunity to see a wide variety of Judaica, books, manuscripts and Jewish art of considerable historic importance, but if something strikes your fancy; intellectually or acquisitively, you can actually handle the objects. For most artwork the thrill is in seeing it up close and judging the brushstrokes and details of a painting or watercolor. One stands in the exact proximity as the creator did. But for books and manuscripts the joy is in leafing through the complexities of a survivor from the past. This was especially true at a Kestenbaum’s pre-exhibition preview of its June 21st auction featuring the “Ferrara Bible” as its star attraction. Jewish history can be held securely in the palm of your hand.

This “Ferrara Bible” was printed in 1553 in Italy and has been acclaimed by Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi as “one of the great landmarks in the history of printing” because “it is the first printed Spanish translation of the entire Hebrew Bible, the work of Jews” for the Jewish exiles from Spain and Portugal. Printed by Abraham Usque and Yom Tob Atias it became “virtually canonical” for Sephardic Jews for the next 300 years. The title page at first appears typical of Renaissance printed decorations until one notices the central scene of a three-masted galleon floundering in heavy seas. Sea monsters threaten in turbulent waters as the winds blow from both sides. The tall central mast has snapped in half and is about to fall into the deep. According to Yerushalmi the hobbled “ship represents the afflicted Jewish people, particularly the Spanish and Portuguese exiles, in their perilous search for a safe haven.” A truly moving image on the title page of the Tanach that would be their rock for generations.

Ferrara Bible (1553) title page detail, printed by Abraham Usque & Yom Tob Atias Courtesy Kestenbaum & Company

The next gem I leafed through was a handwritten and illuminated Haggadah created in 1757 by Nathanel ben Aaron Segal. It was the personal possession of the noted Bezalel illustrator Ephraim Moses Lilien (1874 – 1925) and it is yet another example of the Jewish return to illuminated manuscripts in the 18th century. The illustrations are admittedly rather naïve, modeled on the famous 1712 Amsterdam Haggadah which in turn utilized many Judaized images from the Christian artist Matthaeus Merian (mentioned many times in these pages concerning early printed Haggadahs). However, the earnest spirit of the scribe’s images easily makes up for the clumsiness of much of the drawing. In many examples the scenes are changed to reflect the more humble landscapes his Jewish clients inhabited. Additionally the scribe is sensitive to nuances in the narrative. When the three Angels visit Abraham, Sarah steps forward as one of the angels directly motions to her, prophesizing her miraculous pregnancy; an emphasis not seen in earlier images of the same scene. Because of its simplicity, the artist’s depiction stresses the intense interchange between Sarah, Abraham and the Angels.

Sarah & 3 Angels (detail) (1757) ink & watercolor on parchment by Nathanel ben Aaron Segal Haggadah courtesy Kestenbaum & Company

In a number of images the artist added new material, such as the parasols shading Pharaoh’s daughter as she saves Moses; or creates what appears to be totally new images, such as the depiction of the Plague of Frogs. While in the 1712 Amsterdam Haggadah there is an image of the Plague of Frogs, it takes place in the interior of an Egyptian palace. In this Haggadah we see a Jewish man calmly walking along a balustrade with a black servant shielding him with an umbrella from the deluge of frogs, most of which litter the pathway he walks on. A young lad walks ahead of them to clear the way. This totally new image and concept dramatically shifts the pictorial point of view from simple description to seeing the plagues from the Jewish perspective of Divine protection.

NYC Subway Wannabe Bomber Convicted

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Bosnian immigrant Adis Meunjanin was found guilty on Tuesday of plotting to bomb New York’s subway system as an Al-Qaeda terrorist.

Meunjanin, who will be sentenced on September 7, was convicted of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit murder, and supporting a foreign terrorist organization.  A Pakistani friend and an Afghani friend plead guilty to planning the attack, and testified against him.

During the trial, Meunjanin was portrayed as a passionate believer in Jihad, who travelled with his two friends to Pakistan in 2008 in order to join the Taliban.  However, the group was recruited by Al-Qaeda in to perform a suicide mission in America.

