The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art houses a Kabbalistic mystery. A monumental sculpture, by the abstract expressionist artist Barnett Newman (1905-1970), has a footprint of ninety square feet, and originated as an avant garde synagogue design. Two zigzagging sets of opaque steel panels stand eight feet tall, creating a corridor of compressions that viewers are meant to walk through. The title of this work, Zim Zum, refers to one of the most important ideas of modern Kabbalah: Tzimtzum. What does Tzimtzum mean? The answer might transform your understanding of both religion and art alike.

Lecture sponsored by Chabad of Cole Valley in memory of our dear friend Robert Clark OBM.