Author Archive for Chaim Szmidt



05
Mar
14

Le Marais, Revisited


Earlier today, Meyer Haroch (from The New York Jewish Guide) and I were at a business lunch in Le Marais (150 46th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenue, in Manhattan; Tel:212.869.0900). When we first reviewed the restaurant on these pages we wrote:

Le Marais has been the yardstick by which all other kosher restaurants are measured.

That still is the case, the portions are generous and cooked to perfection; the flavors, the ambiance are uniquely Parisian. Meyer ordered the Lunch Special (Steak, Frites and Salade)…

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LesMarais1

The aroma wafted throughout the area, as it bespoke of intense flavors that would have made even the most exacting gastronomes of old, salivate in anticipation. Meyer said the steak was very juicy and indeed very flavorful… as expected.

I ordered their triple layer Hamburger

LesMarais2

Though I was warned it would take 20 minutes to prepare, when it came it was obvious the wait had been more than worthwhile. Full of flavor, filled with red beats, and just the right amount of juiciness. As delightful to the palate, as it was to the eyes, it also came with salade and frites that were just crisp enough without sacrificing taste. I washed it down with a beer from Spain, Estrella Galicia. It poured a golden yellow with a fizzy white head, moderate to high carbonation with a very faint malt aroma. Its bland taste neither overpowered, nor detracted from the scrumptious hamburger which I had trouble finishing. Rather, this beer subtly complemented and enhanced the rich flavors of the meat.

Yes, it was a delightful lunch but one expects that from Le Marais!

CS

25
Feb
14

Chagall Bistro


This past Sunday, a Belgian couple we just met at the Museum of the Jewish Heritage concert, SYR and I, went to Chagall Bistro in Brooklyn’s Park Slope section (330 5th Avenue – on the corner of 5th Street – Brooklyn, NY 11215; Tel: 718.832.9777) for dinner. Walking into Chagall immediately took us to another time, another world, from Brooklyn’s Park Slope straight to old Paris. The ambiance was truly très authentique - a nice surprise – and the first of many more the evening had in store for us.

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Chag1

We started our repast with the Duck Pastilla

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It came with crispy duck cigars with saffron, almond and date coulis. Full of flavor and seasoned just right!

We segued with Chef’s Terrines and Pâté, a rich assortment of duck rillette, chicken liver mousse, veal country pâté, cornichon jelly and basket of greens. The rich taste of these delights brought back memories of my travels through France, memories long forgotten.

But we were not done with the surprises… we followed with two orders of Chagall Duck, for the ladies, and two Specials for the men…

Chag3

The Special consisted roasted rack of lamb, grilled basil focccaccia, parsnip mousseline, artickokes, tomato confit, thyme, sauteed natural jus. The lamb was tender, juicy and full of flavor, the foccaccia still warm from the oven – full of aroma and taste – the jus was better than any I ever tasted. The ladies couldn’t stop talking about the Chagall Duck, it became obvious we would have to taste it… Frankly, duck had never been a favorite of mine, but I’ll confess the Chagall Duck just became one.

We washed it down with a delicious 2013 Rashbi Malbec, from Argentina’s Mendoza region. Artgentina, it seems, is almost incapable of producing a bad Malbec, even in the case of an inexpensive one like this bottle. With plum and black currant on the palate, a hint of smokiness it left with a long finish, this young wine proved a perfect pairing for an exceptional dinner.

Chag4

We crowned the meal with a Chocolate Mousse for my friend, two Capuccinos for the ladies, and a Crème Brûlée for me. My Belgian friend pronounced his mousse the best he ever had, my Crème Brûlée (I’m addicted to them!) certainly was the best I’ve ever had.

As the Belgian said when we were leaving, “After eating in great kosher restaurants all over France, who would have thought I’d get my best French meal in Brooklyn?” A great evening to be sure, nonetheless there was something that marred it for me… looking around the nearby tables and seeing other diners’ choices, made me wish I could have eaten more. Chef Jean Claude Teulade and his stuff have developed the art of French kosher cuisine to heretofore unparalleled levels, which leaves us with little choice but to go back again and again and again.

