'Brushes with the Bible' - when Torah and art meet

Book launched combining sermons of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin with commentators, midrashim, interspersed with breathtaking works of art.

Mordechai Sones ,

Book authors with Rabbi Riskin
Book authors with Rabbi Riskin
Ohr Torah Stone Spokesman

More than 350 people came to Midreshet Lindenbaum in Jerusalem to honor Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the retired President of the Ohr Torah Stone network, and Ruti Mark and Yardena Lubotzky, with the launch of their book Brushes with the Bible.

The evening was attended by Prof. Yisrael Aumann, Prof. Yonatan Grossman of Bar Ilan University and Herzog College, Ohr Torah Stone Director Yinon Achiman, Midreshet Lindenbaum head Rabbi Ahad Taharlev and book editor Danny Finkel.

The book, which was re-published by Magid, deals with Torah portions of the Book of Genesis, combining Rabbi Riskin's sermons with a collection of traditional commentators and midrashim, and paintings from various periods, collected and written by Mark and Lubotzky.

Rabbi Riskin said at the event: "I'm proud and excited with every book we publish, but I'm very proud of this, and I'd like to thank my two colleagues for the work that went into writing 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 this."

The book's authors, Ruti Mark and Yardena Lubotzky, added that "the visual experience can also conjure new creativity inspired by the stories of the Torah. Contemplating the works of art allows us to dwell on ideas and experience them, but mainly to stimulate another reading of the verses and commentaries - reading that emphasizes both emotional and current event aspects as one. We'd like to thank Rabbi Riskin not only for the content but for the enthusiasm and motivation and for knowing from the start how the book would look at the end."

Ohr Torah Stone Director Yinon Achiman 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're more than excited to be the publishing house of a relevant book that sheds a different light on the weekly Torah portions, and connects the teachings of Rabbi Riskin and art from another angle, art in which you can also find a Jewish spark," Achiman said.