From Moses to Moses to Moses? A Ten Commandments’ Tale

And there was no other prophet who arose in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face,

deuteronomy 34:10

while there has been no one like moses, over a thousand years passed and there emerged the great intellect of moses ben maimon. the saying “from moses to moses” was pronounced. maimonides’ contribution to torah scholarship brought him to be on the pantheon with moses the prophet. over time, there was another great moses. his contribution, however, was in art. his name. mr. moishe shagal aka marc chagall. irony should not be lost on the fact that many of his great works are depictions of moses and the events from the torah.

as much as intellect, justice and righteousness are qualities embraced by the creator of humanity, the master of the universe has a strong interest in quality craftsmanship and art work. in the building of the tabernacle, the master chose his own artisan. bezalel and his assistant, oholiab, were to create something special. see exodus 31:1-6. section 1-5 provides that “the lord spoke to moses, saying: “see, i have called by name bezalel the son of uri, the son of hur, of the tribe of judah, and i have imbued him with the spirit of god, with wisdom, with insight, with knowledge, and with [talent for] all manner of craftsmanship to do master weaving, to work with gold, with silver, and with copper, with the craft of stones for setting and with the craft of wood, to do every [manner of] work.”

marc chagall was an early modernist and contemporary of picasso. beyond painting, he is known for his stained glass works. during his career, mr. chagall painted on biblical topics as well as shtetl life. while he arguably treaded afoul of the ten commandments with depictions of god’s image, many of his painting are inspiring. he painted during difficult times of the 20th century.

the following are images from of a number of mr. chagal’s works.

in sum, while the word and scholarship are the torah’s essence, artistry and creativity are valued by the master of the universe as well. the master’s hand picking of his artisans must be appreciated. as such, art’s great masters were inspired by the torah’s words in creating amazing artworks. after all, they knew that creator of mankind could be admiring their work. marc chagall served a large role by capturing the torah within a modern art perspective. for this reason, his is truly a moses of distinction.

be well!!

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Published by biblelifestudies

I am a practicing lawyer and long term admirer of the bible

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