CS

24
Feb
14

The Big Picture – David Krakauer at the Museum of The Jewish Heritage


Any great musician can play a piece of music and transport the listener to higher realms, but very few can make their instrument talk, cry, laugh, scream, whisper, all the while dancing up to the highest peaks of feelings, totally enwrapping the audience. David Krakauer is one of these incredibly few. The Museum of The Jewish Heritage presented, this past Sunday afternoon, a concert featuring clarinetist David Krakauer, violinist Sara Caswell, Sheryl Bailey and her electric guitar, Rob Schwimmer on keyboards, Mark Helias on contrabasss, and John Hadfield on drums and percussion, with special guest Alicia Krakauer – David’s daughter – giving a nice rendition of Funny Girl‘s People.

The program, The Big Picture, consisted of new arrangements of themes from movies portraying Jewish slices of life, such as: Fiddler on the RoofSophie’s ChoiceLife is BeautifulCabaretThe Producers, Funny GirlChariots of FireLenny and more. The visuals by Light of Day, enhanced the experience as they danced and reacted to the music.

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Krakau1wb

David Krakauer has played every genre of music, in all the greatest stages here in the US and in Europe, leading his listeners to expect a lot; this performance was just one more testament to his mastery of and passion for the clarinet.

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As a now amateur violinist (who 55 years ago – as a young boy – soloed with the orchestra of the OSSODRE in Montevideo, Uruguay), I was listening raptly to Sara Caswell, while her bow alternated from gentle to furious up and downs, as I was moved by her unquestioned virtuosity. I especially enjoyed the dialogues between her violin and David’s clarinet.

Krakau2wb

Sheryl Bailey‘s electric guitar moved seamlessly from elegant subtlety to furious attack, all coming together for a beautifully coherent weave of glorious sound, as in her rendition of Honeycomb, from Lenny.

Every member of the band managed to shine on his or her own, but… after the fourteen pieces on the program were done, David Krakauer played an incredible solo that showed his full understanding of the subtlest nuances of the clarinet’s sound; then, the whole band joined in for a superb piece that explored every facet of their artistry. Somehow, now at the end the cohesiveness of the group, their collective artistic soul shone through in all its beauty, in all its depth.

Kabbalists and Chassidic Masters wrote that the human soul does not speak with words, for words are limited and unable to express the full range of feelings in the totality of their power, instead the soul speaks with music – a niggun. The niggun may be sad or happy leaving the individual happy or sad, yet at the end one always feels differently about him/herself and the world around, one always feels cleansed. Being in the audience for this concert left my soul absolutely uplifted and cleansed.

CS

26
Jan
14

Two Paintings


Over the last month and a half I’ve become the proud owner of two Igal Fedida abstract paintings. But as I’ve said before, on these pages, about the artist:

He is a modern painter with a message that extends beyond time. His colors are bold, Hebrew letters appear almost invariably, his brush strokes reveal a lot more about the subject matter than do the works of far more photo realistic artists. In short, though he paints Jewish art, his paintings speak to Jew and non-Jew alike, his works stir up emotions far beyond what the eyes can perceive. While looking at his works, you see the colors dance, you see the colors explode; no definable shape is discernible, yet everything that exists or ever existed is in them.”

The first one I acquired, is 12″x 12″ painted on paper…

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IgaFedpaint2

…”Between heavens and earth” represents – to me – the light breaking through the chaos as Creation starts to take shape and life though not fully defined, is just emerging. On the lower right corner the Hebrew letter “Bet,” the first letter of the book of Genesis is fully and beautifully shaped, it shows that though the elements were not yet recognizable, even through the Chaos everything was there and followed a very definite Divine plan.

The second work, which I got a few weeks later is a 40″ x 40″ mixed media on canvas…

IgaFedpaint

…”Explosion of Bereshit” happens shortly after the first depiction of Creation above. The Hebrew calligraphy quotes the first four verses of Genesis:

(1:1) In the beginning of God‘s creating the heavens and the earth — (1:2) when the earth was astonishingly empty, with darkness upon the surface of the deep, and the Divine Presence hovered upon the surface of the waters — (1:3) God said, “Let there be light, and there was light. (1:4) God saw that the light was good and God separated between the light and the darkness.
(The Stone Edition Artscroll Tanach translation)

That early supernal light, as it acquires strength, become a beautiful combination of colors, a pleasing canvas on which the Almighty’s creations will find a home. But… what about the viewer who heretofore denied the involvement, denied the very existence of a Divine Entity? To him/her the painting pointedly poses the question: can such an event as Creation be the result of random cataclysmic happenings that just resulted in life as we know it? 

