Celebrating 100 Years

What’s The Kosher Scene doing at the New York Public Library, on 5th Avenue between 41st and 42nd in Manhattan? Apart from using their extensive library resources for research, I took the time to look at  250 items of special interest that the curator culled from among the millions in the library’s collection; surprisingly, among them were a number of articles of Jewish interest.

The Library, its famous guardian lions overlooking Fifth Ave, reward visitors with its treasured halls of knowledge, its ornately carved and painted ceilings, elegant corridors, ranking it amongst the world’s most beautiful public libraries

The exhibit, Celebrating 100 Years, is divided in four sections: ObservationContemplationSociety, and Creativity. As you enter, the first items shown are a series of cuneiform tablets – one of the earliest forms of writing known – all are business and inventory records. One exquisitely illustrated book displayed in the Contemplation area is Jacob Judah Aryeh Leon Templo‘s Image of the Tabernacle

First written in Dutch and published in Amsterdam, it was translated into Spanish in 1654, and into English in 1675

Jacob Judah Leon was born in Hamburg (the son of Spanish Jews who fled the Inquisition) in 1603 and died in 1675. He became Chacham in Middelburg and, after 1643, in Amsterdam, where he was also engaged as a teacher in the Talmud Torah. He vowelized the entire Mishnah which was printed in 1646 at the establishment of Manasseh ben Israel. Leon wrote various books on religious subjects which he meticulously illustrated as well.

As you walk around the exhibit you will see Tatiana Kellner‘s powerful, impressive narrative of her parents, Holocaust survivors both…

The life like arm shows the Nazi given, concentration camp, number… B-11226 of the author/artist’s father

The power of its simple yet gut wrenching words, moving art work which includes drawings and sculpture, make it a powerful testimony to man’s inhumanity to man, a never to be expunged indictment of antisemitism and the horrors that echo still, despite Holocaust deniers.

On a lighter note, there is a theatrical poster in Yiddish about a dramatic reading “concert” by the celebrated actor Herz Grossbart. Another fascinating item was a handwritten notebook of Mary Evans’ (writing in the 19th century, under the nom de plume George Eliot), filled with annotations, Hebrew words and random thoughts that were part of the author’s research for her last novel Daniel Deronda.

Ms Evans (George Eliot) studied Hebrew, Jewish tradition and history to write Daniel Deronda.

To be sure, there are some infamous works here as well. Most notably, a copy of Adolf Hitler‘s first edition of his Mein Kampf;  a chilling historical radical reminder not yet a century old, of the power of the written word to inspire greatest good or greatest evil.
The inclusion of 5 pieces of Jewish interest, among 250 objects, books and manuscripts out of 50,000,000 items in the NYPL’s collection, serve as a powerful affirmation of the Jewish contributions to history, art, writing and more. An exhibit worth seeing, it will be on display through March the 4th.


0 Responses to “Celebrating 100 Years”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,772 other subscribers

Calendar of Posts

January 2012


Visit our friends at the Kosher Wine Society

Category Cloud

18 Restaurant Abigael's baking baking recipes BlogTalkRadio cheese Chef David Kolotkin Chef Jeff Nathan Chef Lévana Chef Lévana Kirschenbaum chicken chicken recipes cookbook authors cookbooks dairy cuisine dairy recipes Esti Berkowitz fine dining fine kosher dining fine kosher dining in Manhattan fine kosher restaurants fine restaurants fish fish recipes Geila Hocherman Internet Radio Irving Schild Jack's Gourmet Jeff Nathan Jewish history Kim Amzallag kosher kosher baking kosher baking recipe kosher baking recipes kosher beef kosher beef recipes kosher cheese kosher chefs kosher chicken dishes kosher chicken recipes kosher cookbook authors kosher cookbooks kosher cookery Kosher cooking kosher cooking classes kosher cooking demos kosher cuisine kosher dairy kosher dairy cuisine kosher dairy recipes kosher desserts kosher dining kosher dining in Brooklyn kosher dining in Manhattan kosher dining in NY kosher fine dining kosher fine wines kosher fish kosher fish recipes Kosher food kosher Italian cuisine kosher lamb recipes kosher meat dishes kosher meat recipes kosher meat restaurants kosher meat restaurants in Manhattan kosher Mediterranean cuisine kosher parve recipes kosher poultry dishes kosher poultry recipes kosher recipes kosher restaurant review Kosher restaurants kosher restaurants in Brooklyn kosher restaurants in Manhattan kosher restaurants in New York City kosher restaurants in NY Kosher Revolution Kosher Scene kosher soup recipes kosher wine kosher wines Lévana Lévana Kirschenbaum meat recipes parve recipes Passover Pomegranate Supermarket poultry poultry recipes Prime Grill Royal Wine Corporation Shavuos recipes Susie Fishbein The Kosher Scene The Kosher Scene Radio Show Uncategorized Wine

%d bloggers like this: