There is nothing more powerful than experience to bring home the veracity of abstract ideas; and the next best thing to actual experience is the vicarious experience of watching a movie or listening to a song. It is our contention that certain popular media achieves “classic” status because the underlying messages strike a chord with eternal values. As such, they offer not just some unspecific experience but one that might rightly be called “a spiritual experience.”
The various pop-media used here are what may be referred to as modern “Midrash”. Midrash is a creative device used to impart deep philosophical concepts through a medium that wins immediate attention by its apparent simplicity and entertaining quality. Midrashim are usually creative embellishments to stories or situations that are very familiar. The familiarity provides a level of relative comfort conducive for the audience to “hear” the deeper message. In this way, the message is transmitted subtly but palpably. The objective is to convey an idea that might otherwise be difficult to understand or perhaps, uncomfortable to accept. Sometimes, it may convey ideas which are already familiar, yet bring their veracity home in a way that simply relearning the hard facts would never accomplish.
The intent of the essays in this series is not to explain a particular pop-media piece per se, but rather to utilize its power to explain Jewish Philosophy. In this sense the media serves as an articulation of Jewish Philosophy whereby recondite ideas are brought to life in the “language” of modern man.
Wachowskis’ “The Matrix” – A Mystical Modern Midrash The Matrix is a movie which, by design, is laden with religious symbolism. For this reason
DoubleEdgeFilms’ “SPIN” – On Fallen Angels, Free Will, and Fixing the World After winning 35 film festival awards within two years of its
Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven”- In a Revealed Light What turns a piece of art into a classic? What makes a song endure
Jethro Tull’s “Bungle In The Jungle” – A Song On Life “Bungle In The Jungle” is Jethro Tull’s enduring hit single. Indeed,
Richard Kelly’s “The Box” – Man in the hands of the Devil “The Box” is a horror film in the true sense
Marc Chagall’s “Receiving the Law” – On Fate and Destiny Chagall is known for often simplistic themes which on second glance are