web analytics
December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘sukkot’

The Art Of Sukkot

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Sukkot is a holiday that readily lends itself to broad artistic expression, with particular focus on the special mitzvot so intimately associated with the yom tov – beginning, of course, with the sukkah and the arba minim and ending with hoshanot and Simchat Torah. Many of our greatest artists have produced striking graphic works on these subjects; what follows is a selection of original artwork from my Sukkot collection.


front-page-011416-rabanExhibited here is an original sketch by Zev Raban portraying hoshanot in the synagogue, as worshippers march around the bimah holding their lulavim and etrogim.

Raban (1890-1970) was one of the most important artists and designers in pre-state Eretz Yisrael. Recognizing that the traditional European style did not fit newly emerging Jewish art, he integrated European techniques with specifically Jewish themes. Drawing freely from a variety of styles, including Classical and Art Nouveau, he developed a unique representation of Jewish themes with ornamental calligraphic script and other decorative designs that ultimately came to be characterized as the “Bezalel style.”

Raban’s work, which closely follows the historical events of the building of the Jewish state, reflected his desire to strengthen the identity of Medinat Yisrael through the revival of symbolic Jewish mystical art. He was actively involved in the culture of the emerging nation, encouraging tourism through posters, illustrating primers for teaching Hebrew, and designing attractive functional objects to instill Jewish content into Jewish homes.

He became renowned for his portrayals of beautiful Israeli landscapes, holy places, biblical tales, and people, principally Yemenites, whom he adopted as a model for the biblical figure. His prominent works include sculptures for the YMCA building in Jerusalem (1934); the brass doors for the Nathan Strauss Health House (1928); various pieces for the Bezalel Building, Bikur Cholim Hospital, and the National Bank; and the ceramic tiles that decorate many buildings in Tel Aviv.

Raban was educated in a Polish cheder before studying art, first in his hometown of Lodz and later in Munich, Paris, and Brussels. Upon his arrival in Lodz in 1911, he heard about a Bezalel School arts and crafts exhibition there and met with several new olim, whose enthusiasm for Eretz Yisrael proved contagious. He met Boris Schatz in Paris and accepted his invitation to teach at Bezalel, arriving in Eretz Yisrael in 1912. Initially appointed director of the brass and copper repousse department (1914), he ultimately became interim director of the school.

Sadly, at the end of his very productive life Raban became blind and suffered from Parkinson’s disease.

* * * * *


Joseph Budko (1880-1840), who leaned first toward art nouveau and later toward expressionism, created a whole new Jewish iconography ranging from Zionist symbols to representations of the shtetl of his youth. Developing a unique style that integrated Jewish tradition with a modern artistic approach, he was among an influential group of graphic Jewish artists who embraced the revival of the woodcut. Like his teacher and mentor, Hermann Struck (see below), he used etchings, woodcuts, and lithographs to revive the use of graphic and book illustration in the Jewish art world.

With its unique combination of line and form, Budko’s work reflected the emergence of early twentieth century Expressionism, which used the sharp contrast of black and white and hard, dramatic cuts as an expressive style. He is credited with reviving the spirit of Jewish book illustration and elevating it to modern design.

Budko’s works include woodcarvings illustrating biblical events; decorations for the books of Agnon, Bialik, and others; and numerous etchings and lithographs. In 1923 he published the first modern Hebrew haggadah with woodcuts and the first book in which the Hebrew letters are presented in traditional yet newly developed ornamentation.

He developed his famous “Budko” script in response to a request from a Bezalel committee for a modernization of Hebrew script for teaching in grade schools.

Exhibited here is an original Budko miniature etching, Simchat Torah (1919). The central design is an open Torah scroll, within which a number of white-bearded elderly Jews hold Torah scrolls, presumably during the hakafot ceremony. The four corner banners, beginning with the banner at the upper right and continuing counterclockwise, contains the verse “sisu vsimchu bSimchat Torah” – “rejoice and be happy on Simchat Torah.”

Born in Plonsk, Poland, Budko was educated in a cheder there and entered art school in Vilna in 1902 before moving to Berlin at age 22 to study with Herman Struck. He eventually fled Germany, immigrated to Eretz Yisrael, and was appointed the first head of the reopened Bezalel School of Arts in Jerusalem two years later (a position he held until his death), where he took advantage of the talent of the many new European immigrants to Eretz Yisrael and succeeded in revitalizing the school. His aliyah and his great love for Eretz Yisrael impelled creation of a new and independent Jewish artistic expression.

* * * * *


Alphonse Levy (1843-1918), affectionately called “the Millet of the Jews,” was struck by the beauty and majesty of Jewish worship and tradition, which formed the core of the subject matter of his works and which he infused with a rare combination of whimsy and love.

