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20 votes
7 answers
4k views

Why are angelic icons not prominent in Judaism?

I learned that the song Shalom Aleichem is all about welcoming the Shabbat angels, and clearly angels are celebrated in Judaism. However I've noticed that images of angels are not very widespread in ...
glenviewjeff's user avatar
14 votes
7 answers
900 views

Saying words of prayer or Torah while an immodest photo or drawing is in your field of vision?

The halachah is clear (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75) that one may not recite Shema, or any other words of Torah or prayer, while in the presence of parts of the human body that should be covered. ...
Alex's user avatar
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13 votes
3 answers
2k views

Did Rembrandt really get the 'mene, mene' inscription in his painting of Belshazzar's Feast wrong?

Forgive me if you feel this is not the best forum to ask this question on, but it seems the most apposite one out of those currently available. The inscription that appears on the wall in Daniel 5:25 ...
Leon Conrad's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
382 views

Issachar's Banner in Halacha

Inspired by this answer. Bamidbar Rabbah 2:7 describes the symbol on Issachar's banner as the sun and the moon. I have researched the topic of what it is permitted to draw, and it seems that ...
Baby Seal's user avatar
  • 8,250
11 votes
1 answer
409 views

Aesthetics and chukoseihem

In general, there is a prohibition to adopt practices from other cultures (See, e.g., Maimonides' Laws of Idolatry 11; see also here) if there is no clear, reasonable, non-idolatrous justification for ...
Loewian's user avatar
  • 17.8k
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

May Jews create sculpture, and under what restrictions?

I do not know if a realistic or abstract freestanding or hanging sculpture of any creature as art (for a museum or store) is permitted me to create or for Jews to view, or whether it would be ...
eternalsquire's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
246 views

Picture of the Chacham Tzvi

In the book "Hachassidut" by Rabbi Ahron Marcus there's a drawing of the Chacham Tzvi: This seems to be based on this painting or this one. In all three, he's drawn pointing at his bookmark,...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.8k
9 votes
1 answer
365 views

Picture by R' Aryeh Kaplan on the front cover of the Aryeh Kaplan Reader

Hello does anyone know of anyone I could contact or where I could look with regard to an explanation of the painting on the front of the Aryeh Kaplan Reader by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan himself?
B First's user avatar
  • 127
9 votes
9 answers
2k views

Are Cherubim on top of the ark exception or contradiction?

Jews are forbidden to create any graven images of anything in the heavens yet Hashem commanded the ark be adorned with cherubim. Is this an exception or a contradiction?
Ephraim's user avatar
  • 289
8 votes
3 answers
250 views

Depicting a constellation

Assuming the intention is at least partly for educational purposes, Is it mutar to arrange star stickers in the form of actual constellations (say, on a ceiling) or is that included in the prohibition ...
Loewian's user avatar
  • 17.8k
7 votes
4 answers
3k views

What do Jews think angels look like?

I'm a Christian and I've seen and been constantly exposed to our common view of angels. That said I like Matisyahu who draws from a different culture based in Judaism rather than Christianity. In his ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

"Famous" Jewish painting "The Talmud" pedigree

I have a painting I inherited from my grandparents that I have seen reproduced elsewhere by seemingly other artists, with some variations. The scene depicts a number of rabbis/scholars around a table ...
Shmuel Brown's user avatar
  • 1,358
7 votes
1 answer
641 views

May we illuminate scrolls?

Since the Middle Ages, it has become more common to find illuminated megillot Esther: kosher scrolls of Esther with pictures around the text. Here is one example: link. I have seen such a megillat ...
magicker72's user avatar
  • 10.1k
7 votes
1 answer
291 views

Sand art on Shabbos

Is it Hallachicly permissible to make Sand art on Shabbos or is it prohibited on Shabbos and if so what prohibition are you doing maybe writing?
Chalutzhanal's user avatar
  • 2,282
6 votes
1 answer
256 views

Mishneh Torah Artwork

In my yeshiva there is a library that has many very old seforim. While exploring the library I came across a volume of the Mishneh Torah which seems to be from 1574. I opened it and was surprised to ...
daniel's user avatar
  • 181
6 votes
2 answers
317 views

Viewing idols in an art museum

If one goes to an art or history museum that has a room that showcases the idols of ancient people, may one view them? I heard quoted from Rabbi Moshe Stav (a rebbe in Eretz Yisrael) that you can go ...
treenuts15's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
244 views

Is it forbidden to depict the tzimtzum in art?