NY Post Spreading Misinformation, Jew Baiting Humor

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

Should we be offended by this NY Post headline?

An April 13 short item in the Post, on the number of inmates inside the NYC jail system who receive kosher meals, was headlined: “20 inmates fat on glatt.”

Now, is this a suggestion that City jail kosher meals be made more healthful, perhaps with larger salad portions and less fatty, albeit kosher, meat – or was this a callused NY Post insult to Jewish criminals who are so insolent, they won’t even eat pig like a decent Christian convict?

As to the actual information in this tiny and offensive bit: The Post cites City officials who say that some 20 of the city’s 12,500 prisoners are receiving meals certified as “glatt kosher,” which the paper is only too happy to inform is “the strictest level of kosher certification.”

The Post says three servings of what it dubs “special chow” costs taxpayers $6.92 a day. Of course, this would mean that kosher prisoners would be consuming meat morning, noon, and night, which certainly would make them “fat glatt.”

David Seifman, who’s been working for the Post since 1982 and has been City Hall bureau chief since 1989, does not know, apparently, that “glatt” is not Yiddish for “really, really kosher,” but a statement suggesting the slaughtered animal in question has been examined for internal blemishes such as a punctured lung, which would have nullified its kosher slaughter.

Seifman has compared “regular kosher” with “glatt” jail food and discovered that the former costs only $6.46 a day, a whopping savings of 46 cents a day. Man, those Jew criminals are really glutton for their glatt… (I’ll bet that “regular kosher” probably means eggs, toast, meatless soup and veggie loaf, which aren’t labeled “glatt” because no cow was involved in their preparation).

Steifman adds that “halal meals are a relative bargain at $4 a day — not much more than the $3.82 standard fare served to 7,000 inmates.”

Some of that bargain may have to do with the fact that there are a great deal more than 20 Muslim prisoners in the system. I’m just guessing.

Steifman says the City is looking for new bids for its jail food. It’s a much better approach than looking for more kosher prisoners, so they could shop wholesale…

Parshas Yisro

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Vol. LXIII No. 6 5772

NYC Candle Lighting Time
February 10, 2012 – 17
Shevat 5772 5:04 p.m. NYC. E.S.T.
Sabbath Ends: 6:12 p.m. NYC E.S.T.
Weekly Reading: Yisro
Weekly Haftara: Bi’shenas Mos HaMelech (Isaiah 6:1-7:6, 9:5-6 Ashkenazim; Isaiah 6:1-13 Sephardim)
Daf Yomi: Arachin 28
Mishna Yomit: Bezah 3:8 – 4:1
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 9:4-6
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Sanhedrin ch. 16-18
Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 6:01 a.m. NYC E.S.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:33 a.m. NYC E.S.T.

Making Torah Manifest: Nathan Hilu

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Hebrew Union Collage – Jewish Institute of Religion Museum

One West 4th Street, NYC; 212 824 2205

Mon. – Thurs. 9am – 5pm; Friday, 9am – 3pm.

Free Admission (Photo ID required)

Until March 30

 

“Man must make the Torah manifest” in every action, speech and creative act. That is clearly the credo of Nathan Hilu, master-artist of the Lower East Side, Torah, Tanach, midrash, Gemara and beyond. There is seemingly nothing that doesn’t fall within the purview of his fertile, pious and creative visual imagination. Literally everything in his creative world is seen through the lens of Torah and Jewish sensibility. We get to peek into that world in the exhilarating exhibition “Nathan Hilu’s Journal: Word, Image, Memory” lovingly curated by Laura Kruger, director of the HUC Museum. Through her expertise and discerning eye she has brought to our attention a rare artist within the Orthodox world: one who is as immersed in piety as in celebration of the totality of Jewish life and thought. It is clear from the 44 works in this exhibition that he is the exemplar of the very modern and contemporary American Jewish artist. And he is only 87 years young.

