Of Qadosh, Otherness & Responsibility

Qadosh — being separate, sacred, holy — treasured.    Qadosh -of the Divine, separate from human impurity and sin…although Qadosh (aka Kadosh) implies specialness — there is also some tension associated with it.   When you are chosen, when you are Qadosh, separate, holy — you are isolated, you are the Other.

Qadosh can be morally or ceremonially sacred.   Qadosh can indicate an angel, a saint, a sanctuary — and once again, isolation.img_1781

The Artist as Qadosh must do their sacred work in Isolation.   Some might say that the Artist works hand in hand with the Divine.   What is holy for a Jewish Artist?   Some say that it is the pulling together of ideas — the inspiration (like breathing in…), the connection, the doing — the connecting color or line or sound or light with feeling.

The Artist is Qadosh when they cause the audience to draw in breath — be inspired.img_1804

If this work is not holy, it is nonetheless sacred.   And being an artist we have the responsibility to do our work — to do the holy work of inspiring that the Divine designed us for.

But as Jewish Artists, of Qadosh, there is an inherent responsibility.  Being chosen does not make you free.  It makes you worry.  It makes you work.   It gives you soapbox and mouthpiece and voice.     Art that is not qadosh — does not have voice or message or feeling — has vapidity?  Discuss.img_1805







We looked at the work of Elaine Reichek, a NY-based visual artist, born in 1943.   Although the work looks like Craft, the message belies the sanctity and surprise of it all.

“The Parents of Jewish Boys Always Love Me — I am the closest thing to a Shiksa without Being One.”  – Elaine Reichek



“We Shall Overcome” — Ben Shahn

Ben Shahn was a social realist — his work used his sacred mouthpiece to deliver messages on social construct.

“James Chaney” – Ben Shahn

















Perhaps it is our role as Outsider, Other, Separator, Qadosh — that allows us perspective.



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