— Mishnah, Ethics of the Fathers, 5:17
The theme for the Jerusalem Biennale 2019 is LeShem Shamayim (For Heaven’s Sake!). The phrase ‘for the sake of heaven’ is most famously associated with the text above. It puts an emphasis on the motivation of an act rather than on the act itself, and connects it with, of all things, arguments and disagreements.
The dynamic, sometimes challenging, process of seeking truth, even in mundane matters, is connected at its core to a tradition of dispute. It is a uniquely Jewish path which empowers humankind’s quest to repair the world, and along the way, perhaps even find transcendence.