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November 22, 2002 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-11-22

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from page 17

to go; to set a good example for my
children and grandchildren."
It was not until a new rabbi opened
his eyes to the beauty and transcen-
dence of the Kabbalah (Jewish mysti-
cism) that he began studying in earnest.
With photography, a- hobby he had
pursued seriously for most of his life,
Nimoy began to create his view of the
feminine presence of God, known in
kabbalistic tradition as shechinah.
"I have not invented sensuality or
sexuality in Judaism," he said, rattling
off biblical stories and legends.
"At the end of his life, Moses left his
wife to wait for the shechinah to
escort him to the next world. The
Sabbath bride is another manifestation
of the feminine aspect of God. And
Sabbath is when husbands and wives
come together sexually."
Using slides of his work, Nimoy
showed how he began by introducing
the Hebrew letter shin with the female
figure. He quoted the biblical passage,
"Thou didst clothe thyself with light
as with a garment," to describe other
Some of the other photos are more
abstract, he said, categorizing them as
"out of the corporeal body into energy."
Although most of the figures in the
book are professional models, the final
shot, of the shechinah ascending to
heaven, is of Nimoy's wife.
Audience members at the event were
generally approving of the talk and the
"I came to hear you speak out of
curiosity," Linda Margetin of
Commerce Township told Nimoy in
the question-and-answer session after
the presentation. "I am leaving with a
warm, tender feeling about the femi-
nine side of God."
Marty Herman of Farmington Hills
said he was "overwhelmed" by what he
heard from Nimoy — "his mastery of
Yiddish, his knowledge of Judaism. It
was sincere, not second-hand, like
some others you hear.
Said Bernard Lobowitch of Detroit:
"I don't know if I want it [Nimoy's
photography] in my home. But I know
I deserve the opportunity to make a
choice. Judaism means thousands of
things and freedom is one of them."
His friend Gershon Lipenholtz of
Southfield added that "the community
has a right to see it, but to me, it's too
much. It has to do with modesty."
Malverne Reisman of West Bloomfield
said the photos were beautiful: "The
essence of art is to show us things in
ways we haven't seen before."

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