Fedida‘s paintings may not solve philosophical dilemmas of faith, but they certainly present a clarification and a realistic interpretation – based on his kabalistic studies – of how Creation might have happened… Because, gentle reader, while looking at his works, you see the colors dance, you see the colors explode. While no definable shape is easily discernible, if you look carefully at the small details – the sudden turn of the painter’s brush, the shapes hinted – you soon realize that everything that exists or ever existed is represented here.

CS

21
Jan
14

Ribollita, Zuppa Toscana


It’s been snowing non-stop, since early morning. It’s CoOOolD out there!

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SnowStorm

Having come back from a long day I could think of nothing better to warm up with than one of my favorite Tuscan soups:

Ribollita

Rebollita

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, coarsely chopped
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • water, as needed
  • 14 oz canned white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14 oz canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock *
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lb 2 oz kale (preferably Tuscan kale**, if you can find it!), trimmed and sliced
  • 1 small day or two old ciabatta loaf (substitute any flat bread, if you can’t find the ciabatta, torn into small pieces)
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin oil, to serve

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions, carrots, and celery for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until the vegetables are golden and caramelized.
  2. Add the white beans to the pan and pour in the tomatoes. Add enough of water to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 20minutes. Add the parsley and Tuscan kale and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the bread and add a little more water, as needed. The soup should be thick.
  4. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Ladle into warmed serving bowls and serve hot, drizzled with extra virgin oil.

Try this soup and you’ll understand the true meaning of comfort food!

–oOOoOOo–

* Vegetable Stock

Yield: 8 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sunflower or corn oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped leek
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 4 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped fennel
  • 1 small tomato, finely chopped
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 bouquet garni

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and leek and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the remaining vegetables, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add the water and bouquet garni, bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 minutes,
  2. Strain the stock into a bowl, let cool, cover and store in the refrigerator. use immediately or freeze in portions for up to 3 months.

–oOOoOOo–

**

Be warned, once you’ve tasted Tuscan kale, you’ll find it hard to go back to the more easily available variety.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

08
Jan
14

A Conversation with Chef David Kolotkin


This evening at 10:00pm (Eastern Time), we will be talking to Chef David Kolotkin, cookbook author (The Prime Grill Cookbook)  and Corporate Chef at Prime Hospitality Group. We will discuss what makes a Chef, coming up in the ranks of today’s brigade system kitchens and much more.

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DavKoll

Those of you who’ve been faithfully reading this blog, know that both SYR and I wrote many times about Chef David, you also know that because of his superior culinary skills, because of his people skills, his down to earth – friendly – personality, he is our favorite Chef among many great ones.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, listen to our last broadcast with Sotheby‘s Senior Vice PresidentJenifer Roth – on Israeli and International Art, and the fascinating world of antique Judaica with Consultant on Books and Manuscripts, David Wachtel

Please tune us in this evening at 10:00pm  (Eastern Time) for a fascinating show, pretaped at The Prime Grill Restaurant (25 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019 – 212.692.9292). We will be waiting for you!

CS

31
Dec
13

Pardes, Revisited


Art manifests itself in many forms. There are great composers whose compositions take the listeners to other realms as they touch their soul. There are great painters whose images evoke memories, longings, visions of delight, or just force one to think. There are great Chefs whose creations, though ephemeral by their very nature, leave us craving for more. And then there is Pardes‘ (497 Atlantic Avenue; Brooklyn, NY 11217 – Tel: 718.797.3880) Owner/Chef Moshe Wendel.

I don’t know if Chef Moshe ever jotted down a musical note, or even held a brush to a canvas, but his culinary skills are indisputable, his technique includes all the key elements of the high art crafts…  Chef Moshe‘s canvas is the serving plate, his colors, food; his creations demonstrate a thorough yet delicate understanding of the subtle nuances of the harmony and counterpoint of flavors…

Last evening SYR, her son YR and I, betook ourselves to Pardes. We started our repast with a selection of “little plates.”

