The Beauty of the Hebrew Letter

From Sacred Scrolls to Graffiti

Izzy Pludwinski

This book celebrates the beauty of the Hebrew aleph-bet by visually chronicling its earliest appearance in ancient inscriptions and its subsequent reception and representation by scribes and artists over the last three millennia. Though firmly entrenched in the world of traditional Judaica, Izzy’s calligraphic passion lies in finding ever-new expressive forms for the Hebrew aleph-bet—a path that has led him to anywhere from font development to Zen-influenced abstract Hebrew calligraphy. He showcases examples both ancient and modern in this book: from scrolls to graffiti.

Cloth: $50
ISBN-13: 9781684581467
Pages: 240 | Size: 10 in. x 10 in.
Date Published: June 7, 2023

This is a treat for the eyes and mind.

Publishers Weekly

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  • This is a treat for the eyes and mind.

    Publishers Weekly
  • A book for font enthusiasts, lovers of Judaica, and those passionate about the minutiae and range of the written form... The Beauty of the Hebrew Letter demonstrates how prolifically [ritual objects] can be multiplied and meaningfully interpreted in the hands of artists throughout the centuries.

  • Izzy Pludwinski has an artist’s eyes and the disciplined hands of a master scribe. In this beautiful book he writes from the heart with deep understanding of the techniques and rhythms of traditional and modern Hebrew letterforms and shows us how the aleph-bet continues to evolve, versatile and beautiful, as a vitally expressive contemporary art form.

    Donald Jackson
  • Izzy Pludwinski is an artist, an artisan, and a master teacher. His letterforms sing and soar. Were all the skies made of parchment, all the seas overflowing with ink, every reed and quill a pen, and everyone a scribe by trade, I cannot image a better, more accessible, more consummately gorgeous book on Hebrew calligraphy could be created. This work is a gift that deserves to be given to all whom we love, and to all whom we wish to introduce to the breathtaking beauty of Hebrew script.

    Marc Michael Epstein
  • Much has been published on Latin, Chinese, and Arabic calligraphy, but relatively little on beautiful Hebrew writing. This book fills the gap in a most comprehensive way, profusely illustrated with examples from thousands of years ago to the present day; running the gamut from polished, consistent letterforms to wildly abstract expressions of the alphabet – including three-dimensional carved examples and even street graffiti. For an overview of the possibilities for beauty offered by Hebrew letters there is no better resource than this book.

    Jerry Kelly
    award-winning book designer, printer, calligrapher and president of The Typofiles
  • This magnificent book is a complete joy, uplifting and energizing. It will be a classic.

    Ewan Clayton
    calligrapher, teacher and writer is Professor of Design, University of Sunderland, and staff member at The Royal Drawing School, UK
  • The aim of The Beauty of the Hebrew Letter is to liberate Hebrew from its context...He doesn’t want us to see the lines of Hebrew letters as artefacts from the past tied to the function of the texts from which they have been extracted, but as art objects to be contemplated and experienced on their own terms.

    The Jewish Chronicle
  • As Izzy's book sweeps us grandly across time, from the historic to the contemporary — over the surfaces of stone, parchment, and paper — we happily discover modern secular letters peacefully abiding with their sacred forebears... Across this expanse, Hebrew letter artists share their discoveries, their intimate, sensitive probings recorded in aesthetic statements, perhaps connecting us to our own transcendent longings for wholeness. For such a response to the experience of beauty, Izzy has prepared us by quoting Andre Caiman: "Suddenly, we are marveled and uplifted, pulled out of our small, ordinary lives and taken to a realm far richer and more eloquent than anything we know."

    Gina Jonas
    Alphabet, The Journal of the Friends of Calligraphy
  • I've gotta tell you that this one superbly beautiful book, and an important one.

    Carl Rohrs
    Alphabet, The Journal of the Friends of Calligraphy
  • This delightful book spans virtually the entire history of Hebrew writing.

    FABS Journal
  • The scribe Izzy Pludwinski’s "The Beauty of the Hebrew Letter: From Sacred Scrolls to Graffiti" is a coffee-table book that is lavish with gorgeous illustrations. We see Hebrew ancient and modern, produced by reed and quill, carved into stone, hewn from wood, embossed in leather, and inscribed on the Jewish heart. By turns a work of history, graphic design, and typography, it conveys the Jewish people’s astonishing creativity and refinement in the production of the written word.

    Mosaic Magazine
  • This book allows the reader/observer to spend a lovely hour or two perusing its fascinating pages, and they will come away with an appreciation (or an even greater appreciation) for the myriad variations to be found in, as the title promises, the beauty of the Hebrew letter. One does not need to be a reader of Hebrew to partake of this enjoyment. All that is required is curiosity and a love of beauty.

    Reading Religion
  • The gorgeously produced (book) is a spellbinder.

    The Arts Fuse
  • Not only special, but unique… fascinating and thought-provoking.

  • Pludwinski’s book is lovingly compiled and gorgeously published — a true showcase of the beauty of Hebrew script.

    The Association of Jewish Libraries

About the Author

Izzy Pludwinski

Izzy Pludwinski is a Jerusalem based professional calligrapher, and Sofer STaM. He is the author of Mastering Hebrew Calligraphy (Toby Press), which was chosen as a finalist for the National Jewish Book Awards in 2014. His works have been included in international exhibitions in England, the US, and St. Petersburg, and he has had several one-man shows in Israel. His works have been featured many times in the prestigious Letter Arts Review journal. Though firmly entrenched …

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