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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.
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Two photographs of a gathering of mourners near a newly-laid gravestone for Yugoslav Jewish officers who were murdered by the Nazis. Notes on verso indicate that the gravestone was vandalized three days after the gravestone’s unveiling. Exact location unknown. Dated April 4, 1946.
Those who do not remember the past are ... probably not Jewish
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.”