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Kale Salad with crispy rice, watermelon, red herring, watermelon, radish and lime dressing.

Kale Salad with crispy rice, watermelon, red herring, watermelon, radish and lime dressing.

Lentil soup, black olive broth, poached egg, cherry pepper and croutons Pastrami rib, russian dressing, house kraut, pumpernickel crumb

Lentil Soup, black olive broth, poached egg, cherry pepper and croutons
Pastrami Rib, Russian dressing, house kraut, pumpernickel crumb

The Lentil Soup, came together as a carefully orchestrated gentle symphony of unusual flavor combinations culminating in a surprising citrusy grand finale. It left us speechless with delight. The Pastrami Rib brought back sweet memories of a long gone restaurant; nobody ever equaled Shmulke Bernstein‘s pastrami… until now. Yet, it was different, with a few more flavors. we loved it!

We followed, the above, with a Duck Breast, with Brussel sprouts, smoked chestnut, cranberry/cardamon juice and black radish puree. An interesting combination that continued this food concert with incredibly creative and delicious numbers. But, all came to a rousing crescendo as we dug into the Skirt Steak, with kohlrabi salad, pickle gazpacho, and kohlrabi crunch. Skirt steak is usually very salty, but not in this case, it showed an incredibly delicious ensemble of flavors.

We segued with a very juicy, very tender, melt in your mouth, 25oz Grow and Behold Rib Eye, in red wine sauce and superb fries.

Though bursting at the seams by now, we couldn’t resist the Chocolate Mousse, with potato crunch, roasted peanuts, raisin/almond milk puree, celery leaves, olive oil and sea beans. We washed it all down with a glass of Dalton Safsufa Vineyards Chardonnay/Viognier 2011 for SYR, and a Gaffel Kölsch beer for me.

Truly a night to remember! As SYR put it, we’ve done many top restaurants over the years, but none equaled this latest experience.

CS

25
Dec
13

Raffaello Pizza – Amore Italiano!


Rafaello (37 West 46th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenue, NY, NY 10036 – Tel:212.575.6550), is set to revolutionize what we call kosher pizza, here in New York; the owner is Italian (and operates a famous restaurant in Rome), and so is the Chef. This past Sunday, I stopped by to see what the fuss was about, not only can I testify that everything I’d heard was true, but actually it all was an understatement. They offer 17 different types of pizza, including one gluten free, two different calzones, salads and three different types of pasta. But it is that pizza of theirs where they truly shine; as their website says:

The thin crust made with a dough left to rise for 2 days in order to minimize the amount of yeast and make it more digestible together with hand picked fresh ingredients makes it the perfect meal.

At Raffaello pizza slices are not triangular, they are rectangular and sizes are generous; the choices are as pleasant to the eye, as they are in aroma, as they are to the palate…

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Raffa1c

Slices of Eggplant Pizza and Black Olive with San Marzano Tomatoes and Mozarella… both types are mouth watering!

Raffa2

Cheese, pasta and black olives…

The calzones come freshly baked rather than rewarmed – as other establishments all too often do – filled with vegetables and oozing with melted cheese…

Raffa3

But I was in for a big delicious surprise at the end, at the recommendation of a couple next to my table I ordered the dessert pizza…

Raffa4

It didn’t look as elegant as the selections that preceded it, but the Chocolate Pizza with hot hazelnut spread and powdered sugar was better than I could ever have imagined, it certainly was a great way to end the meal. As a result of all the above, when I somehow found myself in the neighborhood at lunch time, yesterday, I just had to go back!

CS

17
Dec
13

Sotheby’s Upcoming Jewish Auctions – Part 2 – Israeli and International Art


Sotheby’s (1334 York Avenue; NY, NY 10021; Tel:212.606.7000), second Jewish themed auction which is also taking place today, features paintings, photographs, scuplture and DVDs. While much of the art is of a very Jewish nature one can easily recognize outside influences such as the French Fauves in the works of Mane-Katz, who is well represented here. It is obvious therefore that while weaving a Jewish theme, these artists often see it through the style of their contemporaries.

