Ars Judaica: The Bar-Ilan Journal of Jewish Art, Volume 9

BookArs Judaica: The Bar-Ilan Journal of Jewish Art, Volume 9

Ars Judaica: The Bar-Ilan Journal of Jewish Art, Volume 9

Ars Judaica: The Bar-Ilan Journal of Jewish Art, 9


April 18th, 2013





Ars Judaica is an annual publication of the Department of Jewish Art at Bar-Ilan University. It showcases the Jewish contribution to the visual arts and architecture from antiquity to the present from a variety of perspectives, including history, iconography, semiotics, psychology, sociology, and folklore. As such it is a valuable resource for art historians, collectors, curators, and all those interested in the visual arts.

In this volume, Avraham Faust considers a unique phenomenon in the material culture of ancient Israel during the biblical period: pottery without painted decoration. Moshe Idel, an expert on Jewish mysticism, sheds new light on the figure of Helios in the Hammath Tiberias synagogue mosaic, comparing it to descriptions of angel ‘Anafi’el in the Heikhalot literature and medieval Kabbalistic texts. Rahel Fronda attributes a group of medieval Ashkenazi Bible manuscripts containing similar micrographic ornaments to the same scribal workshop, possibly near Würzburg. Alexander Mishory reveals a Scroll of Esther illuminated by one of the first Bezalel artists, Shmuel Ben-David, and focuses on his use of fowl and fox imagery deriving from an Arab fable. Artur Tanikowski discusses social awareness and humanist values in the work of Polish modernists of Jewish origin. The Special Item by Nurit Sirkis Bank is dedicated to hasidic wedding rings. A silver ring, square on the outside, round within, and engraved with the Hebrew letter he is understood as a symbol of unity and harmony between man and woman, the human and the Divine, nature and culture, and even good and evil.

Contributor Information:

Walter Cahn, Professor, History of Art Department, Yale University, Avraham Faust, Director, Tel 'Eton Excavations, Institute of Archaeology, Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, Bar-Ilan University, Rahel Fronda, Hebraica and Judaica Subject Librarian, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, Carole Herselle Krinsky, Professor, Art History Department, New York University, Moshe Idel, Professor, Department of Jewish Thought, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Senior Researcher, Shalom Hartman Institute, David Malkiel, Professor, Department of Jewish History, Bar-Ilan University, Alec Mishory, independent scholar, Israel, Ilia Rodov, Lecturer, Department of Jewish Art, Bar-Ilan University, Nurit Sirkis Bank, Curator, Wolfson Museum of Jewish Art, Hechal Shlomo; doctoral candidate, Bar-Ilan University, David Stern, Professor, Jewish Studies Faculty, University of Pennsylvania, Artur Tanikowski, Graphic Department, Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw; Faculty of Humanities, Fryderyk Chopin Uiversity of Music, Warsaw; Curator, Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw

Volumes of Ars Judaica are distributed by the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization throughout the world, except Israel. Orders and enquiries from Israeli customers should be directed to:

Ars Judaica

Department of Jewish Art

Bar-Ilan University

Ramat-Gan 52900

Telephone: 03 5318413


Author Information

Bracha Yaniv is Professor Emerita of Jewish Art History at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and founding editor of Ars Judaica: The Bar-Ilan Journal of Jewish Art. She has published two pioneering books in Hebrew on the history, design, and iconography of ceremonial synagogue objects. Mirjam Rajner is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Jewish Art at Bar-Ilan University. Since 2005 she has been co-editor of Ars Judaica, the leading journal on Jewish art and visual culture. She has published numerous articles on Marc Chagall and modern central and east European Jewish art in exhibition catalogues, edited volumes, and academic journals, such as East European Jewish Studies, Images, Jewish Art, Nashim, Studia Rosenthaliana, and Studies in Contemporary Jewry. She is the author of Fragile Images: Jews and Art in Yugoslavia,1918–1945 (2019), and is currently co-editing a collection of articles entitled Crossing Borders: Jewish History and Culture in Southeastern Europe. Ilia Rodov is Head of the Department of Jewish Art at Bar-Ilan University. He is the author of many works on European synagogue art, focusing on the history, patronage, and meanings of synagogue paintings, sculptures, architectural decoration, and furniture design.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Editors’ Note
Decoration versus Simplicity: Pottery and Ethnic Negotiation in Early Israel
Holding an Orb in His Hand: The Angel ‘Anafi’el and a Late Antiquity Helios Mosaic
Attributing of Three Ashkenazi Bibles with Micrographic Images
A Purim Masquerade: Fowls and Foxes in Shmuel Ben David’s Illuminated Scroll of Esther (c. 1923)
Toward the Philosophy of Work: The Late Paintings of Leopold Gottlieb
Special Item
Opposites United: The Square-Round Silver Wedding Ring
Book Reviews
The New Jewish Book History
Sarit Shalev-Eyni, Jews among Christians: Hebrew Book Illumination from Lake Constance
Monuments of an Exotic Community
Remnant Stones: The Jewish Cemeteries and Synagogues of Suriname: Epitaphs, eds. Aviva Ben-Ur and Rachel Frankel
Remnant Stones: The Jewish Cemeteries and Synagogues of Suriname: Essays, eds. Aviva Ben-Ur and Rachel Frankel
Comprehensive View of Hungarian Synagogues
Rudolf Klein, Zsinagógák Magyarországon 1782–1918: Fejlo˝déstörténet, tipológia és epítészeti jelentöség / Synagogues in Hungary 1782–1918: Genealogy, Typology and Architectural Significance
Research of Research of Jewish Art: Focusing on Lithuania
Research of Jewish Art: Art in the Ukrainian Context
Jewish Art in Modern Times: A New Appraisal
Samantha Baskind and Larry Silver, Jewish Art: A Modern History