Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

A New Jew View

Today on Tablet, Menachem Kaiser on the Israel Museum

Print Email
Mitsvah-tantz of the bride with her father, the Rachmestrivke Rebbe, David Twersky, Netanya, 2011(Yuval Nadel; all photos courtesy of the Israel Museum)

Today on Tablet, Menachem Kaiser reports on an exhibition at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem that casts Hasidic Jews in a new, compelling, and sometimes non-religious light.

The best of the exhibit illuminates and artistically leverages the tension between rituals’ normalcy (on their end) and strangeness (on ours). We are uncomfortably transfixed—maybe because we can stare without shame or reproach. “I can’t believe we’re of the same religion,” I overheard a non-Hasidic American Jewish tourist mutter to his wife. There are photographs of Hasidic rituals I’d never heard of, like pouring water from an urn into a pan to ward off the evil eye, or that I had thought were no longer performed, like the redeeming of a firstborn donkey (delightfully decked out for the occasion in, yes, a black hat). Photos of Hasidim in full garb in a wheat field, reaping for their matzoh; dressed up as Cossacks on Purim; in crowded family portraits; and firing arrows at a target representing the yetzer harah, the evil inclination: There is humor, joy, weirdness, pride, death—the constant is celebration of the extraordinary nature of everyday life.

Check out the rest here.

Print Email
2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

A New Jew View

Today on Tablet, Menachem Kaiser on the Israel Museum

More on Tablet:

My Jewish Feminism: A Memoir

By Anne Roiphe — The influential writer reflects on six decades of art, worry, and Jewish Princess jokes