Art and Soul

Live Creatively

We are fascinated by artists. Their work embodies what we want our lives to be: beautiful, meaningful, purposeful. But art is not only for artists. It’s for anyone who craves to know how to live more creatively, more deeply. Join us on a seven-part journey as we explore Judaism's insights into the arts and how they beautify and transform our lives, one brushstroke at a time...


Lesson One
Painting & Drawing: The Inner Eye of the Artist

What is art? What endows a painting or drawing with that magical power to convey the deeper dimension that the object or scene does not reveal to us on its own?
It is not only artists who have access to this magic. We all possess the inner vision of the artist, which empowers us to uncover beauty and meaning in even the most mundane areas of our lives.


Lesson Two
Music: The Pen of the Soul

What is music, and why does it move and inspire us in ways that nothing else can?
Music communicates ideas that we cannot put into words and evokes feelings that defy description. Yet these ideas and feelings are even more potent than our rational thoughts and emotions.
Unlocking the secret of music enables us to access the transcendent wisdom that we each possess in the very core of our souls.


Lesson Three
Literature: The Art of Storytelling

The ancient philosophers referred to the human race as “the speaker.” From the moment we are born, we are telling a story to ourselves and to others—the story that becomes the reality of our lives.
When we master the art of how words become a narrative, we become “partners with God in Creation.” Instead of passive recipients of whatever life sends our way, we become active innovators in creating the significance of our own existence, and of Creation as a whole.


Lesson Four
Dance: Movement and Relationship

Life is movement: the ways in which we move in relation to a loved one, in relation to our community and society, in relation to our Creator and Source. We move in circles, we dip and soar, we rebound, we vibrate.
In exploring the dynamics of dance, we discover (1) how intimacy and distance are inexorably bound to each other, and (2) how the tension between them produces the dance of life.


Lesson Five
Clothing Design: Interface and Engagement

We don and remove them at will. Their textures, colors, and shapes are in a constant state of flux, changing to adjust to weather, function, even the whim of the season. But make no mistake: these appendages to our self deeply influence our lives. They not only affect how others perceive us, but also our own behavior and self-perception.
As the body has its clothes, the soul, too, has garments: the thoughts, words, and actions through which it expresses itself and affects its surroundings. Both our physical and spiritual garments empower us to become more than we are, to extend ourselves beyond the limitations of our own nature and personality.


Lesson Six
Architecture: The Art of Purpose

Any builder can build you a house, but it takes an architect to design a true home: a place that houses your dreams and ambitions, a place where you truly can be yourself. In a true home, its every aspect, from the foundation to the smallest decorative detail, is an outgrowth of its overarching function to express and facilitate the personality and aspirations of its inhabitants.
In this sense, we are all architects of our lives. When we inhabit our lives—not just as a functional house but as a beautiful home—our deeds are not isolated actions and experiences. Rather, they are in harmony with our greater purpose, which is reflected in all the rich details of our existence.


Lesson Seven
Cuisine: The Art of Self-Transformation

The methods vary—cooking, blending, seasoning— but the purpose is transformation. In the kitchen, we transform an inedible, or unsavory, or merely bland substance into something edible and delectable. By exploring the dynamics of the art of food preparation, we acquire not only the tools with which to nourish and satiate our families and loved ones, but also a formula for self-transformation.