A Face to Believe in: Contemporary Pictoral Images of Orthodox Rabbis and What They Represent

By Samuel C. Heilman

Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) Press, 2004

In this thorough investigation, Heilman delves into the use of rabbinic images, which according to him, have clearly entered into the popular culture of contemporary Orthodoxy, and particularly its haredi segment. Specifically, the author delves into its use in the haredi world (Hasidic and non-Hasidic components), in many of the different Hasidic sects (i.e., Chabad-Lubavitch and its use of Menachem Mendel Schneerson's image), in the Modern Orthodox world (i.e., its use of Joseph Soloveitchik's image), and also discusses the use of photographs along Ashkenazic and Sephardic lines. Moreover, Heilman explains the motivations behind the widespread dissemination and purchase of these pictures, discusses the general styles of the pictures themselves (they are generally head-shots), explores the idea that the photographs are meant to "depict charisma," and writes about the effect of the modern capacity of digital manipulation on the pictures, among many other topics covered.

Topic: Orthodox Judaism, Media, Jewish Identity, Leadership, Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) Judaism, Communal Memory, Identity

Name of Publication: Jewish Religious Leadership: Image and Reality

Editor: Wertheimer, Jack

Volume/Issue: Vol.2

Page Number(s): 837-878

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Genre: Book Chapter

Coverage: Israel , United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Heilman, Samuel C. A Face to Believe in: Contemporary Pictoral Images of Orthodox Rabbis and What They Represent. Jewish Religious Leadership: Image and Reality. Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) Press. 2004: 837-878. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=5595


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