The Russian Jewish Painter Who Became a Benedictine Monk in France

Before being expelled from the monastery and moving to Israel to take care of an elderly man

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The Benedictine monastery in Abu Gosh.
The Benedictine monastery in Abu Gosh.Credit: Michal Fattal
Liza Rozovsky
Liza Rozovsky
Lefert in his days as a monk.
Lefert in his days as a monk.Credit: Courtesy

How does a person in his early twenties decide to give up all the world’s pleasures and become a monk?

The Benedictine monastery in Abu Gosh.
The Benedictine monastery in Abu Gosh.Credit: Michal Fattal
Sergei Lefert's artwork.
Sergei Lefert's artwork.Credit:
Sergei Lefert's artwork.
Sergei Lefert's artwork.Credit: Courtesy

'I broke everything. Instead of juice, I bought undrinkable syrup. I didn’t know how to use a bus. Usually in cases like that, you fall victim to propaganda of some sort.'

Sergei Lefert outside his home in Beit Shemesh.
Sergei Lefert outside his home in Beit Shemesh.Credit: Michal Fattal

'In Brussels, I could buy items that weren’t available here – frogs, kangaroo meat, ostrich meat – everything I wasn’t familiar with. I was able to satisfy my curiosity completely.'

Sergei Lefert at his home in Beit Shemesh.
Sergei Lefert at his home in Beit Shemesh.Credit: Michal Fattal

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