A Conversation with Rachel Heuberger on the Biblical Story of the Binding of Isaac and the Exhibition “Obedience”
Still from a film in the installation “Obedience”
© S. Boddeke & P. Greenaway, photo: Digidaan
The exhibition “Obedience. An Installation in 15 Rooms by Saskia Boddeke & Peter Greenaway” has been open for some time now at the Jewish Museum Berlin. As with every exhibition, this one meets the approval of our visitors to various degrees. Unlike other exhibitions however, the feedback – which often reaches us later – is different than what we might have anticipated. Indeed, this was the case with Dr. Rachel Heuberger, the curator of the Hebraica and Judaica collections at the University Library of Frankfurt. We spoke right after her visit about her thoughts and impressions.
Mirjam Wenzel: You just saw the exhibition “Obedience” by Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway. How would you describe it? → continue reading
The Many Faces of Isaac and Ismael, Part 2
As we recently announced, this month we would like to show another selection of clips from our video box, “Are you Isaac or Ismael?” This time, we’ve chosen clips of visitors who identify with both sons of Abraham. As one woman poetically put it: “Both are home within me.” That said, who were Isaac and Ismael exactly? And what is their importance in each of the three monotheistic religions?
Lisa Albrecht was again responsible for selecting the video clips. Now and then she’s also found sitting smiling near the video box.
In both Judaism and Christianity, Isaac is the first-born son of Abraham and Sarah. → continue reading
In some families the subject of circumcision provokes intense discussion, as you can see in the films that are part of our special exhibition “Snip it! Stances on Ritual Circumcision”. Oliwia is familiar with this difficult situation: on the one hand her Muslim husband considers it a natural part of the tradition, and on the other, particularly her Catholic father argues vehemently against it. Should she have her four-year-old son circumcised? What does she think of the practice herself? We spoke about these questions with Oliwia, as well as about her final decision.
Oliwia*, what different factors affected your family’s conflict over whether to circumcise your son?
“Boys before their Circumcision”, photo from the series “Turkish in the Ruhr district”, Cologne, 1983 © Henning Christoph / Soul of Africa Museum
My husband is Moroccan and Muslim. My background is Roman Catholic, although I converted to Islam in 2006. We had a son four years ago and from the beginning it was clear for my husband that Jamal would be circumcised. It’s a part of the tradition for him and it symbolizes a man’s identification with Islam.
It wasn’t so clear for you?
No. Actually, I’m → continue reading