If only the headline at the Yeshiva World’s website was true.
“BIZAYON: Israeli Company Degrades Gedolei Yisroel By Making Them Into ‘Action Figures,’” it reads. Bizayon means disgrace. Gedolei Yisroel literally means the great ones of Israel and refers to rabbinic leaders — in this case, the Moroccan kabbalist known as the Baba Sali; Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the late Lubavitcher rebbe; and Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, Israel’s former chief Sephardi rabbi.
The inaccuracy is that these action figures were not made by a company, and you can’t buy them. Which is a shame, because the figures wear capes in the superhero style and would fit alongside the Green Lantern in our action figure collection.
Instead, the figures are an art project by Elad Schwartz, a student at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem.
In an interview with Kikar Hashabat, Schwartz said he intended no disrespect to the rabbis or the Orthodox communities that venerate them.
“They are like Spiderman. They led an entire group of people and paved the way for tens of thousands of followers. In the display, I attempted to capture their strength and greatness,” he said.