Rembrandt and What it Means to be Both a Stranger and a Neighbor in the World

In his rendering of the banishment of Ishmael, the Torah reading for Rosh Hashanah, Rembrandt reminds us of the bond between Jews and humanity at large.

From Abraham Casting out Hagar and Ishmael, Rembrandt, etching with touches of drypoint, 1637. Met Museum.

From Abraham Casting out Hagar and Ishmael, Rembrandt, etching with touches of drypoint, 1637. Met Museum.

Observation
Sept. 7 2018
About the author

Meir Soloveichik is the rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York and director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University.


For Rembrandt enthusiasts, few experiences are as exciting as visiting the great artist’s home in Amsterdam. Bought in the flush of youthful success, it was later relinquished when Rembrandt found himself on the brink of bankruptcy; the building is thus an emblem both of his earthly ups and downs and of his enduring fame.

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More about: Abraham, Arts & Culture, Ishmael, Painting, Religion & Holidays, Rembrandt and the Jews