Rabbis And Tzaddikim Portraits
The painting of rabbis and righteous people tends to fall under the prohibition "You shall not make for yourself a statue or any likeness" (Exodus 23), but another interpretation of painting rabbis and righteous people is "And let your eyes see your teachers" (Isaiah 30:20), according to which a person looking at the paintings of rabbis and the righteous, awakens and connects with them in his soul, draws inspiration, comfort and holiness from them.
Paintings of rabbis and paintings of tzaddikim have always taken part in the Jewish people's appreciation of visual art. Although Judaism may never have developed an impressive artistic tradition comparable to that of Christianity, Jews have created both decorative and ceremonial works of art for centuries. Jewish artists were often forbidden to enter the world of art, yet, Jews created exquisite manuscripts, built magnificent synagogues full of art and craft, and painted portraits of their leaders.
Portrait paintings of rabbis and tzaddikim rarely survived the centuries of the Middle Ages, such as a painting of Maimonides. There are other portraits of rabbis and tzaddikim and even several portraits of rabbis painted by the Dutch painter and engraving artist Rembrandt. The Torah tells us about Bezalel, the craftsman who was entrusted with the creation of the Mishkan. The name Bezalel means "God's shadow" and in this there is an important interpretation of the role of artists: just as God created the world, so the artists of this world serve God through creation. Beyond serving God, artists have the opportunity to redeem the world through their work. Paintings of rabbis and tzaddikim help elevate the religious house from an essentially functional place to a realm that actively participates in Jewish identity. Paintings of rabbis and tzaddikim serve as visions of identity in two senses: in their appearance they are a sign of belonging to the culture of religious / Orthodox society, both internally and externally. In the sense of the vision, portraits of rabbis and portraits of righteous people reflect a communal and traditional vision identified with a certain rabbinical figure or with a certain religious group.
A rabbi painting or a tzaddik painting at home - a blessing at home! A deeper look at the rabbinical texts reveals that there was no Sweeping ban on images and that the relationship between Jewish law and visual representation is much more complex than the Second Commandment: the Bible forbids the worship of idols, but it is aware that not every image / painting of a rabbi or image / painting of A tzaddik is idolatry, especially such works that are made by Jews. The Second Commandment does not necessarily prevent figurative visual art but rather promotes a unique set of styles and techniques, especially those that allow Jewish artists to create images that fulfill their essential Jewish duty and even criticize foreign images. Jewish Art, it can be argued, exists because of the Second Commandment and not in spite of it.
As an artist who has works for many years with different populations and creates for different needs of businesses and individuals, I have learned to know and respect diverse cultures, different beliefs and ways of life of people on the entire social spectrum. I find great interest in working with clients who do not belong to the circles of life I am familiar with and am happy to find content and depth in the work for them. Every project I receive allows me to learn something more about people and I find myself reconnecting every time with the feelings and ideas of my clients. The work on paintings of rabbis and paintings of tzaddikim exposes me to the world of the spirituality of the religious society in its many shades. This kind of work sharpens in me the sensitivity and identification with the multifaceted story of the human mosaic.
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