Tosafot Exhibition Engages Dialogue

2 Feb

Now on view at the Museum in Ein Harod

Yonah Lavery-Yisraeli and Dvora Liss

Tosafot – an exhibition of the illustrated Talmud by Jacqueline Nicholls and Yonah Lavery-Yisraeli, is part of the Museum’s renewed interest in engaging its visitors in meaningful dialogue with the content and values of the Judaica collection. The exhibition’s title, “Tosafot”, refers to the medieval commentary on the Talmud, printed in the outer margin of the Talmud page, opposite Rashi’s commentary. Rashi (RAbbi SHlomo Itzhaki, 1040 –1105, France) was the foremost Talmudist of the Middle Ages, whose influential commentary forms the basis of all Talmud study to this day. Rashi’s grandchildren undertook to expand and elaborate his commentary; their explanations (and of other of his students, 12th-14th centuries, France and Germany) became known as “tosafot”, literally, “additions”; hence the designation of the authors as “Tosafists”. This show offers a continuation of the tradition of adding to the Talmudic text. The juxtaposition of the texts with the artists’ interpretive drawings creates a unique form of visual commentary that is radically different from traditional, written commentary. The artists take the liberty to imagine the physical setting, the scenery, the clothing, and anything else that does not actually appear in the written text. They are free to imagine whatever they like.


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