Home > Thursday – Faith & Music: A Jewish Perspective
Thursday – Faith & Music: A Jewish Perspective
Submitted by westend_admin on Thu, 2011-06-23 13:37
You may already know of Abraham Joshua Heschel because a prominent school in our neighborhood bears his name. What you may not know is that he was a preeminent Jewish rabbi and philosopher, and his work has had influence well beyond the confines of Judaism. His spiritual insights continue to move and challenge new generations of seekers. As we reflect upon the place of music in our lives, I find Heschel’s thoughts quite provocative, especially as we consider the intimate connection between music and faith. He said, “We are not alone in our acts of praise. Wherever there is life, there is silent worship. The world is always on the verge of becoming one in adoration. It is man who is the Cantor of the universe, and in whose life the secret of cosmic prayer is disclosed. To sing means to sense and to affirm that the spirit is real and that its glory is present. In singing we perceive what is otherwise beyond perceiving. Song, and particularly liturgical song, is not only an act of expression but also a way of bringing down the spirit from heaven to earth” (from The Vocation of the Cantor).