Rabbi Jesus Art Museum
Artist Clara María Goldstein
The purpose of the Rabbi Jesus Art Museum is to embrace an aspect of Jesus very dear and important to him that many artists have often forgotten to honor: his Judaism. It also wants to serve as a reminder that for both, Christianity and Judaism, the most important law is to love God and one another as yourself.
Jesus Celebrated Hanukkah
Jesus, being a Jew, celebrated Hanukkah (John 10:22-23). A broad message of Hanukkah is to respect people whose spiritual beliefs are different than our own. God made us all different in mind, body and experience. When we embrace our differences, we show respect for His creation. When we foster harmony and kindness towards each other despite our differences, we are honoring Him. If we can only respect the people who think like us, there will never be peace in the world. Due to our God-given diversity, it is only natural for our approach to God to reflect this diversity.
It is also natural and okay to believe that our religion is the best one, but it is not okay to force our belief on people of other religions who believe the same about their own religions. This leads us to disharmony which is the path for the violation of the main commandment to love one another. When we respect diversity, we allow harmony and love to flourish, and a place with harmony and love is a place with God.
It is Kosher to Be Kind to Animals
Kosher laws mandate humane treatment of animals. In Jesus’ time, to comply with kosher guidelines, Jewish people would take their livestock to a holy shrine where the priest would slaughter these animals inflicting the least amount of pain possible. Kosher laws are concerned with the welfare of the animals we consume (Deuteronomy 22:6-7). It is not kosher to dismember an animal alive in order to eat its parts. It is not kosher to eat an animal that has been killed in a cruel way.
It is kosher to be kind to animals and to remember that animals are creatures of God.
Honor the Environment
The Bible states in Genesis that humankind is to tend to the environment; guarding and caring for all of God’s creations (Genesis 2:15). Jesus was probably taught to honor his relationship to the natural world because it is a commandment for the Jewish people to respect the environment and not to destroy any living thing unnecessarily (Deuteronomy 20:19). In this painting, Jesus is giving his mom a bouquet of wild flowers he picked for her.
In Jesus’ time, it was a Jewish tradition to plant a tree on behalf of every Jewish newborn. It is possible that somewhere in Israel today there is a living tree that descends from the very tree that was planted on Jesus’ behalf.
Jesus Is Helping Dad’s Business
In Judaism, study and hard work are among the most important values passed from generation to generation. Jesus learned this from his dad. These are good values, not only for the Jews, but for anyone because anyone who studies and works hard does better in life. In this painting, Jesus is helping his dad with his work, and at the same time is learning carpentry.
Rabbi Jesus Art Museum / Gallery I
The museum encourages appreciation for the similarities of the Christian and Jewish religion and hopes to promote respect for our differences. We are not trying to encourage neither the religious conversion of anyone nor are we encouraging these two religions to become one. Our goal is to reminding people that Jesus was a Jew and that he taught the most important order is to love God and one another as yourself (Matthew 22:36-39). We are to love one another, above our differences.