June 26, 2014
A continuing theme running through the book of Exodus is the coming and going of both Moses and God. After the lengthy drama of the Exodus, Moses disappears up the mountain and reappears to see the chaos of the episode of The Golden Calf. He is God’s corporeal messenger to Pharoah but absent from the discussion in Parashat T’tzaveh of the priestly responsibilities. God, too, is near when displaying signs and wonders in Egypt and splitting the sea, enabling the Israelites to pass to freedom, and also remote to the Israelites while Moses is up on the mountain receiving the law. Indeed, the whole discussion of the building of the Mishkan (tabernacle) through a great proportion of the book of Exodus revolves around the central question of how God will dwell among the people, so the Israelites understand that something that cannot be seen or touched can feel close.
What does it mean to be present? What does it mean to have presence? Perhaps we best consider our most abstract questions through the abstraction of art. Read the rest of this entry »
May 28, 2013
Is Judaism an ethnicity? A faith? A family? A few years ago, Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman visited as our scholar and guide for our congregation’s vision. He taught us that modern Jewish life has experienced immigrations, the additions of majors groups that bring a new voice and have an impact of Judaism. Immigrations include women in leadership, interfaith families and Jews by choice. Such immigrations and the transformations they bring are powerful reminders that Judaism is not a race and can no longer truly be understood as an ethnicity. Judaism is a spiritual path that, unlike ethnicity, can be joined. And Jews are and have always come from many different ethnicities. Read the rest of this entry »
December 7, 2009
A wimpel is a traditional German-Jewish textile inscribed with prayers and wishes. The wimpel was created in the first weeks of a child’s life and was used to celebrate the milestone of marriage. For “Wimpel! Wrapped Wishes,” 12 artists, inspired by examples in the Obermayer Collection at RS, investigate, interpret and celebrate the wimpel. One of the artists is our RS member, Leslie Sudock! Join us on Thursday, December 17 for the opening discussion and reception at 6pm and then for the benefit supper at 7pm! Thank you to currator, Matt Singer, and to PMJA Director Wendi Furman!
July 16, 2009
by Rabbi Jill Maderer
What kinds of questions can Jewish art challenge us to face? This week’s new RS Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art (PMJA) show inspires its curator, Matt Singer, to ask: When, how and where did Judaism begin? When Abraham and Sarah entered a covenant with God and departed for the Promised Land? When Moses and his people—the descendents of Abraham, refugee slaves wandering in the desert—received the Torah at Mount Sinai?
This Friday evening, all of us have the opportunity to ask the artist what she thinks about such foundational questions of the Jewish people. Zoë Cohen, artist of the PMJA’s new show “What Was Our Vision: Sixteen Scenes from Wandering in the Desert” will visit RS this Friday, July 17, for our 6:00pm service (pre-oneg reception begins 5:30pm). Read the rest of this entry »