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.

 Clara María Goldstein


  Mary Preparing Baby Jesus for Circumcision

According to the Gospels, of all the women in the world, God chose a Jewish woman of faith and values to be Jesus' mom (Luke 1:26-38). Jesus was "...a Hebrew born of Hebrews" (Phil. 3:5). Within Christmas lies the celebration of the birth of a beautiful Jewish baby. According to the Gospels, Jesus was born to a Jewish virgin named Mary (Luke 1:26-38). In this painting, Mary is preparing an eight-day old baby Jesus for circumcision. Circumcision is performed by Jews as a religious act to comply with a Torah commandment. Genesis 17:10 says that Abraham made a covenant with God:  the Jewish people were to possess the Promised Land of Israel, if Abraham and all of his male descendants were circumcised. 

As Jews who believed in this covenant between God and the Jewish people, Mary and Joseph had baby Jesus circumcised (Luke 2:21). At the circumcision ceremony, the baby is given a sign in the flesh that declares his Jewishness. The baby is also given a Hebrew name and becomes part of this covenant with God.  



 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.   


 The Virgin Mary and Jesus Celebrating Hanukkah 

Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem. When Jesus' Jewish ancestors searched for oil for the lamp that needed to be constantly lit at the synagogue, they found only one jug of oil, enough for one night. However, it lit the lamp for eight days. During Hanukkah, Jesus and Mary celebrated how 164 years before Jesus was born, his Jewish ancestors had overthrown the King of Syria, whose goal was to wipe out the Jewish religion. 

This painting was inspired by the Gospel of John, verses 10:20-23. These verses illustrate that Jesus was at the Temple in Jerusalem for the celebration of Hanukkah.



 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       

Gallery II       

Gallery III       

Gallery IV

About the modern Jewish symbols in the paintings

The Missing Paintings of Jesus as a Jew

Rabbi Jesus Nostra Aetate Series

Rabbi Jesus Easter Series 2014 

The museum encourages appreciation for the similarities of the Christian and Jewish religions, and hopes to promote respect for our differences. I am not trying to encourage either the religious conversion of anyone or encouraging these two religions to become one. My goal is to remind people that Jesus was a Jew and that he taught the most important commandment, to love God and one another as yourself (Matthew 22:36-39). We are to love one another, above our differences. 

Clara María Goldstein