Richard McBee’s Contemporary Jewish Art: The Challenge

MilinThe Journal of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, Volume 7 2013-2014 “Milin Havivin” presents its first-ever special issue: A Judaism Engaged with the Arts. The outstanding articles in this issue demonstrate that Judaism and the arts are not separated by an impassable cleft, but are joined together in a surprisingly intimate relationship. Judaism has enjoyed a longstanding engagement with the arts—and the arts are more and more frequently engaging with Jewish subjects as well.

Several Jewish Art Salon members have been invited to submit articles.

According to the editor: “Richard McBee’s erudite and nuanced analysis of contemporary Jewish art highlights the simultaneous challenges and exciting possibilities presented by integrating the visual arts into traditional Jewish learning. Whereas the position that “Jews inherently do not and cannot produce a visual culture” was once maintained as an insurmountable obstacle to religious Jews’ engagement with the visual arts, later rabbinic authorities (such as Rabbi David Feinstein) have held that “almost all artworks created as artworks are permissible.” Sculptures, however, still present stiff halakhic dilemmas.”

McBee’s article mentions Jewish Art Salon members Tobi Kahn, Matthew Baigell, Ruth Weisberg, Archie Rand, Jacqueline Nicholls, Robert Kirschbaum, Eden Morris; also discussed are the Jewish Art Salon, and the Jewish Artists Initiative.

Recommended reading;

The Meaning of Beauty Tobi Kahn. Page 8

Artistic Engagement with Halakhah Ben Schachter. Page 36

Contemporary Jewish Art: The Challenge Richard McBee. Page 41

The Journal is available online here


One response to “Richard McBee’s Contemporary Jewish Art: The Challenge”

  1. Joel Silverstein Avatar

    Congratulations Richard and Salon members mentioned! You have met and surpassed “the challenge”!