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From the Private Journals of Alex Singer

I ask myself as a writer and artist, what is it about the combination of “arts and letters” that is so powerful? Why is it that when we see words next to a work of art by the artist, we are comforted in knowing that a level of intimacy and honesty is being offered that the art alone couldn’t express?

Shouldn’t art stand alone? Do we really need words to accompany our images? Isn’t it the purpose of art to speak in a universal language that offers access to all?

These questions and many more were triggered when I visited the Pardes Institute on Tisha Ba’av, a fasting day. To distract from fasting, I joined others in a lecture hall but soon found myself gravitating to the hallway, where a sketches by Alex Singer were accompanied by excerpts from his journals. Together with his family’s recollections, the life story of Alex Singer felt very close and complete.

Alex died in a terrorist attack on September 15, 1987. He was 25 years old. He enlisted to serve in the IDF immediately after completing his undergraduate studies at Cornell University. He left us with a message wise beyond his years. Take time to reflect on life. Pause and celebrate the small moments that only you can see. Speak of who you are and what your dreams are. If you have the courage, write it down. Draw it out. Your legacy and how you’ll be remembered could depend on it.

Exhibit at Pardes Institute, Jerusalem Summer 2019

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