I genuinely am having trouble finding the answer to this. The Zohar has imagery to describe the tzimtzum. E.g. the very start of Bereshit with the Lamp of Darkness. See also Parashat Bo The imagery ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
  • 10.6k
5 votes
2 answers
501 views

Cherubim & Ark of Cov. description paralleled to (or inspired by) Egyptians?

I'm wondering why the cherubim atop the Ark of the Covenant, as referenced in Exodus 25:20, 1 Kings 8:6, 2 Chronicles 5:7, etc., are explicitly described with outstretched wings? I believe that ...
Butterfly and Bones's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
3k views

Are there any crafts permitted to do on Shabbat?

I was asked to do a children's recreation program at a local Jewish center. What are suggestions for types of projects to do with a group of children that are allowed to do on Shabbat? Are there any ...
Beth's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
3 answers
6k views

What can a Jew draw? [duplicate]

The Torah prohibits making certain images, (Deuteronomy 4:15-19). It includes males and females, animals, planets, and stars. It seems from these verses that a person's options when drawing the world ...
Baby Seal's user avatar
  • 8,250
4 votes
1 answer
179 views

Framing a Page from a Holy Book

Suppose you had a single page from an old Tanakh or rabbinic book. Would it be permissible to frame and mount the page on a wall?
Argon's user avatar
  • 3,817
4 votes
1 answer
223 views

Framing old Tefillin Parshiot

I recall hearing somewhere that some folks are accustomed to remove the (likely possul) parshiot from old tefillin and frame them. As tefillin are generally more difficult to correct, is this ...
Noach MiFrankfurt's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
133 views

Why is there a 'monkey' drawn in this old script of Tefillat Ha'Geshem?

I found this photo printed in a Russian/Hebrew booklet about the Days of Awe. The caption says that this is part of Tefilat HaGeshem, but non specifically says that it is 'ancient' and handwritten. ...
bondonk's user avatar
  • 10.3k
4 votes
2 answers
884 views

What are the halachik issues involved in drawing from a nude model?

Aside from seeming obviously inappropriate for a good Jewish boy/girl, what are the halachik issues involved in drawing from a nude model? Are there any distinctions with regard to men/women?
cube's user avatar
  • 993
4 votes
4 answers
409 views

Photographing an Eclipse

There is a general prohibition on depicting and/or owning depictions of celestial bodies, such as the sun and moon (see, e.g., the Rambam Hilkhoth Avoda Zara 3:18). Nonetheless, there are opinions ...
Loewian's user avatar
  • 17.8k
3 votes
1 answer
111 views

Could the Menorah be Cast in a mold?

In the description of the menorah in Sh'mot 25:31, there is a requirement that the menorah be hammered ("The menorah shall be made of hammered work;") and Rashi explains that it is to be hammered out ...
rosends's user avatar
  • 38.3k
3 votes
1 answer
162 views

May a chanuka menorah be any shape? [duplicate]

This is a more specific asking of "what may a menorah look like", whose answer only regulated candle height. So long as the artist is mindful regarding the prohibition against idols, may a menorah ...
eternalsquire's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Art on Chol Hamoed

Most people say that you can't write on Chol Hamoed, but is it permissible to draw for pleasure as that is not considered "work"?
user9243's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
112 views

Are star stickers mutar?

Do any contemporary poskim discuss the usage of star stickers with regard to the prohibition of depicting celestial bodies (e.g. the glow-in-the-dark ones people put on walls and ceilings)? What if ...
Loewian's user avatar
  • 17.8k
3 votes
0 answers
71 views

Movie on the history of the sages

I've always loved studying about our history and sages. In particular, I am quite a fan of Rabbi Akiva's life and adventures. With the quarantine, I have found myself with some extra time and was ...
seriousquestions's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
64 views

Pasta-decorated items in Pesaj

I have a picture frame I made as a kid that's decorated with uncook, dry pasta (and has paint over it). So far every year I've put it away for Pesaj. What are the rules and considerations for items ...
frozenkoi's user avatar
  • 131
3 votes
1 answer
123 views

Get an Idol out of the house

Say you buy a work of art, then you find out the painting has an image of an idol. You want to get it out of the house. Can you keep the frame if the frame is not connected to the image? The frame ...
Aigle's user avatar
  • 1,478
3 votes
1 answer
630 views

Drawing breasts

Is it an avierah to draw women with their breasts exposed? I have seen paintings by European artists that depict biblical women with their breasts exposed and wondered: if a Jew were to do this, would ...
Avishai EliYahu's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
875 views

Can A Sincere Convert practice Hebrew Calligraphy?

