AS THE SON OF A SURVIVOR of the Nazi concentration camps, I grew up hearing the first-hand testimony of a witness to humanity s darkest moment. Dr. Mengele supplanted Dr. Suess, and the Big Bad Wolf did a lot more than huff and puff. Sleeping with the lights on might keep the Boogie Monster at bay, but nothing could beat back the horror of being tucked under the covers by an arm branded with death camp numbers.
As my father left my bedside and headed out the door, he would pause and turn back toward me. Did you say your prayers? he would invariably ask.
Did I what?!
How can you bequeath me such an encounter with the devil, and expect me to believe in a loving God?
Do you really believe in a happy ending?
Yet somehow, he did. He and countless other survivors experienced hell on earth, and still found the strength to believe.
What happens when a generation grows up in comfort on the heels of so much horror? How do I make peace between my tranquil existence and my father s brutal past? When the life you are bequeathed does not resemble the life you are leading, there exists a great inner dilemma. Moreover, I am raised, not only to believe in, but to embrace the very God responsible for the atrocities of my father s generation.
It is this struggle to have faith in the midst of madness, and the unique Jewish response to it, that is the subject of Black is a Color, a collection of works, rendered through art and prose, that express how traditional Jews found and still find hope and faith in the midst of the deepest darkness.
It is an illumination of man s post-Holocaust spiritual stature; a search for the happy ending .
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
[The Talmud in] Avodah Zarah 28b teaches that the eyes' muscles are somehow connected to the heart. I do not know whether there is any anatomical truth to that assertion but emotionally I have no doubt at all that it is true. I am quite certain that when I first opened your book, your art did not at all bother with the brain. It went straight to the heart and wrought -- and still wreaks -- its magic there. And that magic is very potent. I have in front of me just now your profoundly evocative "Bound" [see the front cover]. It has haunted me for days and I can't get it out of my mind; sorry, my heart. As I am looking at it I am reminded of the question that, to the best of my understanding, exercises the interest of art and literary critics to this day. Is it legitimate to interpret a work on the basis of marks left by the artist without his having been consciously aware of what he was doing? It can of course be argued that the artist himself is the worst interpreter of what he has created since he is not aware of the subconscious world within himself that prompts his mind and guides his hand.What is the story that you are telling?You are expecting a lot from these two arms. We do not see the bodies of the people to whom they are attached so whatever we may know about them will have been told us by the arms. Why did you make the hand of the lower arm, the one whose tefillin are the barbed, swastika wires, enclose the tefillin bound arm that is stretched out to him? I lack the genius of your vision and would not in a million years have thought of painting such a picture, even if I would have the manual dexterity, which of course I do not. But I think that if I would have painted it I would have had the tefillin hands enclose the prisoner's hands as an earnest of efforts to help as much as he can, to lend encouragement that with patience the prisoner may yet hope for better times and so on and so banally on.Baruch HaShem it was you who did the job. The tefillin arm is flabby, untried and therefore unwise, He means well, but, at the end has nothing much to offer. It is he who needs to be redeemed, to be saved from a hackneyed ordinariness. The prisoner holds this young man's hand. In that clutch there lie unstated promises. There is no doubt that in your depiction it is the prisoner who is the hero. Such an arm has to be earned! Such strength can be redemptive for an entire people.Your essays are fresh and challenging. They match the originality of the drawings.Thank you for having produced this wonderful workHARAV MOSHE EISEMANNMashgiach Ruchani (Retired) Ner Israel Rabbinical CollegeAbout the Author:
Moments after entering the world on March 24th, 1963 in Los Angeles, California, the infant is cradled in his father's arms, the left one tattooed with the concentration camp number B-14529. Eight days later, his godfather tenderly holds the newborn with a similarly branded arm, the number A-11410 clearly visible beneath the intermittent stripes of his jet black tefillin. The child's father and godfather stand side-by-side as the child is given the name, Shlomo, in memory of their very own brother, who was shot by a fleeing Nazi guard just one day before the camp was liberated.
Twenty-five years later the child has his own son, and names him Dov, after his murdered grandfather, A-11409, whose body finally weakened during a cruel winter march. His position in line continued receding until he met with the executioner's bullets at the rear of the procession: - How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee -
Stan (Shlomo) Lebovic studied at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. He has owned several illustrative service companies, and before devoting himself exclusively to Black is a Color he published a children's book, which received a Toy of the Year Award and was featured in Disneyworld and on the QVC Television Network.
Upon completion of Black is a Color, Mr. Lebovic's spiritual appetite and perpetual existential angst set their sights on what is arguably the most widely read piece of literature in the Jewish world: The Passover Haggadah.
Titled Out of Bounds, his interpretation of the Haggadah has been hailed as a work:... not only [to] be read but [to] be studied, absorbed and savored ...
Mr. Lebovic has once again exposed us to the richness and extreme relevance found deep within traditional Jewish thought.
His spiritual struggle as a survivor's son has without a doubt molded him, and the art he creates.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Black is a Color, Inc., 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110615522173
Book Description Black is a Color, Inc., 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. first edition. 120 pages. 13.70x9.80x0.70 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 0615522173