Curator: David (Duchi) Cohen
Participating Artists: Renana Akerman Grosberger | Chamutal Bar Cohen | David (Duchi) Cohen | Moria Dery | Tal Ekshtein | Meirav El-Eini | Sigalit Frid | Gali Kahn Yerushalmy | Shaked Segal
Judaism is an ancient religion with thousands of years of history. As Jews, we like to believe we are maintaining the traditions and customs of our ancestors. These customs and traditions are based on the laws in the Torah the Jewish people received at Mount Sinai. In truth, ancient and contemporary Judaism are completely unrecognizable to each other. The Hebrew Bible and old texts are replete with colorful descriptions of a total and extreme service of God, of plant and animal sacrifices, of devouring fires and spiritual ecstasy. The ancient world itself was more spiritual than our world in the 21 st century. Today, our spiritual experience is very different, almost sterile. We no longer make sacrifices, nor do we make pilgrimages to the Temple. In contemporary Judaism, our main spiritual sources are the mitzvot and Torah study. Our general approach to religion has changed: we have become devout rationalists, and block any mystical idea from penetrating our modern outlook. Even a sterile religion involves sacrifices, however. There are religious laws that do not seem rational, rules that bind us and sometimes do not fit with our comfortable world. This dissonance usually starts with the rules of modesty or waking early for the morning prayer, but as we grow older the questions increase. How do we worship God in a world where every external restraint is considered as a cage or a barrier? In the end, the suppressed emotions erupt. Religious practices that no one thought could survive the modern world seem to become more powerful and spread to new communities. We are not talking only about the “official” mitzvot - the wider religious experience does not exist only in synagogues, but sprouts wherever it can gain a foothold. This deep-rooted mysticism appears to have returned, and deserves serious reflection.
Hebrew Union College
Address: 13 King David St.
Opening hours: Guided tours only