I want to create Hebrew art. As a sincere convert am I allowed to do so? For example, I wish to draw a Magen (Hebrew letters not the Star) to protect myself. I also read certain restrictions on ...
Jewish Art's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
316 views

Is it prohibited to have a painting \ sculpure of a pig or any other non kosher animal in one's home?

Is it permitted, to have a piggy bank shape like, well a pig - for example?
Nico Black's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
334 views

Displaying Torah Fragments on a Wall [duplicate]

Assume the following: A Torah scroll has gone into such disrepair that it could not be made Kasher again. Rather than burying the remaining leaves that are still usable, they are sold off as art ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 11.1k
2 votes
1 answer
277 views

Should we use a picture of the Western Wall as a “mizrach”?

Shulchan Oruch Horav 90 (22) advises against davenning in front of decorations on the wall of the shul. Is it, therefore, a good thing to use a picture of the Western Wall as a “mizrach” ("mizrach" ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
321 views

Would it be forbidden to own images of angels?

Okay, I'll try be a little bit more specific. Say someone was in possession of an angelic figure(s), they did not create the figure, they ascribe no power to the figure, and they certainly don't ...
עמנואל-העבד's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
65 views

Are there prayers or blessings for craftspeople to recite before making objects?

I'm interested in any relevant information/rites on this subject that reflect intentions for success gratitude for skill or aptitude or having an able body (ESPECIALLY interested in this) blessings ...
J. Burton's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
235 views

Idol worship objects, what are they?

The Torah talks about removing idol worship objects. Are we then just talking about statues? What about books, newspapers, pictures, paintings , maybe your house is designed in a form that goes back ...
Aigle's user avatar
  • 1,478
2 votes
0 answers
250 views

Putting crayons in an oven

There is a children's craft activity involving melting crayons (based on paraffin wax) onto a shaped-mold in an oven. It has not been possible to get any information about what the crayons are made of,...
bondonk's user avatar
  • 10.3k
2 votes
0 answers
71 views

Is a chess set with full figured human pieces permissible to own? [duplicate]

Link to a similar chess set Is a chess set with full figured human pieces permissible to own? My question is due to the second commandment.
user11408's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
375 views

Is it permitted to have zodiac symbols in a synagogue?

Many shuls in Eastern Europe have painted zodiac symbols (albeit in a rather symbolic manner) on the walls or ceiling. However, it is stated directly in the Mishneh Torah that one may not draw the ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 139
1 vote
3 answers
196 views

Drawing on Shabbes: product recommendation?

I have two young children, one of whom (aged six) loves drawing. Sadly, she often professed to hate Shabbes, given that she cannot draw for the entire day, and I have been looking for a kosher ...
Shimon bM's user avatar
  • 18.9k
1 vote
2 answers
295 views

Tribe Plates on door of Heichal Shlomo

On the door of the Heichal Shlomo in Jerusalem are several square plates which appear to symbolize the twelve tribes. I'm having trouble figuring out which tribe each of these plates corresponds to. ...
Daniel Schilling's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
65 views

Tradition-Based Depictions of the Third Temple

Are there any artistic depictions of the third Temple and/or future Jerusalem, available online, that are rooted in traditional descriptions, such as Ezekiel 40-47 and related midrashim?
Loewian's user avatar
  • 17.8k
1 vote
1 answer
230 views

Creating art on yom tov

If someone created a work of art (e.g., drawing, painting or sculpture) by mistake on Yom Tov, what can be done with it? Does it have to be destroyed or can it be kept?
Nordlyset's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
32 views

Drawing the sun, moon or stars [duplicate]

In what manner may one draw the sun, moon and stars for a children's book? Is there a difference if it's: not complete black and white outline or colored realistic or fake looking the purpose of the ...
Malka Wolf's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
42 views

Can you practice art on Chol Hamoed if you do it digitally?

As I understand it, traditional writing and art is for the most part forbidden on Chol Hamoed, but typing something up on the computer or your phone is generally allowed because it's not permanent and ...
user1879026's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
71 views

Halachically speaking, are painted Egyptian sunk-reliefs that are carved into walls (the outline of a 2D painting) considered to be 2D or 3D (See Ex.)

According to this answer on Judaism StackExchange regarding different rules for what kind of art is allowed, it states that: There are differences between representation in relief (3 dimensions) and ...
setszu's user avatar
  • 944