Reading Clothing

The NJ Jewish Standard features 2 of the artists in an article on our exhibition The Invisible Jew.

“Local artists exhibit at show where modesty drapes the discussion”

“Tznius Police” by Miriam Stern

Modesty — tzniut, to call it by its Hebrew name — is a spiritual value by which all Jews are supposed to guide themselves (although it is a value that generally the Orthodox world stresses more than liberal Jews do).

Modesty — tznius, to call it by its more down-home Yiddish name — is a practical regulation that governs what Orthodox women wear, and how they present themselves physically in the world.

…“I’ve been doing work around this issue since the early 1990s,” Ms. Stern said. She lives in Teaneck, grew up Orthodox, and dislikes labels but now belongs to both an Orthodox and a Conservative shul — and is married to an Orthodox rabbi, Dr. Michael Chernick, so her credentials are unassailable. “ “I don’t ever say that this is wrong or stupid. That is not at all the point. The point is to think about what it means to be modest.

“Tamar” by Joel Silverstein

Joel Silverstein of Mahwah is represented in the exhibit by a painting of Tamar, the young twice-widowed woman who had to seduce her father-in-law and risk death for harlotry to be able to claim the honor that rightfully should have been hers. 

“To Orthodox Jews, Tamar is a heroine,” he said. “Through having sex with Judah, our ancestor, she became the ancestor of David and Isaiah and Jeremiah and the future messiah. She has all that locked down. And she is a heroine because through her will alone, she pinned down the rules.”

Read full article here