By Marvin Glassman
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Not all Chabad rabbis are identified with the color black – referring to a black coat, black beard and black hat, as is the custom of rabbis in the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.

Chabad Rabbi Yitzchok Moully is also known as a Chasidic pop artist, whose bright and bold colors of his paintings and attire (he wears orange socks, green tie and a pinkyarmulke) make him distinct. He spoke to a captive audience of approximately 100 people recently at the Chabad of Southwest Broward in Cooper City.

Moully is a rabbi as well as a modern day artist that art critics consider as a Jewish Andy Warhol.

He has produced many of his paintings using the photo silkscreen process, combining strong Chasidic and other Judaic images for exhibits, such as dreidels, a Kiddush cup, rabbis who were dancing together, using vibrant colors to create paintings to express himself artistically.

Moully was not sure whether his talent in art was leading him astray from the life of a rabbi. Moully served as assistant rabbi at the Chabad Jewish Center in Basking Ridge, N.J.

“Was I leading a balanced life, I was not sure,” said Moully in his talk at the Chabad of Southwest Broward.

“My rabbi told me that God gave me a gift to be an artist and that I should use my talent well. He was right. All of us have gifts from God and we owe it to ourselves to use our gifts to strengthen our relationship with God and each other.”

Moully then described some of the more than 25 of his exhibits that were prominently displayed in the meeting room of Chabad of Southwest Broward.

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The audience laughed when Moully described how a rabbi viewed his silkscreen portrait of him.

“The portrait of me captures the real me better than a picture does,” said the rabbi to Moully.

Among the popular Moully exhibits on display at Chabad of Southwest Broward was a silkscreen portrait of the late esteemed Chabad Rabbi Menachem Schneerson

Other Moully exhibits for sale included: “Abstract Talmud,” “Dancing Rabbis,” “In The Face Of Darkness,” “Proud Menorah” and “Vibrant Tree Of Life.”

Moully feels comfortable being both rabbi and a pop artist.

“I feel comfortable in both worlds. I love to hang out in the galleries. It gives me energy to paint, to express my message and than I go to find a minyan for services,”

Many of those attending liked Moully’s pop art enough to buy many of his paintings that kept him busy autographing the exhibits for more than one hour after his talk.

“I was so happy to purchase his ‘Vibrant Tree Of Life’ exhibit. It is inspirational and I knew within 10 seconds that I wanted to proudly display the painting in my home,” said Fern Baum of Tamarac.

“His colors and style are nothing short of brilliant,” said Judith Einsohn of Cooper City, who purchased a number of Moully exhibits.

The 29-year-old artist, rabbi and father of three began painting in 2012 and attendedyeshiva, but not a formal art school. Many of his exhibits began to surface in New Jersey within the last two years as he continued to gain more publicity about his unique artwork.

Moully was raised on a commune in Australia by his parents whom he considered to be hippies. According to Moully, when he met with Rabbi Schneerson in the late 1980s at Crown Heights en route to Israel, he advised Moully to stay in the New York City area instead of immigrating to Israel.

“The Rebbe pointed the right path to me and I am forever grateful to hear his words,” said Moully.

To learn more about Moully, go to www.moullyart.com

To learn more about Chabad of Southwest Broward, 10601 Stirling Road in Cooper City, call 954-252-1770 or go to www.chabadswb.com

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