The “Torah manifest” text appears in How the Rabbi Ties His Shoes; a depiction of the Maggid of Mezhirech leaning over to tie his shoelaces as Aryeh Leib Sarahs comments that it is in the rebbe’s everyday conduct that he will learn the deepest meaning of Torah life. The image is primitive, direct and dominated by the text that explains Hilu’s image. While the integration of text, image and color is typical of Hilu’s approach, this is only one of many motifs that dominate his work.

The Biblical narrative is a natural for Hilu and at least eight works here testify to that. In Pharaoh’s Dream the text of Parshat Miketz is detailed with Genesis 41: 47 – 49 describing how in the “good years there was an abundance of food and Joseph gathered it in.” The bottom of the image depicts three Jews leining this parsha in shul at the bimah with the English translation surrounding them. In the top third of the image are ancient Egyptian harvesters illustrating the text. Contemporary Jewish practice, holy text and ancient history combine to create a biblical painting.

Hilu freely dips into the midrashic sensibility throughout his biblical works and a prime example is God Braiding Eve’s Hair. His simple image of a woman in profile with two hands grasping her hair from the sky is framed by the text that tells us the source is the Avos D’Rabi Nosson. The image again demands that we consider the textual and pictorial as an equal means of Torah illumination. In Chapter 4 Rabi Natan celebrates the honor due to a bride and comments that the Holy One, blessed be He, did so with Eve, fixing her hair and dressing her to bring her to Adam, her betrothed. I dare say no other artist has ever made an image of this concept.

Noah and his Family; mixed media collage by Nathan Hilu. Courtesy Hebrew Union College Museum

Noah and his Family reveals a good deal about Hilu’s methodology. It is clear that the original image was simply an ark floating on the water with a mountain behind it. As is the norm in Hilu’s work the English text would have to be inserted and so it was, surrounding the image. But then we see numerous cut-out additions pasted on the bottom of the original image. There are a bunch of animals and figures attached to the lower edge; Noah and his family are labeled as such. In the middle of the image the word “haTeivah” (The Ark) is slapped on the front of the ark and next to it a short quotation from Parshas Noach; Genesis 8:4, “And the ark rested in Mount Ararat,” is imposed on the now complex image. It is a pictorial summary of the terrifying travail of months of uncertain survival.

Serach Tells Jacob; oil patel on paper by Nathan Hilu. Courtesy Herman Lowenhar

Perhaps the most evocative image within the biblical/midrashic archetype is Serach Tells Jacob. Two figures dominate the image: Serach, the daughter of Asher chosen by the shamefaced brothers to convey the news to their father Jacob that, indeed, Joseph was alive! But here the texts battle; the bottom text tells the basic midrashic story while between the figures another tale unfolds; Jacob sublimely blesses Serach with eternal life for her kindness. By what right does our patriarch exercise this power? We have no idea. And yet it becomes true! This is the textual background explicitly enumerated as the image explodes it; positing a frantic little girl playing the violin (midrashically, a harp, but who cares?), red hair flying above her flowered dress, casting musical notes at her grandfather. They are pictorially joined in the flowered patterns of both her dress and his black bekesheh – a motif that speaks volumes about the intergenerational love and respect of the Jewish family life. They are a perfect duo, both rosy cheeked and him clapping along with her as she fiddles away.

Old and New: Podwal’s Altneuschul Paroches

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Yeshiva University Museum – Center for Jewish History 15 West 16th Street, NYC; 212-294 8330 www.yumuseum.org Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 11am-5pm; $6 adults, $4 children Until January 15, 2012

Mark Podwal is a busy, busy man. When I wrote that in these pages in September 2010 it is now clear I didn’t know the half of it…witness his current exhibition at Yeshiva University Museum. In what is effectively a love song to his adopted city, Prague, Podwal has had the delicious opportunity to give her Jewish community a spanking new Chanukah gift; the new Torah curtain, shulchan covers and Torah mantles. For a Jewish artist and lover of Prague like Podwal it doesn’t get any better than that.

