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Music As A Spiritual Process

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Chapter Summary

Music is a means of transformation. The unique qualities of music and its effect on the human soul also serve as a metaphor for spiritual processes that cannot be expressed in any other way. These themes form the subject of this chapter. Naḥmans references to music stem from his personal involvement in it, mostly through singing and dancing. According to Naḥman, in order to attain holiness, ones spirit must be purified by separating good from evilberur. The metaphoric and concrete dimensions of music are intertwined in Naḥmans teachings. Naḥman describes the process of extracting the good spirit (berur) from evil through music-making as an act of gathering good points. In similar terms, he describes the extraction of holy sparks from the shells that surround them, referring to the process by the Lurianic term, berur nitzotzot.

Keywords: berur; good points; holy sparks; Naḥmans teachings; spiritual process

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