Quantcast

Jewish Journal

Censoring Mr. Spock

by Joe Berkofsky

October 31, 2002 | 7:00 pm

Naked women covered in ... tallitot and tefillin? The black-and-white photographs in "Shekhina" (Umbrage Editions, $39.95) a new book by Leonard Nimoy -- a.k.a. "Star Trek's" Mr. Spock -- have ignited a debate in the Jewish community over art and censorship.

The storm over "Shekhina" -- a kabbalistic term for the feminine aspect of the divine spirit -- erupted after Nimoy embarked on a 26-city promotional tour that included a lecture at the Skirball Cultural Center last September.

Nimoy backed out of an Oct. 23 Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle fundraising dinner after a dispute began over his desire to show slides and discuss his monograph.

Barry Goren, executive director of the Seattle federation, said the group was not trying to act as some kind of "Ayatollah Khomeini," but felt it wasn't a good idea to have Nimoy show potentially controversial slides at the dinner.

Nimoy's works exploring Judaism and kabbalah blend light and shadow, figures and abstraction. Most of the book's 54 photos are of nude women, many wearing prayer shawls and tefillin.

Nimoy, for his part, is not entirely upset by his 15 minutes of infamy.

"Let's face it: I did the book in order to shine a light on an idea," he said, and the Seattle's Jewish federation "shined a light on my book." -- Joe Berkofsky, Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Tracker Pixel for Entry

COMMENTS

We welcome your feedback.

Privacy Policy

Your information will not be shared or sold without your consent. Get all the details.

Terms of Service

JewishJournal.com has rules for its commenting community.Get all the details.

Publication

JewishJournal.com reserves the right to use your comment in our weekly print publication.

ADVERTISEMENT
PUT YOUR AD HERE