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Wisdom by the Week: The Weekly Torah Portion as Inspiration for Thought and Creativity
Wisdom by the Week: The Weekly Torah Portion as Inspiration for Thought and Creativity
 
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Wisdom by the Week: The Weekly Torah Portion as Inspiration for Thought and Creativity

The content of the weekly Torah portion inspired philosophers, writers, poets, composers, and artists in an epitome of creative culture. The creation of culture is a creation of a world. When we speak of the Torah as a source of inspiration for thinkers, writers, and artists, we are in fact recapitulating the words of the Sages, who said that the Torah preceded the world and was the inspiration for all creation… Men and women who have wished to resemble God have looked into the Torah and built their own creative worlds. That is what the Rabbis of the Talmud and the Midrash, Saadiah Gaon, Judah Halevi, Maimonides, Hume, Spinoza, Kierkegaard, Rembrandt and many others have done.

Philosophers, writers, painters, composers and poets, thinkers and artists have all looked into the Torah and created worlds. The idea of reversing the sequence of events, of the Torah having preceded the world, has deep dialogical roots. The Torah was given at Sinai, but Sinai, according to this approach, is not a one time historical event—sublime and momentous, but nonetheless a part of the past. It is rather, a source of hope for the future.”

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