“Brushes with the Bible” – When Torah and Art Meet
New book launched which combines Torah commentary from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin with explanations and midrashim, interspersed with breathtaking works of art.
More than 350 people came to Midreshet Lindenbaum in Jerusalem last night to honor Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chancellor Emeritus of the Ohr Torah Stone network, alongside Ruti Mark and Yardena Lubotzky, on the launch of their book Brushes with the Bible (In Hebrew, “Bein Kodesh L’Mikhol“).
The evening was attended by Prof. Yisrael Aumann, Prof. Yonatan Grossman of Bar Ilan University and Herzog College, Ohr Torah Stone Director General Yinon Ahiman, Midreshet Lindenbaum Director Rabbi Ohad Teharlev and book editor Danny Finkel.
The book, which was published by Maggid Publications, deals with weekly portions from the Book of Genesis and combines Rabbi Riskin’s commentaries on the texts with an array of traditional commentators and midrashim, alongside paintings and art works from various periods, all collected and written by Mark and Lubotzky.
Rabbi Riskin said at the launch: “I am proud and excited with every book we publish, but I’m extremely proud of this, and I’d like to thank my two colleagues for the work that went into compiling the book. If there’s a synthesis between Torah and science, between Torah and art, there’s no more important way to express it than through endeavors such as this.”
The book’s authors, Ruti Mark and Yardena Lubotzky, added that “the visual experience can also serve as an inspiration for renewed creativity inspired by the stories of the Torah. Contemplating works of art allows us to dwell on ideas and experience them, but mainly to prompt additional readings of the verses and commentaries; reading which emphasizes emotional and practical perspectives as one. We’d like to thank Rabbi Riskin not only for the content but for the enthusiasm and motivation, and for knowing even from the beginning how the book would look in the end.”
Ohr Torah Stone Director Yinon Ahiman concluded, “There are three partners in making a human, and there are three partners in the book. We’re still at the beginning of the Book of Genesis, among the stories that precede the beginning of our people. These days we are more than excited to be publishing a relevant book which sheds a different light on the weekly Torah portions, and connects between the teachings of Rabbi Riskin and art from another angle, art in which one can also find a Jewish spark,” Ahiman said.