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Hebrew Writings

Jewish Holidays

Enrich your knowledge and understanding of the principal Jewish holidays through art related to these annual celebrations

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The Art of The Jewish Holidays

The Art of the Jewish Holidays presents a series of art objects related to each Jewish Holiday. It begins with the holiday of Selicot (Forgive Me) and continues with Rosh Hashanah (Head of the Year) and the Sabbath (Day of Rest). Sabbath ends with Havdalah (Separation) marking the beginning of the work week.


The Art of Sukkot

This program focuses on the holiday of Sukkot (Hebrew for “Tabernacles”), a seven-day harvest festival. It is the happiest of biblical holidays and celebrates the bounty of nature. A fragile booth and four species of plants represent the agricultural world. It includes woodcuts, etchings, illuminated manuscripts, papercuts, silver and wood etrog boxes, paintings, photographs and prints. It is a chronological and geographic overview of visual art objects and their symbolism related to Sukkot.


The Art of Purim

This program highlights the holiday of Purim, which celebrates the foiled attempt to kill all the Jews of the Persian Empire in the 5 th c., BCE. The Book of Esther relates this story and is read today from a scroll called “The Megillah.” It is the only book of the Hebrew Bible that does not include the name of God. This program shows wall paintings from the 3 rd c., CE and continues to contemporary artworks from around the world.


The Art of The Sabbath

The Art of The Sabbath identifies the Biblical citation that determines the Sabbath and surveys the many customs developed to observe it. Through prints (note woodcut above and others) to paintings, photographs, greeting cards, and ritual objects (Sabbath lamps, candlesticks, kiddush cups, tablecloths) of many different media, we are charged to remember and guard the Sabbath in different times and places.

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The Art of The High Holidays

This program brings Rosh Hashonah (Head of the Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) to life through 1,500 years of Jewish art.  The presentation offers a chronological and topical overview of visual art objects and their symbolism related to these two holidays. The in-depth narration enhances the powerful art included.


The Art of Hanukkah

The Art of Hanukkah is an overview of artworks related to the miracle of the oil and the re-dedication of the Holy Temple. It is both the ‘Holiday of Freedom’ and the ‘Holiday of Lights.’ Illuminated manuscripts, etchings, woodcuts, photographs, paintings, and Hanukkah Lamps of marble, brass, silver, stone, iron, and glass are all included. The Art of Hanukkah tells the story of this holiday through art objects from many centuries.


The Art of Passover

The holiday of Passover is based on the story of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. The name ‘Passover’ comes from the ‘Passing over’ of the homes of the Jews during the 10th plague, the death of the first born. Passover is observed at a celebration called a Seder (which means “order”). The Art of Passover tells the story of this holiday using art objects as visual resources for learning and understanding.

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