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ART? DON'T BE NAÏVE

 

By Rabbi Daniel Lapin

October 30, 2011
NewsWithViews.com

Frankly, I can’t imagine how one makes a living peddling the maudlin outpourings of one’s diseased ego but that is precisely what many so-called artists amazingly accomplish.

Back in 1987, one of these ‘artists’ produced a notorious image of a crucifix immersed in what he proudly proclaimed to be his own urine. Since then, Andres Serrano has added to his repertoire by creating ‘art’ out of feces. What is widely hailed as great art, I dismiss as distributing degrading and depraved material to the dumb and deluded. The Londoner who in 1999 paid over $100,000 for the crucifix in urine probably thinks of himself as an ‘art-collector.’

By jettisoning a definition of art, we have become vulnerable to vulgarity masquerading as art. We have no rebuttal to the self-obsessed dabbler who foists the fecal results of his dark pathologies onto our galleries and public spaces.

Civilization’s objective definition of art used to be something that lifts the observer’s heart toward God. For this reason, it was not unusual for great composers like Bach to head their musical pages with the Latin notation for, “To the Glory of God.”

People recognized as art, only that which elevated and ennobled; drawing people to God. From earliest times, most western art was church inspired. Turning to the Bible for artistic inspiration, artists saw themselves emulating Israel’s ultimate artist, Bezalel, the architect of the Tabernacle.

Moses said to the Israelites, “God has chosen Bezalel… and has filled him with God’s spirit, in wisdom, understanding and knowledge…” (Exodus 35:30-31)

Evidently, the Ultimate Artist of Creation, God, possesses the same three attributes:

God established the earth with wisdom, He formed the heaven with understanding and with His knowledge the depths burst open (Proverbs 3:19-20)

Wisdom means relating to the permanent principles that govern how the world really works. For instance, masculine and feminine are different and complimentary both biologically and spiritually.

Understanding means being able to apply those principles to life’s challenges. For example, men and women find life happiest and most fulfilling when in good marriages.

Knowledge means knowing facts you’d need to be taught and which would help you in the process of understanding. For instance, without delving into genetic detail, all babies in utero start off predominantly female. It requires additional energy to form a male. Thus, as any parent knows, raising boys takes more energy than raising girls.

Being an artist is not about just expressing your feelings. Even a newborn baby can do that. Being an artist does not exempt you from possessing wisdom, understanding, and knowledge; to the contrary. Being a successful parent demands no less—after all, every well-raised child is a work of art.

Furthermore, every successful business that provides what customers need or want, cares for its employees, and enriches its investors is a work of art.

Every family that serves as an oasis of love and tranquility is a work of art.

These institutions are works of art if they were created and are operated with wisdom, understanding, and knowledge.

Success is always more assured when our family energies as well as our income generating activities are guided by these timeless truths. An additional success strategy is never to jettison definitions. Remembering the definitions of parents, employee, entrepreneur, sibling, leader, sales professional, and yes, art, can help keep us on the pathway to our dreams.

For definitions to work their magic in your life they need to be objective and true. I know of no better source for objective and true definitions than God’s Biblical blueprint. My life’s mission is to share God’s message as well as the practical and effective spiritual strategies which flow from it, which improve and bless our lives.

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You might be surprised by God’s definition for man and woman which I share in my 2 audio CD program, Madam, I’m Adam: Decoding the Marriage Secrets of Eden, but you will be grateful for the chance to benefit by applying those insights in your own life.

Re-energize your marriage – or prepare yourself for marriage – by taking advantage of this week’s sale price. It also makes a wonderful and inexpensive gift for any couple whose marriage you’d like to bless.

2011 Rabbi Daniel Lapin - All Rights Reserved

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Rabbi Daniel Lapin, known world-wide as America's Rabbi, is a noted rabbinic scholar, best-selling author and host of the Rabbi Daniel Lapin Show on San Francisco’s KSFO. He is one of America’s most eloquent speakers and his ability to extract life principles from the Bible and transmit them in an entertaining manner has brought countless numbers of Jews and Christians closer to their respective faiths. In 2007 Newsweek magazine included him in its list of America’s fifty most influential rabbis.

You can contact Rabbi Daniel Lapin through his website.

Web Site: www.rabbidaniellapin.com

 


 

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Civilization’s objective definition of art used to be something that lifts the observer’s heart toward God.

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