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Play your life in harmony and the universe will play along.

Playing the Universe

Playing the Universe

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This was inspired by a fellow Kabbalist of the Italian High Renaissance, Rabbi Yehudah Moscato. I say he was of the Italian Renaissance not just because he lived at that time, but because he really was a person of that time. He was very much into fine music, art and poetry. But he was also a very religious Jew and he gave popular lectures in the synagogue.

He compared every creature that G_d made to an instrument in a giganormous orchestra. (There is actually an ancient Midrash, "Perek Shira" that lists the song each creature sings, from the sun and the moon down to the frogs and the dogs.) But then, he says, they're not just playing a symphony, but a concerto. A concerto is when you have a soloist--such as a violinist or pianist (well, in those days, clavichord)--and he plays back and forth with the orchestra. He plays a melody or theme while they gently pluck away, and then they all come back in full strength, echoing his music.

So Rabbi Moscato said that the human being is the soloist. Each instrument plays his part, but the human being plays all the parts as one. Every human being is really playing from the same score, he says, only that some play with sensitivity and passion, while others tinker away, missing notes, chopping up phrases, totally out of tune with the composer's intent. Then, according to how each of us plays, the orchestra--the entire universe--echoes back.

When I read Rabbi Moscato, I realized that really this is the case with every instrument: All of them rely on a resonance chamber. We only see how we pluck the strings, little do we realize the waves that echo through the universe and how they come back to us.

Written and conceived by Tzvi Freeman. Rabbi Freeman is available for public speaking and workshops. Read more on his bio page.
Music by The Piamentas
Rabbi Infinity played by Andrew Torres
Animation and SFX by Pilar Newton of Pilar Toons
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Michael January 9, 2014

Mindblowing Reply

Ms. Dvora Schoenfeld-Fairfield March 2, 2012

B"H. I am so thankful for "Rabbi Infinity" and his creator for breaking it down to us in such understandable terms. Many years ago a thought consistent with this "playing the universe" came to me. It was that the expanding universe is actually a huge recording machine. The vibrations/waves ride out on the sea of time-space, like the light coming to us from a distant star. I suppose this is similar to this concept. How important to harmonize our actions with the universe and its Maker. May we make beautiful music together. A symphony to our G*d and King. Reply

Yael Gadera, Israel November 24, 2007

Great analogy! I especially liked the ending lines..thank you! Reply

Anonymous November 21, 2007

Butterfly effect. Reply

Andrew Toronto, Canada November 20, 2007

String theory is a remarkable but as yet unprovable theory that all matter and forces in the universe are made up of extremely tiny vibrating strands of energy, billions of times smaller than the smaller subatomic particle. It's certainly possible that it ties in with the idea of a "musical" universe.

But if you're looking to science for proof that there's a creator, you need look no further than the scientific truth that we *do* know: that all matter is made up of the same three things in various combinations - protons, neutrons and electrons. Isn't it a remarkable coincidence that everything is made up of these three things?

It's like finding a book that has only three letters in it in various combinations - would that be a "coincidence" too? Reply

Anonymous Woodland Hills, California November 18, 2007

Excellent analogy..would it tie into the string theory....? Reply

Anonymous Thornhill, Ont November 17, 2007

Something similar to this message of how powerful our actions and speach and thoughts and therefor we cant shrug off our insensitivity because what we do actually makes a differance in this world and therefor we must gain knowledge about how to act, is the kind of stuff that really got me started thinking, it caused me to change my entire life around, because if our deeds are not consistent with our beleifs, then what are we?

Rabbi Infinity has given an anology for a lesson in life that is so transendant explain it so that we can understand the message. Reply

Joseph Segal Oak Park, California November 16, 2007

Woot! Just in time to give us something to think about on Shabbos! Good job guys, keep up the good work, and GOOD SHABBOS!! Reply