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Jewish Art for the Soul

Artist’s Statement: From the time of the Baal Shem Tov until the Holocaust, chassidim in the shtetls celebrated Shabbat in the most mystical manner. The holiness created an atmosphere so intense that one could imagine the synagogue hanging in the heavens! We can only dream…

By Sarah Chaya Elisha

Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

Artist’s Statement: G‑d’s creation, the world and its inhabitants, can be likened to a light bulb. Just as a light bulb requires a constant flow of electricity to remain lit, every creation needs a direct flow of energy from G‑d in order to simply be.

Through His “cord,” G‑d maintains His connection to us, constantly recreating us so that we can reciprocate and connect to Him.

This painting represents the constant connection between G‑d and us, and us and G‑d.

By Joy Krauthammer

Paint and Salt on Stretched Silk
Paint and Salt on Stretched Silk

Artist’s Statement:

Outlining a radiant heart
to fill with intense red and purple
felt exciting to me.
Freely splashing water
and wildly brushing layers of color onto silk
was satisfying for me.
A frosting of salty tears
added surprise and a magical marbling finale.
With a bit of a broken heart
I danced on silk, knowing
G‑d loves me.

By Shoshannah Brombacher

Pastel and Ink on Paper
Pastel and Ink on Paper

Artist’s Statement: The best thing that could have happened to the Jewish people was receiving the Torah. It is our lifeline, our essence, our life.

Acrylic on Canvas
Acrylic on Canvas

Artist’s Statement: Putting feeling into our actions, and the way we serve G‑d, is an incredibly important element of fulfilling any mitzvah. Do we merely serve with actions, or do we put our thoughts and emotions into giving these mitzvahs further substance? We read in Psalms, “Ivdu et Hashem b’simcha,” - “Serve G‑d with Joy.” Instead of doing mitzvahs by rote, we should imbue them with emotion and happiness.

Mixed Media Acrylic and Ink on Stretched Canvas
Mixed Media Acrylic and Ink on Stretched Canvas

Artist’s Statement: This image is an expression of the first paragraph of the Shema, in which we are instructed to love G‑d.

The musical cantillation notes for chanting this paragraph are represented in my composition by the black right angle and the pair of dots.

The metallic copper color field represents the heavenly realm from where these words of Torah originated. The pattern along the bottom is the diagram for wrapping tefillin, which is also mentioned in this paragraph. One of the names of G‑d, is embodied in the wrappings with the letter “shin”, the first letter of this name of G‑d.

By Doug Richter

Acrylic on Canvas
Acrylic on Canvas

Artist’s Statement: This is my second painting ever. I thought the image of an outdoor Hagbah was very powerful but could mean different things to different people in very much the same way that the Torah can be interpreted in many different ways.

By Shoshannah Brombacher

Pastel and Ink on Paper
Pastel and Ink on Paper

Artist’s Statement: On Shavuot we celebrate the Giving of the Torah, the biggest gift the Jewish people were ever given! The Torah starts with the Hebrew letter “bet” (bereshit), and is called the Tree of Life. This inspired me to make this drawing. I love working with letters. When I was a small child I used to sit and look at a simple but very powerful poster in my father's study with Torah verses and a menorah; I guess that's when it started.

Oil and Mixed Media
Oil and Mixed Media

Artist’s Statement: A woman of valor, who can find?

By Brooke Sendele

Colored Pencils, Chalk Pastel, Ink, and Charcoal on Bristol Board
Colored Pencils, Chalk Pastel, Ink, and Charcoal on Bristol Board

Artist’s Statement: One day in class, during a critique in which I displayed a Jewish-themed drawing, my professor said to me, “I Googled ‘Jewish art,’ and most of what I saw was Holocaust-related; that seems to be the ‘thing’ for Jewish artists. Are you going to work with that theme?”

Words cannot express the extent to which that bothered me. Why should the world’s view of the Jewish people be that of a formerly oppressed nation, not a culture that is rich in beliefs, traditions and Torah values? And how come the general population has no idea what Judaism entails? Why have we become “the people who died in the Holocaust” and “the people who don’t eat bacon”? With my art, I seek to change that perception, expand people’s horizons, and create works that encapsulate the Jewish culture and religion.

By Rivka Cyprys

Mixed Media
Mixed Media

Artist’s Statement: All of the tragedies we’ve been facing, including the terrorist attacks all over the world that aim to instill fear in our hearts, and grief in our souls, have me wondering—what is all this darkness that is trying to suffocate the light?

But then I remember, the light we create can dispel a whole lot of darkness. We must create light. We have strength, power, and most importantly we have G‑d. We can face darkness because G‑d trusts we have what it takes to overcome it.

There are no answers to darkness, no answers to aching hearts. We can only keep going, and keep the memories of lost ones alive within us.

There is so much to accomplish, and so much good that tomorrow will bring.

Artist’s Statement: "Dirshu Hashem v'uzo, bakshu panav tamid" – “Search for G‑d and His strength, seek His presence always.” This verse from Psalms guides us in our approach to establishing an eternal connection. The colors of tzitzit (white) and tcheilet (blue) serve to remind us of the Heavenly Throne and G‑d’s presence in our lives.

By Shayna Denburg

Acrylic on Canvas
Acrylic on Canvas

Artist’s Statement: Many viewers have a similar impression of what they feel this painting represents, but in truth it's not a "thing" but a feeling. A feeling of renewal and independence. So translate it as you see fit. It's your feeling here that matters.

Creative works exploring life and Judaism composed by a spectrum of Jewish artists.

"The primary talent of an artist is his ability to step away from the externalities of the thing and, disregarding its outer form, gaze into its innerness and perceive its essence, and to be able to convey this in his painting.This is how an artist can serve his Creator." — The Rebbe


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