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Chaim Aaron ben David (a.k.a. Hermann Struck, 1876-1944) spent his early years devoting himself to both the study of Torah and the study of art, especially etching and aquatint. He continued on these two tracks of art and Judaism throughout his life. Struck made a name for himself with his book Die Kunst des Radierens (The Art of Etching) as well as his essays on Judaism and Zionism. He remained a devout Jew all his life and eventually emigrated to Palestine. Struck is best known for his landscapes and portraiture.

LBI

Portrait of Theodor Herzl (1860-1904)

LBI

Portrait of Yiddish actress Sonia Alomis (1896-1976)

LBI
LBI

Portrait of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

Portrait of David Frischmann, Hebrew modernist writer (1859-1922)

LBI
LBI

Portrait of Yiddish poet Morris Rosenfeld (1862-1923)

Throughout the centuries, Karaites maintained an alternate form of Judaism, one that denied the validity of the Rabbinic Oral Torah as embodied in the Talmud.

Omer Counters

hebrewtype.com

Omer counters have had a relatively small but distinctive presence on the Judaica landscape. The counting of the Omer is based on Leviticus 23:15, “And you shall count for yourselves from the morrow after the day of rest, from the day that you brought the omer of the wave offering; seven complete weeks shall there be.” The Omer (originally, the sheaf of barley brought to the Temple) came to refer to the 49 days from the second day of Passover to the eve of Shavuot. And soon, the Omer gave rise to the Omer counter, posters and gadgets to do the counting of the Omer for us. Style and ingenuity followed.

Above, a Dutch-Portuguese-style 3-row Omer Counter. H is Portuguese for homer (omer); S for semanas, “weeks,” and D for dia, “day.”

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Those who do not remember the past are ... probably not Jewish

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Trees of emanation

According to the scholar of kabbalah J. H. Chajes, medieval kabbalists thought a lot about how to visualize the sefirot, and ultimately favored arboreal diagrams over the astronomical. Consider Pardes rimonim (Pomegranate Orchard). a survey of Kabbalah—or, as Chajes puts it, “an inventory with an attitude”—completed in 1548 by the brilliant young kabbalist R. Moses Cordevero. In Cordevero’s own words: “And I have already explained that the constellation ofAṣilut (Emanation—the highest of the four “worlds”) is the’ilan (tree) of’Aṣilut, and no (demonic) shell will rule it whatsoever. After it, the constellation of the’ilan of Briyah (Creation—the second of the four worlds), this constellation being a shell and garment to Aṣilut.

on seeing salanter

What did the founder of the Musar Movement Rabbi Yisrael Salanter (1810-1883) look like? One admirer described him as a “stately figure” with ”an unusually wide forehead” and “a handsome beard.“ As wanting in detail as this description may be, it is a more reliable picture than the photographs that many authoritative sources claim to be of Salanter, according to the scholar Shnayer Leiman. After evaluating them, Leiman deems each photograph to be a photo of someone else. For the number of such false photographs now in circulation, it is clear that something in us wants to see Salanter. In Salanter’s own words: “Man is a drop of intellect drowning in a sea of instincts.”

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