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Published in conjunction with the exhibition
The Seventh Day: Revisiting Shabbat
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum, New York
October 3, 2013 – June 27, 2014
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum, New York
Jean Bloch Rosensaft,
Director
Laura Kruger,
Curator
Phyllis Freedman, Rose Starr,
Curatorial Assistants
Nancy Mantell,
Registar
Lizzi Bolger,
Curatorial Assistant
Sophie Laloum, Sasha Baken,
Curatorial Interns
This exhibition is presented by the Irma L. and Abram S. Croll Center for Jewish Learning
and Culture at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, with the generous support
of George,
z’’l,
and Mildred Weissman.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or other-
wise, without the prior permission of the publishers.
ISBN: 1-884300-51-0
©
2013
Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,
without prior permission of the publisher.
Front Cover:
Ruth Weisberg
Gathering
, 2013
Oil and mixed media on unstretched canvas, 65¼" x 55"
Back Cover:
Dorit Jordan Dotan
Observing, Within
, 2013
Digital photograph, 17" x 28"
Revisioning
Shabbat
Jean Bloch Rosensaft,
Director
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum
T
he Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Reli-
gion Museum seeks to explore the enduring values
and traditions of our heritage through the lens of
contemporary experience.
In recent years, our exhibitions have looked at a broad range
of themes, rooted in Jewish text, to reveal how the visual arts
can be a bridge to a deeper understanding of one’s self and
the larger world. These themes have included the celebra-
tion of Jewish time as expressed by innovative ritual objects;
the sanctity of all lives created in the image of God within
the context of the sexuality spectrum; the aspiration for life
among Holocaust survivors after their liberation; maps and
the medium of textiles as metaphors for Jewish identity;
ethics illuminated through animation art; and collecting art
as an articulation of a Jewish vision.
The Seventh Day: Revisiting Shabbat
follows in this line of in-
quiry by inviting the public to consider one of the pillars of
Jewish practice and belief: the sanctity of the Sabbath. Faced
with a rapidly changing Jewish community, characterized
by increasing ethnic diversity, interfaith families, challenges
affecting the organized institutions of Jewish life, and an un-
precedented acceptance in the fabric of North American life,
what does the seventh day mean to contemporary Jews who
may or may not choose to adhere to traditional observance?
Contemporary artists have tackled this question through
provocative works of art, born out of an era where technolo-
gy and culture have eroded the boundaries separating work,
play, and repose. Their works engage our imagination and
invite us to delve into the possibilities and new definitions of
renewal symbolized by the ‘day of rest.’
Through the crucible of their creativity, the artists in this
exhibition offer new ways to imagine Shabbat and reflect the
profound insights that Abraham Joshua Heschel observed in
The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man:
The meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather
than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of
things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned
to holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called
upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the
results of creation to the mystery of creation, from the
world of creation to the creation of the world.
Ayana Friedman
Legend of the Soiled Shabbat Dress
, 2013
Digital photograph,
19½"
x 82"