Monday, January 08, 2007

A "Beautiful" Thought

I was just listening to a shiur that was so great, I wanted to share it. However, it was about an hour long and I don't think I could do it justice before losing the average blog-surfer's attention span. So here's the basic gist, maybe together we can build it up:

One of the most striking points was that the speaker quoted a commentator who defined the Hebrew na-eh, beauty, to mean connection. As in, connection to G-d, spirituality, etc.

It was based on a Rashi on the verse that says "You are children of G-d... do not cut yourself in mourning..." Rashi explains that because we are G-d's children, we have to look nice-- na-eh. I won't go through the whole process, but that's where the whole thing came from.

The speaker then brought a bunch of places in Tanach where this word for beauty is used, and they all took on such deep meaning when viewed in the context of beauty as connection to the Eternal. I can't remember them right now and I don't have time to go back through the tape, but for example think of the above verse: We are children of HaShem, intimately connected. If we maintain this connection, we won't feel such despair as to cause us to harm ourselves. Sadness at our loss, yes, but with the realization that everything G-d does is for our good.

So, here's my challenge:
Can you think of other places where the word "na-eh" (in any form) is used in the Torah (written or oral) that we can look at in this different dimension? The only one I can think of offhand is "Kallah na'ah vachasudah."

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