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Drash on P’kudei 2024

Parashat P’kudei: Mishkan, Beauty and Art

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hacohen Kook (אגרות הראי”ה ס’ קנח)in his letter to the founders of the Bezalel Academy Of Art And Design In Jerusalem, wrote:  “The desire [for the beginnings of an art institution in the Land of Israel] is in essence a sign of life, a sign of hope, salvation and comfort. Our nation looks well upon the sweet beauty of art expressed through human creativity.”

The tragedy that befell our people on October 7, 2023, and its aftermath, has left us all feeling deep shock, sadness and loss.  Yet, something extraordinary has emerged during this intense time in the Torah, and in Israel, something I believe is truly kedusha, true holiness.  There has been a creative explosion in Jewish art, music, culture and dance – in all formats – in Israel and around the world.  Jews are using art to express their array of feelings, to find healing, and to honour those lives broken and lost. Art heals.

And as Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hacohen Kook  wrote, it also brings hope, salvation and comfort.  We’ve seen collaborative music concerts and symphonies in honour,  breathtaking artworks in various mediums and forms, and songs -new and old – enter the world and come alive.  Hearing  HaTikvah -which brings hope to every Jew, to our homeland – sung by a survivor of October 7, at last week’s UIA gala, brought tears to all in the room.  Our Parashat Pekudei is about building a beautiful Mishkan, and everyone contributes. We build, We rebuild, We build. Each contributing with a full heart.

In My Name Is Sher Lev, Chaim Potok wrote “as an artist you are responsible to no one and to nothing, except to yourself and to the truth as you see it.  In many ways we are all artists. Let us all live our lives responsible for the truth as we see it to ourselves and one another.

Let us create, let us dance and let us sing with full and hopeful hearts.



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