01 May 2012

Invisible Judaism

I was looking for a particular picture in the photo section of National Geographic (not a recommended hangout for sensitive young ladies) and meanwhile enjoying the colorful thumbnail images of exotic cultures, when there, between the swirling skirts of dervishes and the rainbow silks of India, this exotic culture caught my attention:

(go ahead and click on this one)

I love it...because this photo, especially in that context, really brings out how much of the color in Judaism is internal.
The men (except for the two who finished early) are obviously focusing intently on something you... can't see.

They are not making expressive gestures.
They are not even wearing expressive, uniquely Jewish clothing: as Rav Bulman zt"l said, 'the traditional dress of the Jewish people is the dress of the nobility of the previous generation'.

There are the aspects of Judaism that bubble up to the surface... and there is so, so much more below it.


  1. JUST WONDERING WHAT "LORD OF THE RINGS" (one of your labels) has to do with it....?????

  2. There is some similarity between this point and the themes of LOTR, pân i valt law thilia and that sort of thing, but LOTR is very different: the grandeur in Middle-Earth is at once closer to the surface (any nice creature can immediately see and be impressed by it) and more restricted (its source is across the Sundering Seas. They don't have a Torah in Arda.)