Born into a family of strictly observant Jews, he grew up in a rural village in Alsace and, though he moved to Paris at age 17, his best known works remain the exaggerated yet affectionate depictions of the rural Jewish community of his childhood. Much like Rembrandt, who often painted the Jews of Amsterdam and whom he studied and admired, Levy sought his subjects from Jewish people of modest means, such as the pious ones of his family’s villages in Alsace and Lorraine:


When I was a child, I was not rocked by the song of the nightingale, but I was struck by the beauty and magic of the worship of the religion to which I belong. I was only looking for my models among the little people among the native and pious villages…. my models have not crossed the limits of their villages of Alsace and Lorraine, where my family lives…

Saul Jay Singer

UNESCO Resolution Denies Jewish Ties to Temple Mount, Kotel — Western States Vote Against

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Thursday adopted an anti-Israeli resolution ignoring the historic ties of Jews to the Temple Mount. 24 countries supported the resolution, which expresses doubt in Jewish ties to the Western Wall as well. Six countries voted against, 26 abstained and two were absent.

A senior foreign ministry told Haaretz that Israel’s diplomatic efforts have yielded a significant change in the way the European countries voted, with none of them supporting the resolution put forth by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan, under PA pressure. This marks a significant change from the April vote when European countries, most notably France, supported a similar resolution. This time France, Sweden, Slovenia, Argentina, Togo and India abstained instead of voting in favor.

The countries that voted against the resolution Thursday were the US, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Estonia.

The resolution, which condemns Israel for a basketful of violations in Jerusalem and the city’s holy sites, states that Jerusalem is sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity, but includes an item regarding the Temple Mount which only names it by its Arabic reference, Al Aqsa Mosque and Haram A-Sharif. The Western Wall Plaza is referred to as the Al Buraq Plaze, and its Hebrew name appears in quotation marks.

President Reuven Rivlin condemned the UNESCO vote questioning the historic connection of the Jewish people to the Temple Mount. Speaking on the eve of Sukkot, Rivlin said, “There is no festival more connected to Jerusalem than Sukkot. The festivals of Israel all highlight the inextricable bond between our people and our land, and no forum or body in the world can come and deny the connection between the Jewish people, the Land of Israel and Jerusalem – and any such body that does so simply embarrasses itself.” The President added, “We can understand criticism, but you cannot change history.”

Over the past few weeks, Israeli ambassadors to Western capitals as well as Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen have been blitzing their host governments with printed material issued by the foreign ministry proving through the myriad archeological finds the historic connection between the Jews and the Holy Land, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. The publication‘s cover is a picture of the Arch of Titus depicting Jewish captives carrying the Temple utensils to Rome.


Send a Lulav and Etrog to a Soldier

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

Gili’s Goodies, a Gush Etzion based company founded by Gail and David Ehrlich in 2001, has been in the business of connecting people from around the world with their family and friends living in Israel by sending “sweet hugs” of fresh baked goods, gift baskets and more.

Over the years, Gili’s Goodies has made it their “business” to  distribute thousands of packages of “goodies” to Israeli soldiers from North to South in order to say thank you while bringing a smile to their faces around the holidays.

This Sukkot, Gili’s Goodies decided that rather than simply sending goodies donated by friends from around the world, they would also distribute sets of Lulavim and Etrogim to soldiers in places around Israel that do not have access to a nearby synagogue where sets are available.

“The chagim can be a lonely and difficult time for Israeli soldiers who are away from family and community.   It’s important to let them know they are not forgotten and give them the opportunity to fulfill the mitzvah of lulav and etrog over the holiday of Sukkot,” says David Ehrlich.

Gili’s Goodies is making these sets available for purchase at a discounted rate of $25 per set and can be ordered via their website.

Interested U.S. donors can also receive a tax receipt for purchases of 8 or more sets by contacting Gili’s Goodies  via email or by phone: (Toll free from U.S. and Canada) 1-866-721-7292, in Israel 052-263-1808

Jewish Press Staff

World Parliamentarians Gather in Jerusalem for 50th Year Conference on Unification

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

For the first time ever, a delegation of dozens of members of parliament from around the world is set to gather in Jerusalem for the 5th annual Israel Allies Foundation Jerusalem Chairman’s Conference, this one to be held Oct. 19-21 at the Mamilla Hotel, and focusing its events on the liberation and unification of the holy city.

Participants will tour the city of Hebron; meet with Israeli government ministers and other leading characters in the Israeli political and financial arena; and celebrate with 5,000 Christian supports of Israel.

Ambassador Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, will address the group on Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, in the Pais Arena in Jerusalem.

During the upcoming Jewish holiday of Sukkot, 23 members of parliament from countries throughout Europe, Africa and Latin America will join Israeli officials in celebrating the unity of Jerusalem at the Israel Allies Foundation Jerusalem Chairman’s Conference. The MPs serve as Chairs and/or members of the Israel Allies Caucus in their local parliaments. They will meet with leading Israeli government representatives, including ministers.

In order to gain a better understanding about the history Jerusalem, the MPs will take a geopolitical tour of Jerusalem in which they will visit the Qalandia checkpoint, the lookout post at the Tomb of Samuel, Tel El Ful, and Mount Scopus, among other places.

A special panel will be held on issues related to the sites, hosted by Israeli Knesset members who serve as members in the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus.

This will be the first time that such a large and influential delegation of MPs tour Hebron, visiting the Cave of the Patriarchs, Hebron Museum in Beit Hadassah and the Tel Rumeida neighborhood.

