Avraham Lowenthal, Kabbalah Art

Connecting to Jewish Spirituality

When Avraham Loewenthal was in college in Ann Arbor, his search for spirituality brought him to look at a variety of religious practices and beliefs. As with many people who experiment with different religions, he was especially interested in the Eastern religions, whose meditative practices are extremely attractive to spiritual searchers. When a copy of Jewish Meditation by Aryeh Kaplan fell into his hands, he was astounded. Here, Avraham saw, within the Jewish tradition, was everything that he had been searching for. A second Kaplan book, Innerspace, cemented his belief that Jewish tradition, and specifically the discipline of Kabbalah, could meet his need for a spiritual home, and that he need look no farther. As Avraham grew in his Jewish learning, he also grew as an artist, and these two passions combined to bring him to Tzfat in 1993. In Tzfat, he could find Jewish textual and Kabbalistic scholars and spiritual teachers to study with, while developing his art, in which he could express these studies.

A Visual Expression of an Ancient Text

Avraham's gallery is an expression of his view of Kabbalah. This view holds that the main theme of the Kabbalah is the idea that at the root of all of our spiritual work in this world is for us to work towards coming to truly care for one another as we care for ourselves. Avraham explains by illustrating with one of his paintings, a quote from the Torah, "Ein Od Milvado", or "There is nothing but G-d". He elaborates, "There is a great deal of discussion in the Kabbalah about the meaning of this verse, but one of the ideas is that it says in the Kabbalah that nothing in our life is a coincidence. We learn that everything in our lives is happening for a reason- including all the difficult and painful things we go through. We learn that everything we are going through in our lives is actually helping our souls come to the place that will be ready to finally experience infinite goodness in the place of eternity. This is talked about as a very deep meditation which we can use in our lives and to try to open ourselves to even the possibility that everything we are going through in our life is actually happening for a divine reason and that even the difficult situations in our lives are actually on the deepest level hidden blessings."

The Central Idea

Many of Avraham's works center on that theme of how we can strive to bring goodness into the world. He uses endless colors, textures and concepts. One compelling piece shows interchanging black and white to illustrate our striving) to work towards realizing "what i can do for others" as opposed to only "what i can do for myself". Another is a kaleidoscope of ascending colors to demonstrate, in conjunction with the ascending shofar sounds, our striving to bring goodness into the world and reach the spiritual consciousness of unconditional love. Today, Avraham can often be found in his gallery, speaking to individuals and groups about his work. He presents the study of Kabbalah in a way that especially connects to the young adults that he speaks to, as a discipline that focuses on how we each do our own inner work, to look inside ourselves as to how we can connect on deeper levels to our spirituality."

That message brought Avraham to Tzfat, and continues to help many of his visitors in their own spiritual searches.