Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Shavuot, the Grateful Dead, and the magic of music

Hi everyone! I hope everyone has (or had) a fun and meaningful Shavuot holiday.

If you want to read messages that I wrote previously with Harry Potter thoughts for Shavuot, you can see:
http://harrypottertorah.blogspot.com/2007/05/magic-of-how-we-interact-with-other.html
http://harrypottertorah.blogspot.com/2007/02/torah-of-l-i-t-n-e-t-o-p.html

If you're reading this and don't know what the Shavuot holiday is (it's not as widely celebrated as Passover or Yom Kippur) you can read some great articles on it at:
http://www.aish.com/holidays/shavuot/default.asp

One of the articles there that caught my eye was titled "Shavuot and the Grateful Dead." Since I wrote a book called Harry Potter and Torah, how can I not appreciate an article called Shavuot and the Grateful Dead? But beyond that similarity is the fact that I, like the author of that article, used to go to Grateful Dead concerts. I was never a "real deadhead," but I liked (and still like) their music. But I certainly felt like the only guy in a kippa (yarmulka) in the shows I went to. The author of that article also wrote another article about Chanukah and the Grateful Dead.

As Dumbeldore says in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: "Ah, music, a magic beyond all we do here." The Talmud (Arachin 11a) says that song is a principle of the Torah. The Torah says that we should "worship G-d with happiness and a joyous heart" (Deut 28:47), and the Talmud comments "what kind of worship includes happiness and a joyous heart? Song!" The conclusion is that song can be a form of worship of G-d. This is why we use song in prayer, in reading the Torah, and often in Jewish study halls you can hear people studying in a singsong manner, all to feel the feeling that only music can give.

I hope everyone has a fun and meaningful holiday!

1 comment:

Harry Potter and Torah reader said...

AGREED--
Music brings magic to whatever we do and think about!!!