Can we therefore, talk about Jewish art as more than just the representation of certain subject matter? Absolutely! As I went through the exhibit it was quite obvious that Jewish painters, sculptors, photographers – while using the styles, the colors, the techniques, the equipment prevalent in their time – also bring a unique perspective, a unique sensitivity, a unique joy, a unique pain, all of them quintessentially Jewish.

It is outside the scope of this blog to discuss every single item, or even a significant number of them, but here are a few of the artworks that impressed me.

I found Samuel Bak‘s Untitled (Lot 69), very powerful…

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Ebak

Bak, a surrealist painter, is a Holocaust survivor with a powerful eye for detail – who portrays his personal nightmares and symbolism. The above Untitled work is subtitled (Experimente Mit der Weisheit – Experiment with Wisdom). Without showing an actually war scene, it portrays, the horrors, the aftermath of battle. Painted in 1974, it is estimated at $20,000 to $30,000. Four other works by this painter are included, as well, ranging between $12,000 to $20,000.

Moshe Gershuni is represented by two works, my personal favorite…

MGershuni2

…of the two, is the above monochromatic canvas (Lot 86), in shades of grey. Bold, strong, heavy brushstrokes create almost a sculpture on the canvas. It was painted in 2005-2006 and is estimated at $25,000 to $30,000.

Reuven Rubin also has a number of works here that show an evolution of styles and subjects…

ReuRub

Painted in 1928, The Milkman (Lot 27) depicts his love and amazement at the new land he had recently arrived in, Palestine. It has an estimated price ranging from $300,000 to $350,000. Two years later in 1930, Jakob Steinhardt in The Sunday Preacher (Lot 54), painted a powerful prophetic warning against the Weimar Republic’s decadence and the evil of things to come, it is estimated at $100,000 to $150,000.

Between the powerful photography of Adi Nes, to the very personal art (sculpture and DVDs) of Sigalit Landau, works by Ohad Meromi depict the anti-hero.

Omer1

The Psychedelic Protagonist (Lot 134), shows a despondent would be musician of undefinable age, reaching out – perhaps halfheartedly – for a hallucinogenic mushroom. Will he pick it up? Will he use it? This work is priced between $15,000 to $18,000.

From Ludwig Blum‘s idyllic View of Jerusalem (Lot 8), painted in 1937 and estimated at $40,000 to $60,000…

LudBlum

…to Yigal Ozery‘s study of a decaying building in Window (Lot 124), estimated at $12,000 to $15,000…

YigOz

From idealism, to warnings and fear, from hope to despair, from celebration to tears, the whole rainbow of human emotions, is represented here in many styles, in many colors. The range of Jewish experience, dreams and nightmares, laughter and tears, yet an absolute belief that future will be a bright one, from the late 19th century onward, is shown through varied media as explained by Jennifer Roth, two evenings ago, on our radio show.  There is something here for every taste and almost every pocket!

CS

16
Dec
13

Sotheby’s Upcoming Jewish Auctions – Part 1 – Important Judaica


Sotheby’s (1334 York Avenue; NY, NY 10021; Tel:212.606.7000) is having two exhibits on subjects of Jewish interest, prior to the auctions on Tuesday, the 17th of December. There are a hundred and sixty one lots in the Important Judaica exhibit, with one hundred and forty two lots in Israeli and International Art.

Many unusual items are shown in the Important Judaica section, including paintings, ceremonial art, books and more, ranging from antiquity to the 20th century in age. Quite a number of items impressed me, following is a small sampling…

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Hamisha Humshei Torah - Printed in 1561

Hamisha Humshei Torah – Printed in 1561

The above pictured item, Lot 136, includes the full Chumash together with RaSH”I and a condensed version of Elija Mizrahi‘s Sefer Mizrahi (a supercommentary on RaSH”I), titled Kitzur Mizrahi, as authored by Jacob Marcaria in Riva di Trento. Marcaria was a physician, printer and author. He printed a small number of titles in the press of German Rabbi Yosef Ottolengo – who had been licensed to print Hebrew books by Cardinal Cristoforo Madruzzo, Bishop of Trento. Included here are the Megillot (Scrolls) with commentaries by RaSH”I and Yitzchak Arama. It was obviously meant as a synagogue volume as it also includes the haftarot for the whole year as well as commentaries to aid in understanding these additional biblical readings. It is estimated to sell for $5,000 to $7,000.