Curator Zachary Paul Levine’s exhibition brilliantly contextualizes Podwal’s textile creations, both within the artist’s own work and the historical background of the ancient Jewish community. Additionally, Levine produced and edited “Steps Closer to Prague: Mark Podwal,” a 9-minute video companion on YouTube that not only includes considerable commentary by the artist himself, but also explores the working relationship he developed with the New York custom embroidery company Penn and Fletcher. From Podwal’s original drawings to digital transfers and computer driven machine-made embroidery finally appliquéd on the final textile, each step is lovingly documented. The combination is a captivating and intense course in Jewish visual symbols, Czech Jewish history and contemporary Jewish art.

Touching Heaven (1981) pen and ink by Mark Podwal Courtesy Yeshiva University Museum

Podwal’s interest in Prague and its Jewish community dates back to the late 1970s when he was researching material for a book with Elie Weisel on the mythical Golem of Prague. His fascination at first centered on the old Jewish cemetery, used from 1439 until 1787, and home to an estimated 12,000 tombstones and perhaps as many as 100,000 burials. This eerie hodgepodge of Jewish history, piety and life prompted many drawings and paintings by Podwal, often morphing into fantastic visions of multiple golems and claustrophobic ghetto houses. His drawings of the cemetery are the beginning of the exhibition’s tale that traces many of the visual elements of these current textiles back to his earlier work.

Golem and cemetery images surround an open model of the seven hundred year-old Altneuschul to familiarize us with the new home of Podwal’s textiles. We see how the shul is effectively divided into three sections by two massive pillars, reminiscent of legendary columns Boaz and Jachin found at the entrance of the First Temple. The front section was for the holy, i.e. prayer, while the remaining rear sections were utilized for communal affairs, dominated by the enormous medieval guild banner, proudly bearing the Star of David, evidently the earliest use of this symbol in a synagogue. Also noted on the accompanying text panels are the numerous symbolic references throughout the shul; the 12 grapevines on the valance over the Aron symbolizing the 12 tribes; the 12 windows to the outside world reflecting the same; and the abbreviated quotations of Psalms emblazoned on the walls. Echoes of all these elements are found in Podwel’s Altneuschul textiles.

The Old New Synagogue (1980) pen and ink by Mark Podwal Courtesy Yeshiva University Museum

Prague’s Jewish community has been on Podwal’s mind for decades. Two drawings exemplify his curious meditations. Touching Heaven is brazen in its assertion that the Jewish community of Prague is somehow elevated over all others in their city by the mere fact of their Judaism. Towering over a multitude of spires (Prague is known as City of a Hundred Spires), Podwal has shown the little Jewish ghetto, itself dominated by the Altneuschul, ensconced on a massive menorah towering over the city. This audacious image leads one naturally to Podwal’s more localized Old-New Synagogue that exposes the real agenda in these images. Here we see the Altneuschul in realistic profile with hundreds of Hebrew letters ascending to heaven. In itself not at all surprising since we believe that all of our prayers, especially those uttered in shul, ascend to heaven; nonetheless, here Podwal touches on a particular piece of Prague Jewish belief. According to legend the Altneuschul was itself built with stones from the Second Temple and in the time of the Messiah is destined to eventually return to Jerusalem. It is therefore especially connected with Jerusalem and the Heavenly realm.

Torah Covers (2011) by Mark Podwal Fabricated by Penn and Fletcher Courtesy Yeshiva University Museum

As audacious a belief as this seems, it actually is understandable in light of another legend (claimed to be ancient but probably a 19th century creation) of the Golem that was created by Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, chief Rabbi of Prague. The legend describes a deeply pious Jew mystically giving life to a creature crafted from earth to defend the threatened Jews of Prague. Much like God created Man, this human creation is deeply rooted in the holy and depicts man as potentially God-like as a mere mortal could possibly become. Hence Prague’s closeness to Heaven itself.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/arts/old-and-new-podwals-altneuschul-paroches/2011/12/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: