Oft quoted is the idea that the Jews are to be “a light unto the nations,” popularly understood to mean that Israel will set an example for all humankind through excellence in behavior. This idea originates from a verse in Isaiah: “I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, and I will strengthen […]Read More A light unto the… nations?
When Isaiah informed King Hezekiah that he would live despite the king’s fatal illness and the earlier pronouncement by G-d that he would surely die, Isaiah then commands that Hezekiah’s boils be healed by rubbing them with pressed figs, a miraculous form of healing (Ch. 38, see Rashi). King Hezekiah responds by proclaiming his excitement […]Read More “What” is the Word
After King Hezekiah was miraculously restored to health by God, he composed a prayer of thanks, in which he declares: “Regarding anything upon which my life depends, [declare], ‘They shall live,’ and grant me health, and grant me life!” (Isaiah 38:16) The Hebrew word here for “grant me health,” is “tachalimeni,” from the Hebrew root […]Read More Hebrew Dreams — a healthy habit
“To a certain extent, we surrender to music when we listen to it–we allow ourselves to trust the composers and musicians with a part of our hearts and our spirits; we let the music take us somewhere outside of ourselves. Many of us feel that great music connects us to something larger than our own […]Read More Why to be discerning with one’s musical choices, as articulated by musician and neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin in This is Your Brain on Music, p. 242-243
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov writes that the origin of music is the earth. Each blade of grass, he writes, plays a particular note, and somehow, the shepherd, who dwells in the fields as his sheep graze, subconsciously absorbs these notes and plays a unique tune, based on the notes of the grass of the area […]Read More Of Songs and Shepherds