Another book I found compelling was Sefatayim Yishak, Lot 143. In this slim volume are two letters written by Rabbi Jacob Yehoshua Falk – an ally of Rabbi Yaakov Emden – and Rabbi Aryeh Leib of Amsterdam – another staunch Emden ally and his brother-in-law. The letters, directed to the Rabbinical Court in Prague, expressed great concern and opposition to the newly appointed Rabbi of the German cities of Altona, Hamburg and Wandsbeck, Rabbi Yonathan Eybeschutz. Since Rabbi Eybeschutz‘ son and brother were known as Shabtai Tzvi followers, Rabbi Emden (whose father, the Chacham Tzvi, had been involved in a bitter fight against Nechemya Ochayon, after the latter was proven to be a full fledged Sabbatean) suspected Rabbi Eybeschutz‘ of secretly being a Sabbatean (especially after the latter gave a pregnant woman an amulet he wrote). This item is estimated at $10,000 to $12,000, it was printed in Altona in 1752.

More interesting books, among others, include Robert Estienne‘s Biblia Hebraica - in eight volumes – printed during a two and half year period from 1543 to 1546 (Lot 137), estimated at $20,000 to $30,000. An unusual collection of moral fables and animal stories, Meshal Ha-Kadmoni (Lot 134), by Yitzchak Ibn Shahula (and discussed by David Wachtel during last evening’s broadcast, on our radio show), has an estimated range of $30,000 to $40,000. It has some eighty woodcut illustrations and the material is based on the Talmud and Midrashim, with kabbalistic and Indian influences.

A very unusual tome, which appeared in Catania (Sicily), is a Compendium of Medical Treatises in Judeo-Arabic and Hebrew (Lot 96). While Arab copies of some of these works are relatively common, only three other copies in Hebrew letters are known. Jews lived in Catania as early as 383 B.C and many references to this town indicate, in later centuries, the presence of of numerous Jewish physicians. It’s price is expected to come in at around $8,000 to $12,000.

This medical book appeared around 1452

This medical book appeared around 1452

Another rare treasure is the first printed edition of the Talmud Yerushalmi by Daniel Bomberg (Lot 133). It took two years to print it (1522 to 1524), and was based on Yechiel ben Yekuthiel ben Benyamin Ha-Rofe‘s work from 1289, known as the Leyden Manuscript. It is expected to sell between $20,000 to $30,000.

Oppenhaim's the Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara - painted in 1862, four years after the tragic event.

Oppenhaim’s The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara – painted in 1862, four years after the tragic event.

Among the paintings in this auction, two stand out. Moritz Daniel Oppenheim‘s The Kidnapping of Egardo Mortara (Lot 60)*, depicts a horrible event from 1858 that drew international interest and world outrage against the Pope and the Catholic Church. This barbaric, unashamedly antisemitic act, was the catalyst that brought about the Resorgimento – the unification of Italy under King Vittorio Emmanuele and the erosion of Papal power over the country in 1870). It is estimated to bring in $200,000 to $300,000. Isidor Kaufman‘s Portrait of a Young Rabbi (Lot 61), is another very powerful painting, with estimates ranging from $100,000 to $150,000.

Painted circa 1897

Painted circa 1897

The two watercolors by Georg Emanuel Opitz (Lot 62) (not a Jewish artist, though many of his works show Jews), depict rather whimsically a Jewish teacher punishing one of his students as the other kids make fun of their mentor behind his back,  as explained by Jennifer Roth last evening on our radio show. The second watercolor shows a mother trying to intercede – on behalf of her daughter and her nervous suitor – with the father to accept the match. Both watercolors are expected to go for $8,000 to 12,000.

There are also many other items ranging from Torah finials, to crowns, to breastplates, to candelabra and more. All in all, this is a superb collection of items spanning hundreds of years and into the 20th century. Truly Important Judaica!

CS

* The white colored streaks in Oppenheim’s painting above do not show damage to the canvas, they are nothing more than reflections of the light in the exhibition hall.




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