Monday, April 03, 2006

Words, A Painting, And A Photograph - Interpretations Of Tehillim 101:2

One of my favorite verses in Tehillim comes from Tehillim 101:2:

"I contemplate the way of the simple. When will it come to me? I shall walk with the simplicity of my heart within my house."

Malbim explains, "The way to simplicity starts with the improvement of one's deeds. They should be performed with simplicity and emuna, and they should be motivated solely for the desire to please Hashem. The man of perfect simplicity is consistent and does not devote from his manner and way."

Rashi comments that once one finds the way of the simple, he will act with the same pure devotion and sincerity in his house as he does in public. Similarly, the Melitzer Rebbe writes in his commentary on Tehillim, Nefesh Chaya, that one will only attain the quality of simplicity though modesty. Since simplicity and modesty are bound together, a person must act in a modest manner when he is alone in his home; knowing that his deeds can still be seen by the One above.

Aside from the written commentaries, I noticed that Moshe Tzvi Berger of the Museum of Psalms in Jerusalem produced a painting based on this verse. In his painting, the house mentioned in the verse is represented as Jerusalem, the home of the Jewish people. The way of the simple is represented by the alleyway which is a combination of old and new; past and future.

I, however, imagine the way of the simple differently than the portrayal in Berger's painting. In my mind's eye, the way of the simple looks like this path in my family's shtetl in Ukraine.

אַשְׂכִּילָה בְּדֶרֶךְ תָּמִים


At August 5, 2007 at 3:40:00 PM EDT, Blogger Unknown said...

Might be of interest:

Jerusalem, Israel (August 7th, 2007): The Museum of Psalms is proud to announce the long-anticipated opening of Moshe Tzvi HaLevi Berger's new collection, "The Sun Series: Meditations, Light and Healing" on Tuesday, August 7 at 5:30 pm. The landmark 42-piece set is the latest spiritual statement by Berger, the first artist to exhibit his paintings at Jerusalem's Western Wall.

The exhibit consists of 42 new original paintings in which Berger expresses the Kabbalistic notions of healing, light and meditation. Combined with his own awareness of the profound need for healing in the world, Berger— a Holocaust survivor who went on to study art at the Belle Arte in Rome and the Beaux Arts in Paris—powerfully fuses his talents as a gifted artist with his finely-tuned spiritual sense, largely inspired by Kabbalah.

Berger sees his new exhibit as one that is able to speak to every individual. He stated, "these works transcend religious and denominational boundaries and can speak to every person, whatever their situation." Since coming to Israel, Berger founded the Museum of Psalms in 1995 under the auspices of Rabbi Meir Yehuda Getz, z"tl, the first Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites within Israel. It is located in central Jerusalem, in the house of Rabbi Kook.

Rabbi Shimon Green, a musician and Rosh Yeshiva, will deliver the opening remarks at the grand opening. Additionally, Rabbi Shimon Langnas (Chief Rabbi of Germany), diplomatic corps representatives of France, Japan, Italy, and the United States, Members of Knesset, and high profile members of the Israeli media will be present. The artist will also be present.

About the Artist:

A native of Transylvania, Berger is a living embodiment of the strength of the human spirit. He has showcased his artwork in over 100 one-man exhibits across three continents and has had the distinction of being the first artist to exhibit his paintings at Jerusalem's Western Wall.


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