Portrait of the Rabbi as an Artist Explaining Another Artist’s Portrait

By Rabbi Dan Ornstein

Published April 15, 2009, issue of April 24, 2009.

I stand in the gallery

pointing out to them

the play of light and dark,

lines curved and straight,

cubes and angles,

all alluding to the Artist’s ardor,

as I coax their adoration.

Some half doze and politely yawn.

Others dismiss with candor

the painted objects of veneration.

And others get entranced

with how He conjures up the dawn.

Dan Ornstein is a rabbi at Congregation Ohav Shalom and a writer in Albany, N.Y.  This poem was inspired by a Torah teaching he learned from Rabbi Gordon Tucker while Ornstein was a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary.



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