(Another time-challenged week, as all my clients attempt to get their projects done before the end of the year in order to prevent the certain fall of civilization, or something equally dire and improbable.)
A friend and reader of this blog sent me a beautiful quote today. It's from "The Soul of the Story, " by Rabbi David Zeller:
"Although you can just read the Torah on Shabbat, it is meant to be sung to a special melody. According to kabbalistic teachings from the 'Four Worlds,' melody pours forth from the highest of levels. The first level is the 'Letter,' which is like our body; second, the 'Crown' embellishing the letter corresponds to our emotions. Third, the 'Vowels' under the letter parallel our breath of life. Finally, the 'Melody' of the letter or word represents our soul. "
What a beautiful idea--chanting as music that was born with us and has always been within us, waiting for us to start singing it. Or, the sounds of chanting as another network running though our bodies, parallel to our veins and commingling with our blood, and equally as vital to our lives. Or--and as a designer and typography fanatic, I love this image--music which exists only when described by letters in the Torah and, when arranged in a specific order, conjures the soul and breath of the sounds just as an incantation might create a golem.
As usual, your last sentence is beautifully written. The musician in me responds to "the soul and breath of the sounds..."
When my daughter went to Prague a few years ago, she came home with a charming children's book about the golem. How I enjoyed learning about this piece of lore!
(She also came home with a marionette, and Bad Kitty promptly ate the strings.)
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