Arts and Culture and Judaism Quotes

By: BJE Impact

“Make holy garments for splendor and beauty.” – Exodus 28:2

“It is good to make a habit of inspiring yourself with a melody… For the loftiness of melody is beyond all measure.” – Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav

“To David, a psalm” [l’david mizmor] intimates that the Divine Presence rested upon him, and then he uttered [that] song; “A Psalm of David” [Mizmor l’david] implies that he [first] uttered [that particular] psalm, and then the Divine Presence rested upon him. This teaches you that the Divine Presence rests [upon man] neither in indolence nor in gloom, nor in frivolity nor in levity, nor in vain pursuits, but only in rejoicing connected with a religious act, for it is said, ’And now, bring me a musician’—as the musician played, God’s hand came upon him’ (2 Kings 3:15). Rav Judah said in Rav’s name: ‘And it is likewise so in a matter of Jewish law.’” Babylonian Talmud, Pesachim 117a

“The Rebbe said that it is good to make a habit of inspiring yourself with a melody. There are great concepts included in each holy melody, and they can arouse your heart and draw it toward God. Even if you cannot sing well, you can still inspire yourself with a melody sung to the best of your ability while alone at home. For the loftiness of melody is beyond all measure.” -Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav, Sichot HaRaN, #273)

“This attention to detail – also seen, for instance, in the instructions God gives to Bezalel, the builder of the Tabernacle (Exodus 31:2) – stems from the injunction of hiddur mitzvah, or the beautification of each commandment to the best of one’s ability. This injunction includes everything from selecting the most beautiful etrog [citron fruit] on Sukkot to composing the most beautiful melodies for prayers. King David, the author of the Psalms, was a musician before he was God’s and Israel’s servant, and one assumes he was picked for holy duty, in part, because of what his music said about the quality of his heart.” – Dan Schifrin, The Reconstructionist

“Belief is an essential component of artistic creation. Sometimes people think that passion, emotion, enthusiasm, subconscious psychological activity can exist totally removed from spirituality. You can’t function as an artist and not have faith. It’s inexplicable to me that the viewing public sees a division between religion and spirituality.” – Jewish American painter Archie Rand, Hadassah Magazine

“You shall not make for yourself a sculptured image or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above or in the earth below.” – Exodus 20:4

The Talmud describes the beauty of the Herod’s Second Temple, declaring, “He who has not seen the Temple in its full construction has never seen a glorious building in his life.” – Tractate Succot 51b

“He who is wise and God fearing is like an artist with his tools at hand.” – Avot Di Rebbe Natan 22:1