Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Finding meaning

There are moments when, after what seems like an eternity of being stuck, you begin to feel the flow. Pay attention to the earthquake, wind and fire, but don't be taken in by them. Remember to cover your face and step to the cave's entrance when you hear the "qol dmamah daqah" or the "still, small voice".

Today, the still, small voice came to me after lunch, when I brought up a box of books to catalogue, and to my great joy, discovered the Judaica jackpot, starting with the Artscroll Tanach series. I flipped open the third book I pulled out (Shir Hashirim, or the "Song of Songs") and my eyes fell on these words:

"This, then, is the deepest, truest meaning of the Torah's concept of 'Song'. There is a profound harmony in creation. Every part of God's handiwork plays its role in His design. Only one ingredient impedes it completion - man's lack of insight. When man fails to see the truth, the interaction, the harmony, then the song of creation remains unheard; because it is man's function to give it voice, it remains mute.
This song is constantly in man's soul. But there are only instants where he hears its notes - and then only when he brings belief in God to his everyday life on earth. If he can attain the height where faith is never-ending and he is always guided by its light, he will always hear the song in his heart.
This is the prerequisite of song: man's perception is that everything plays its role and so he must give expression to the song of creation through his own deeds and the song that flows from his soul." --(Shir Hashirim: an allegorical translation based upon Rashi with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Rabbinic and Midrashic sources, Brooklyn: Mesorah, 1979, pp. xli-xlii.)

Amen. After weeks of silence, I could hear and feel the music again.

Excuse me whilst I cover my face and go to the entrance of the cave.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So much truth in that... and most of us forget it so much of the time. It's so easy to focus on what is immediate, especially when the immediate is loud and annoying, or tiresome, or difficult, or... it's so easy to forget that we're all part of something much greater than ourselves, and that there's a pattern to it all, a song...

Have you noticed how this truth is very often reflected in art? Many paintings look like nothing up close, until you step back. Music makes no sense if you only listen to, say, the viola part, or the alto part, and not the entire ensemble. Persian rugs, mosaics, tapestries, lots of Islamic art - you have to see the whole of it to appreciate it. When you do, it's stunning. When you don't... eh. And the best seats for a ballet performance? NOT the expensive ones on the floor. The best seats are in the first balcony, so that you can actually see the entire pattern instead of just the front row of dancers.

Thank you, she'enedra.