Among all the colored tools your hands have held, how many times have you drawn a sun? A tree? Waves on a wild sea? A rainbow?
The upcoming Torah portions Bereishit (Genesis) and Noach are filled with the original clip art of the world; the story, illustrated in detail, of who we are and how our world came to be.
The Mystics describe the Torah as black fire letters on white fire parchment. Understanding and internalizing even a sliver of wisdom encoded in the black fire is the work of a lifetime – white fire, we are taught, is beyond the limitations of our comprehension.
Still – this imagery is epic; ripe with instruction about themes as classic as Creation, Choice, Good vs. Evil, Shelter, Purpose, and Hope.
I can’t help but wonder if, maybe, somewhere embedded in every blank page there is a hidden canvas of white fire raging with depth and meaning – waiting for us to cut and paste our sun, our moon and our sea. Maybe there are tiny seeds of knowledge of good and evil beneath every sketching of every tree; droplets of hope and treaty within every chubby handed, water-colored rainbow. Maybe the crackle of the holy fire isn’t so far from our grasp at all.
What follows are a collection of songs that speak in one way or another, to these famed themes. This list is not near complete – but it’s a start and it makes me happy. I hope it makes you happy too.
Anything you’d like to include? Please feel free to drop a song or two that connects you to these themes in the comments below.
(For a translation of the Hebrew songs (recommended) Contact me – and if you’re playing this from a mobile device, you’ll need the YouTube app to play it as a complete playlist).