Judaism seems in many ways to be a religion dominated by words. There are the words of the prayerbook, the Torah, the Talmud and the sermon. Even our meals are framed by the words of blessing.
All of these words give us opportunities for great expression and spiritual connection. Sometimes, though, the words of tradition can be overwhelming. There are so many that they may inhibit our own words. They may also give the impression that words are the only way to connect to our spirituality.
In my years of teaching I have noticed that there are many people who do not respond to text, but respond in a very powerful way to images and to sound, whether creating them, or meditating on them. A lot of them have been turned off by Judaism, because they do not feel there is room for them.
This is one of the reasons I have put my own art and music on line. To be honest, I was a little hesitant about doing so, but I thought it was important to show that there are lots of different ways of connecting (dance and athletics, of course, are other ways, but I am probably not the right guy to look to for advice).
Spirituality is about the expression of our souls, not just the words of our lips or pen. If you or your loved ones are feeling cut off from Judaism because the texts are a barrier, or if your spirit souls through other means, I encourage you to look at those times that you are moved by art and music as potentially true religious and spiritual moments, as moments of Torah.
The Torah tells us that God gave each of us our own way to understand the world. Find yours!
One Reply to “Art and Spirituality”
Thank you for this comment – this global view is something that is sorely needed in today’s Jewish world.
As Rabbi Nachman once said:
People do not join unless you touch their hearts;
Everyone is seeking ;
To go forward there must be a shared vision between everyone;
If you don’t like touchy feely go to a cemetery.