Among those attending the conference is European Parliament member Bas Belder, who serves as the Chairman of the Israel Allies Caucus in the European Parliament. MEP Belder is also The Vice-Chairman of the delegation for the relations between the European Parliament and Israel.

Italian Senator Lucio Malan, who earlier this year passed a bill prohibiting Holocaust denial is also participating, as is MP Kees van der Staaij, who passed a bill in The Netherlands preventing the funding of BDS organizations; and MP Kenneth Meshoe from South Africa who strongly opposes the claim that Israel is an apartheid state.

There will also be MPs from the following countries at the conference: Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Greece, Portugal, Brazil, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Chile, and Malawi.

The Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) is an umbrella organization that coordinates the activities of 35 pro-Israel caucuses in parliaments throughout the U.S., Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia and Australia. The organization aims to promote communication and information sharing between parliamentarians and legislators around the world who share a belief that the State of Israel has the right to exist in peace, within secure borders.

The IAF Jerusalem Chairman’s Conference is sponsored by the World Jewish Congress and The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

During the conference, the MPs will also present a signed resolution to Deputy Minister Michael Oren, stating their support for Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel. They will also make efforts to endorse this idea in their home countries upon their return, according to the Israel Allies Foundation.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Holds Security Meeting Ahead of High Holidays

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday held a meeting to assess the security situation ahead of the Tishrei holidays—Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Netanyahu called for in creased police presence, especially in the Old City and around the Temple Mount, directing “determined action” against any attempt to violate the public order there. In the case of Jews on the Temple Mount, these actions are normally determined by the Waqf agents, who are empowered to assess the level of spiritual engagement exerted by any Jew on the Temple Mount, and to decide whether said Jews have crossed the line and got dangerously close to their Father in Heaven.

Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein to continue to prevent MKs and cabinet ministers from going up to the Temple Mount during this sensitive period, such sensitive period being defined as “always.”

The Prime Minister also directed that activity be increased against PA Arab incitement on social networks, including Facebook, with the goal of removing inflammatory content. He also instructed that a response team be established to refute disinformation about Israeli policy on the Temple Mount, such as the Jews are plotting to destroy the Al Aqsa mosque.

Netanyahu received an update on IDF operations and the reinforcement of units along the roads and inside Judea and Samaria communities.

Also participating in the meeting were Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Israel Policy Deputy Inspector General Zohar Dvir, Jerusalem District Police Commander Yoram Halevy, the deputy Director of the ISA, an IDF representative and personnel from the National Security Council.

David Israel

Ultra-Orthodox Town Plagued by… Pigs

Monday, October 12th, 2015

(JNi.media) Residents in Kiryat Sefer, the ultra-Orthodox section of Modiin, have been complaining that in recent months many wild boar come into the city raid its streets, posing a serious threat to the population, Kikar Hashabbat reports. According to these residents, the wild boar come mostly at night, frequent and mostly the neighborhood of Green Park. One resident told the website: “So far it hasn’t bothered me so much, because the pigs usually come late at night, but last Sukkot they prowled among the booths and it was really dangerous. ”

Another resident said, “In previous years, the boar would only come up to the entrance to neighborhoods, but would not stroll around inside. Now, those pigs roam freely, and we know of no action the municipality is taking to eradicate this problem.”

Kikar Hashabbat received documentation of wild boar roaming the streets unhindered, among the Sukkah booths and in synagogue entrances. According to the residents, “this phenomenon is very dangerous, even for adults, but especially for children and adolescents. These pigs are aggressive at times and meeting them may result in serious injury or even death. It is a real threat to life.”

It should be noted that so far there has no attack on residents by wild pigs, but residents have been saying that if the city does not do something about it, it is only a matter of time before such an incident will occur.

The municipality said in response statement: “Since this is a protected animal, it is under the care and responsibility of the Parks and Nature Authority alone. Every complaint received by the municipal hub regarding this issue is immediately transmitted to the Parks and Nature Authority. Recently, Authority officials conducted many, intensive, nightly hunts, evidenced by the decline in calls to the hub. The requests residents to keep calling and to update the municipal hub on every case of roaming wild boar.”


Showers Expected Day after Prayers for Rain

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

The first rains of the winter season are expected on Tuesday, one day after Jews around the world begin adding to daily prayers that God “brings the wind and rain.”

The change is made during the prayers on Shemini Azereth, the same day that Simchat Torah is celebrated in Israel. In the Diaspora, the two holidays are marked on separate days, ending Tuesday night.

In Israel, a special request for rain is added to prayers two weeks later, while Jews in Diaspora make the change on December 4.

Precipitation is expected to begin after noon in the north and center of the country on Tuesday and spread to the Negev at night and on Wednesday. The heaviest rainfall is predicted for the Galilee area, in the north.

Weather models indicate another warming trend at the end of the week, but is may be followed by a longer respite from the long hot summer, one of the hottest on record.

Temperatures will rise on Friday through next Sunday, according to longer term indications, but cooler weather is possible from next Monday through the entire week.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/showers-expected-day-after-prayers-for-rain/2015/10/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: