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Poetry and Beauty
The Awareness of Poetry and Beauty
Each new Torah insight must basically be ideal:
On the depth of rectitude in our ethical being;
On the depth of holiness in our faithful being;
On the depth of expression in our intellectual being;
Enveloped in the awareness of poetry and beauty
In our creative being.
Orot Hakodesh I, p. 178
The Poetic Soul
If your soul is poetic, you must be acquainted with your character, your particular longings, desires, the path of your soul and the special spiritual sustenance it requires to satisfy its spiritual life, just as air is required to breathe.
You may join with other gifted people for other spiritual necessities. But never forget that you are summoned to stand firm upon your own spiritual foundation.
From your spirit, which is pure and powerful, filled with a song that is holy, alive and unblemished, sprinkle upon all service of God, all discussion, teachings, examinations, analyses, logic, pure streams of light, expressions of song, elevation of the soul, which constantly desires her Beloved, her Redeemer, the living God.
When the poetic, sensitive soul gazes upon supernal matters of greatness before they have been put in order for her and well-arranged, she descends to an activism regarding finite, this-worldly matters. She is susceptible at every step to enthusiasms whose particular character is falsehood. At such a time, an exalted individual must find the inspiring foundation from which that spirit of falsehood comes forth so poetically, and rectify its character internally, without expressing the spirit in unavailing words. Then the idea proceeds, reflecting heavenly matters of greatness. In this context, the greatest exaggeration merely indicates the smallest expression of what heaven is.
And if then, from the midst of the flow of spirit that constantly ascends, rising beyond all boundaries, there are still, at times, obvious misstatements, these are “an error that appears to come from the Ruler of the world” (Ecclesiastes 10:5). They too have their purpose. Such this-worldly words shall be a source of blessing and learning.
Orot Hakodesh III, p. 215
To attain victory over unconstraint and destructive atheism, we must educate Torah scholars who are healthy physically and healthy in all their non-physical aspects.
They must be educated intelligently with the ability to recognize the sweet feelings that come from dealing with the most elevated aspect of beauty—whether in song and poetry, the glory of nature, or whether it is the beauty that stands out in the works of mankind.
“A beautiful dwelling place, a beautiful wife and beautiful clothes broaden a person’s mind” (Talmud).
Orot Ha’Emunah, p. 17
Higher Than Knowledge
Free thinking cannot touch that which is higher than knowledge.
The logic of supernal faith reveals God in the soul. This is higher than any knowledge. That is why untrammeled free thinking is not right for it.
Freedom from life is death. But “the righteous lives by his faith.”
Orot Ha’Emunah, p. 32
Words Of Foolishness
It was Rav Hamnuna Saba’s way to preface words of wisdom with words of foolishness.
In order to distinguish the light in the midst of the dark, it is necessary that the quality of foolishness be most penetratingly deep.
When we wish to know the advantage of light from the midst of the dark, we are to use the blackest darkness.
This trait is indeed particularly fitting for the fish of the sea (Nunei Yama, related to the name HamNuna), which do not even require the protection of ships, but which proceed in the depths of the gulf and to whom all the abyss is like a pleasure tour, one that gives God joy.
“You have created the Leviathan to sport in it.”
Orot Ha’Emunah, p. 26
When You Will Speak
When a great faith shines its light on the soul, through [that soul] the entire world is filled with light.
A great general ability, a mighty and elevated ability, appears in the soul of a holy person of God who clings to the life of God, Who is the Life of universes.
Just as the ability and the power are at first imaged in a holy visualization, so do they continuously rise in mind and in action until “when you will speak, it will be performed for you” (Job 22, Shabbat 59, Bava Metzia 106).
Midot Harayah, Emunah 9
Divine faith, with all its qualities, must be liberated from all its husks, to stand alive in the radiance of the light of its [own rays,] which illuminate the entire world with the halo of their beauty.
Midot Harayah, Emunah 13
Simple education begins when a child reaches some understanding.
Intellectual education begins when he enters the atmosphere of the world.
And faith—with the beginning of creativity. “Make yourselves holy—then be holy!”(cf. Hilchot Daeiot 5:5; Zohar Kedoshim 80).
Midot Harayah, Emunah 1:1