Monthly Archives: April 2014

(Fast Without Motion) Felix and Moses (Mendelssohn)

On the drive home to New York a couple months back I caught an episode of David Dubal’s Romantic Piano on WQXR. I don’t like very much 19th C. romantic repertoire, but I stuck around to listen because Dubal is … Continue reading

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(Flowers) Moses and Fromet (Mendelssohn) (Aesthetic Judaism)

More beautiful than a porcelain monkey, this Torah ark curtain was donated by Moses and Fromet Mendelssohn to what I’m guessing was their local synagogue in Berlin. The embroidered delicate flowers, carnations, roses, lilies in full color are woven into the cream … Continue reading

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Porcelain Ape (Moses Mendelssohn & Illiberal Enlightenment)

The story behind this porcelain ape has to do with the Royal Porcelain Factory owned by Frederick the Great. Unable to compete with the finer items produced by competitors. “In order to increase business, he decreed in 1769 that a … Continue reading

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(Bitter Sweet) Moses Mendelssohn Bio (Shmuel Feiner)

I finally got around to reading Shmuel Feiner’s biography, Moses Mendelssohn: Sage of Modernity , a less than the brilliant title that I imagine was chosen by the series editors at Yale University Press for the Jewish Lives Series. A graceful little … Continue reading

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New York Garden Spring Sentimental (2014)

New buds and a New York City side-garden in the middle of the Passover holiday. As always, I’m drawn to the combination of concrete and organic materials, the new bright green and the dark branch. The iron wrought garden furniture … Continue reading

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Gazelle-Like God (Rabbis Read Song of Songs)

About the love between God and Israel, Song of Song Rabbah looks like a miscellany of rabbinic commentary with little to nothing to do with the biblical poem. But I think the rabbis get the leap and bound of the … Continue reading

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An Idol in the Holy of Holies (Song of Songs)

R. Akiva called the Song of Songs the Holy of Holies. And there the Beloved is, in this image-rich picture of a human-not-so-human presence in the midst of the garden sanctum –head, arms, torso, legs, made up of bright precious … Continue reading

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