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Aleph-Bet: An Alphabet for the Perplexed
de Joshua Cohen
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Cultural Writing. Essays. Fiction. Jewish Studies. Writer Joshua Cohen and artist Michael Hafftka interpret the twenty-two letters of the "Aleph Bet," the Hebrew alphabet, in this collection of short writings. Through their images and texts, both writer and artist engage these letters, in form and in function, in manners both mundane and mystical: the letter "hey" becomes a hat, or a ritual head-covering; the letter "yod" is said to represent a young girl, etc. Together they formulate a challenge to the Second Commandment, which forbids representation, in a style at once traditional and modern, expressively mindful of what it means to lack faith and yet, in the turn of a phrase, at the stroke of a paintbrush, refusing the consolation of cult.
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