The Rembrandt and the Torah

Could there possibly be an analogy between Rembrandt and Torah? If you would be willing to allow me, I would like to relate a little story that I believe will clarify, connect and illustrate a remarkable discovery that I made years ago when I began to look at Torah with fresh eyes. This discovery changed my life forever.

Let’s say you have a painting, a beautiful painting…you love that painting and hold it dear because you remember first seeing it in the home of your grandparents, then in your home as you were growing up and it now hangs in the study of your own home where you see it every day. You have been told how it has been passed down from generation to generation in your family for hundreds of years and you have shared its meaning with your children. It has become an integral part of you.

One day you are sitting at your desk in your study and you your gaze falls on your precious painting. While meditating on its beauty and its significance in your life, you notice something different about it. You get up to take a closer look and are shocked and dismayed to see what appears to be a tiny little crack at the bottom corner. Your first thought is, ‘Oh no,’ what happened?! You run your finger across the crack…it widens as a layer of paint peels off. You try to fit it back, wildly thinking that you can fix it with a special adhesive, but the more you try, the more paint peels off and crumbles in your hands and falls to the floor mixing with your tears. You are devastated!

Your beautiful painting is destroyed! You can just hear the reaction of some of your family members, “Why couldn’t you have just left that tiny crack alone. After all, it was hardly noticeable!”

But wait… there appears to be something underneath…you don’t know what it is, but you are curious, almost driven and cannot stop yourself…so you continue to gently remove the paint, layer upon layer. Then you have a new awareness as what appears to be another painting slowly beginning to emerge…the colors are even more vivid, the detail so explicit…you are mesmerized by its beauty and cannot take your eyes off it…then you gasp as you notice the signature…it is a Rembrandt, and it is the original! Tears well up in your eyes as you are struck with the remarkable realization that this priceless treasure was there in your possession the whole time! It was just waiting for you to scratch the surface, delve a little deeper and discover it!

You found the Original… the painting that was covering it up pales in comparison! You found HaShem’s Torah which existed before the foundation of the earth and will exist into all eternity…Baruch HaShem!

How excited would you be if you made such an amazing discovery? Perhaps you have already made this discovery and are finding that the more layers you are willing to peel off, the more connected to HaShem you become and the more His Torah impacts your life.

© Copyright, Netiv. by Elisheva Tavor

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