December 22nd, 2008 by Menachem Wecker
Writing on the 10 commandments and U.S. politics, Jim Stillman, of Tampa Politics Examiner, observes of the first two commandments:
Jewish and Christian interpretations of these clauses are vastly different. To a Jew, a painting of God is forbidden; Christian art is replete with statutes and paintings of God, Jesus, and icons which may constitute “idols.” I’ll leave that to theologians; I am not qualified.
Stillman is not alone in misstating Jewish views on art. Many people have no idea there are so many depictions of God in Jewish art.
See for example the c. 1300 Spanish Haggadah on the right from the Granger Collection. God (or at least the divine hand) reaches out to prevent Abraham from sacrificing Isaac. Obviously, there is more to idolatry in the Jewish tradition than just representing the divine form.