Tweet Karen and I attended our niece Ariella’s wedding in Israel two weeks ago. It was a quick trip, just four days, but it was still enough to create a lifetime’s worth of memories.
Tweet In 1917, Marcel Duchamp signed R. Mutt to a porcelain urinal, titled it “Fountain,” and declared it a work of art. The art world was immediately plunged into a new era where talent, draftsmanship, and beauty were suddenly declared irrelevant, and unnecessary. In fact, the very notion of talent was deemed unnecessary to the [...]
Tweet The theme for our brief summer vacation was “Hooray for Capitalists.” William Randolph Hearst and John Paul Getty were titans of business who built empires, gathered stupifying art collections and then built suitable structures in which to display their treasures. Hearst built the world’s first newspaper media empire. San Simeon, designed by the great [...]
Tweet Soviet Realism celebrated the cult of mass murderer Joseph Stalin Art in service to the state is not art but propaganda. The role of art is to steep the viewer in a transcendent space. Propaganda aims at buttressing a narrow political and social agenda. Totalitarian regimes always follow a strategy of using art to [...]
Tweet The Black Wedding The memorial book for Apt recounts how a holy rabbi helped the town during a cholera epidemic in 1892. Every few days someone died. In a community of about six thousand, that was a calamity. Prominent citizens went to the holy rabbi, imploring him to say a few prayers to the [...]
Tweet Moshe Hammer, Z’L. True genius is a rare commodity. Five years ago, 26-year-old Moshe Hammer, z”l, a Lubavitch artist who frequently worked through the night, stepped outside for a walk in Los Angeles, to clear his head and recharge his creative batteries. As was his custom, Moshe rambled miles from his apartment in the [...]
Tweet It’s not often you come across genius. Four years ago, 26 year-old Moshe Hammer, Z’L a Lubavitch Chasid and an intensely private artist, took a break from work on his drawings, and stepped outside for a long walk in Los Angeles—to clear his head. Moshe rambled miles from his apartment in the Fairfax district [...]
Tweet Ah, the art world, where it’s okay, even fashionable to mock Christianity, and where attacks on Conservatives and the current administration are celebrtaed as brave and passionate defenses of free speech. Yeah, about as brave as wearing the latest Dolce & Gabbana threads. But G-d forbid you should even mention a particular word. One [...]
Tweet When Seraphic Secret is not re-reading Jane Austen, we are leafing through reproductions of paintings by Johannes Vermeer and wondering just how much of our Apple stock we would have to sell to purchase one of the Dutch master’s luminous paintings. More than we own. More than Steve Jobs controls. I think it’s a [...]
Tweet A Memoir-Writing Workshop led by by Ruchama King Feuerman, MFA, novelist, essayist, winner of 2007 Christopher Isherwood Prize. Please submit a manuscript — up to 5 pages — to be considered eligible for a special memoir writing class via tele-conference. About the workshop: Certain people live with a constant awareness of the passing seasons, [...]
Tweet They are exquisitely ordinary family snapshots: six young men and women on the beach, playfully arranged in a pyramid; a bourgeois family flaunting its Sabbath best of fur-lined topcoats and rakishly angled hats; a dark-haired Orthodox mother with an infant cradled in her arms and her five children, three barefoot, lined up stiffly in [...]
Tweet Stephen Z. Friedman, Seraphic Secret’s New York correspondent, attended a performance of Dai and filed this review. ******* Coming directly from the airport, after you’ve just dropped just off your 14-year-old daughter for her flight to Tel Aviv, is probably not the best time to see Iris Bahr’s one-woman show, DAI (Hebrew: Enough). Any [...]
Tweet On January 1, 1909 Marcel Proust dipped his madeleine into a cup of tea and thus began his seven volume novel In Search of Lost Time, or as some call it, Remembrance of Things Past. It took Proust fourteen years to write this novel of three thousand pages. I have read the book, and [...]
Tweet Here’s a brief list of some of my favorite, um, stuff, from the year 2006. I know that critics like to make Ten Best lists, especially of movies. But I’m not sure there were ten really good movies this year, In any case, my favorite movies were not made as movies, and some were [...]
Tweet Wonderful color photos of depression period America, 1939-1943
Tweet We Jews have been called The People of the Book because of our eternal covenant with Ha-Shem as articulated through the Written Torah and the Oral Torah. This extraordinary exhibition, The Business of Jewish Books, focuses on the commercial side of the book business and its three major sub-sections: Printer Publisher Peddler “Book production [...]
Tweet This is very cool. Naisen ajattelu on viimein saatu mallinnettua. If someone would provide a translation, we would be eternally grateful. ***** I’ll bet you’ve heard of The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. I’ll also bet you probably can’t name them. Well, here they are. ***** I know that everyone dreams of going [...]
Tweet Here’s a wonderful 1944 picture of a stiff-lipped British officer, swagger stick in hand, natch, inspecting some fresh-faced recruits of the Jewish Brigade. A rare and lovely picture from pre-state Israel.
Tweet A wonderful site to explore: When These Streets Heard Yiddish.
Tweet This is a unique site. Jerusalem at night, Interactive 360° Panoramas. The tour consists of several interactive panoramic images which can be controlled by clicking and dragging the mouse (within the image boundaries) or by using the buttons. To begin your tour of the Old City of Jerusalem, click here.