The author analyzes the use of pictorial images of prominent rabbis in Orthodox Jewish communities, including traditionalist Ashkenazic Orthodoxy, Sephardic Orthodoxy, and Hasidism. He discusses how this practice avoids the Biblical prohibition of making graven images. Among the uses for these images identified by the author are: suggesting continuity between past and present; communicating the normative ideal for rabbis; identifying with specific worldviews and ideologies; and use for symbolic manipulation.
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Heilman, Samuel C. A Face to Believe In: Contemporary Pictorial Images of Orthodox Rabbis and What They Represent. Jewish Religious Leadership: Image and Reality. Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) Press. 2004: