Jacques Lipchitz, Tuscany’s Great Jewish Sculptor

In the second and third decades of the 20th century, Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973) was considered one of the leading practitioners of Cubist sculpture; as his style evolved later on, and until his death, he continued to produce celebrated works. Dovid Margolin writes:

The [sculptor], born Chaim Yaakov Lipchitz in the resort town of Druskininkai, today in Lithuania [and then in Russia], spent the pre-World War II years in Paris, where he was friends with Pablo Picasso, posed for Amedeo Modigliani (whom he introduced to Chaim Soutine), and met Ernest Hemingway at one of the parties he regularly attended at the home of Gertrude Stein (although back then he didn’t know enough English, or Hemingway enough French, to communicate).

He escaped from Paris just before the Germans marched in, eventually making his way to New York. Lipchitz made his first visit to Tuscany in 1962, drawn by the millennia-old marble quarries of Carrara—“Michelangelo’s territory” he called it—and the foundry of Luigi Tommasi in Pietrasanta. He and his wife spent six weeks there, with almost all of the artist’s time consumed by work, going from the place he was staying to the foundry and back. “I didn’t see anything [of] Italy,” he said.

But he was smitten, with the work [and] with the place, and told his wife, Yulla, that they had to return. Unable to find [a workspace he could rent, he purchased what he described as] “a very beautiful house.” The renaissance structure, formally known as Villa Orsucci di Bozzio, sometimes spelled Villa Bosio, stands . . . overlooking the town of Camaiore and offering stunning views of the Tuscan countryside. Lipchitz set up shop there, working on smaller pieces in his indoor studio, and larger ones in the field outside.

Late in life, Lipchitz returned to Jewish religious observance, and in accordance with his wishes, his Tuscan estate is now used as an Orthodox summer camp.

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Read more at Chabad.org

More about: Arts & Culture, East European Jewry, Italian Jewry

 

Israel Risks Letting Hamas Set the “Rules of the Game” in Gaza

Nov. 14 2018

From Monday afternoon into Tuesday, Hamas launched hundreds of rockets and mortars at Israelis, doing considerable damage and claiming at least one life. Israel responded with airstrikes on military positions in Gaza and on buildings used by the Strip’s terrorist rulers. Even if relative calm returns, the question remains of whether a war similar to that of 2014 and previous years will yet ensue. Oded Granot observes that Hamas, for its part, has made its tactics clear:

Hamas and Islamic Jihad not only want to dictate the rules of the game and when the shooting starts and stops, they also want to control the height of the flames. Israel cannot come to terms with such a situation. . . . To a large extent, [the rocket attacks have been] the result of the realization within Hamas and Islamic Jihad that Israeli leaders want to secure an arrangement [with them] and quiet at almost any cost and are averse to anything that could spark an uncontrollable conflagration.

This conclusion is the byproduct of declarations made by senior Israelis and the decision to allow cash and fuel to enter Gaza. This understanding essentially demolished the foundations of Israeli deterrence against Hamas, which were intact for nearly four years. If Israel needs a cease-fire so badly, it is possible to rain down hundreds of rockets on it without worrying that the cease-fire efforts—which Hamas also badly wants and needs—will collapse.

This equation has to be changed. [Israel] must continue to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, and in the same breath signal to the terrorist organizations that Israel is not afraid of an escalation, even at the cost of terminating cease-fire efforts. There is no need to conquer the Gaza Strip—there are other ways to achieve this goal and restore deterrence.

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Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism