Jewish art – not what you expect

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Many believe that the term “Jewish art” contradicts itself – how can art be Jewish? They wonder. This perception derives from awareness of the explicit prohibition mentioned in the Ten Commandments: “You may not make a sculpted image of yourself – any resemblance to anything found in heaven above, in the land beneath it, or in underground water.

Jewish Art – Forbidden?

However, seeing this prohibition as a block that necessarily prevents the creation of art is wrong – not only that the commandment can be interpreted in several ways (for example, the prohibition may be related to the obligation not to bend before any image, sculpture, idol or character and is not related to the actual formation of the sculpture But even when it was understood in its most extreme sense, the Jewish people created many kinds of Jewish art and even put their creations between the walls of the synagogue and on their sacred books. In many places in the Talmud testifies flexibility and tolerance towards animal figures or forms (on stamp rings, baths, coins) It is known that there were rabbis who allowed the synagogue paintings, although there were some who were against it, along with Christian opposites, who were objecting Also on any kind of images or use objects shaped like a man or animal.

Jewish Art Throughout History

Because of the difference in approach, Jewish art progressed over the years, spreading in temples, sacred books, tombstones and people’s homes. Jewish artists continued to revive biblical stories, create drawings and relief work dedicated to important historical or mythological events such as Revelation to Samuel, create the world, Ezekiel’s vision of dry bones and so on. Even before Jewish emancipation and the blossoming of the Haskalah, Jewish artists specialized in painting, while a 17th-century Jewish teacher is known to have advised every man to carry a portrait of his mother as a protection from the temptations of evil nature.

How do you define Jewish art?

In the mid-19th century, acclaimed Jewish artists such as Pissarro, Israel, and Lieberman broke into widespread international recognition. Since then, because of the influence of public art on Jewish artists, cultural scholars have been trying to determine exactly what Jewish art is: is Jewish art made by any Jewish person or perhaps art dealing with Jewish subjects. Whether you relate more to the first or second definition, you are likely to discover in both the vast world of talent, craftsmanship and inspiration, all of which are nursing from Jewish institutions whose roots are rooted 3,000 years in human history.

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