Visu­al Arts

Illu­mi­na­tions: An Explo­ration of Haf­tarah through Art and History

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2021

This book is a won­der­ful intro­duc­tion to Jew­ish art, the mean­ings of our haf­tarot, and cul­tur­al insights into Jew­ish his­to­ry. Artist Laya Crust has inter­pret­ed the 82 haf­tarah sto­ries from the Bible and cre­at­ed an inno­v­a­tive paint­ing for each one. The illus­tra­tions were paint­ed into an orig­i­nal Haf­tarah Scroll used week­ly at Beth David B’nai Israel Beth Am, Toron­to, Cana­da. It is the first illus­trat­ed scroll of this type ever to be cre­at­ed. The paint­ings were repro­duced to cre­ate this remark­able book.

The imagery gives out­stand­ing insights into Judais­m’s rich cul­tur­al her­itage. Laya uti­lizes imagery from Medieval Span­ish man­u­scripts, ancient mosaics, and mod­ern artists as diverse as Cha­gall and Mau­rice Sendak. The paint­ings are pre­sent­ed as an odyssey through world his­to­ry as expe­ri­enced by the Jew­ish people.

Each of the 82 paint­ings is accom­pa­nied by Laya’s com­men­tary link­ing the art to the haf­tarah, the parashah, and a peri­od of Jew­ish his­to­ry. This lav­ish­ly illus­trat­ed book is a thor­ough­ly enjoy­able explo­ration for stu­dents, art fans, and any­one who loves the Bible and its many stories.

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