A Jewish Perspective on Art

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Art is an expression of emotion. As such, it must be derived from within. Many are able to create images on canvass. It is few, however, who are able to convey meaning and inspiration through those images.

In Jewish understanding, there are five levels of pleasure. All can potentially be experienced through art.

The first level of pleasure is physical pleasure: enjoying the beauty inherent within the physical world. It is obvious that, on its simplest level, a work of art can inspire an appreciation of the goodness of creation.

The second level of pleasure is love: seeing goodness in human beings. When art is an expression of who the artist is, one is able to experience the greatness of the human soul.

The third level of pleasure is meaning. When art conveys a message, as it should, about who you are, it inspires a sense of meaning.

The fourth level of pleasure is creativity. The pleasure that an artist derives in sharing not only his or her work with others, but his or her very self with others is very deep indeed. Giving others pleasure is one of the greatest pleasures around.

Finally, love of the transcendental, is the fifth level. If a work of art is able to lift you beyond yourself, beyond your physical existence and into another dimension, it accomplishes its ultimate purpose – to help us find God and Godliness through our interaction with this world. 

Go ahead; take part in some of the pleasures that art has on offer.

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