Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Song of a Torah Scroll

This video presents the song, "Place Where I Belong," written and performed by Abie Rotenberg, and illustrated with still images. The song's lyrics are notable because they voice the experiences and feelings of a Torah scroll in the first person, from its creation by a scribe in Kiev and regular use there in a "shull" to its eventual resting place in an American museum. The song expresses the sentiment that a museum is not the proper place for a Sefer Torah. It should rather be in regular use in a synagogue.

By its personification of the scroll as the voice of the song, the song expresses poignantly a very common feeling that not only the Torah but all books "live," but only by being read and used. This feeling contributes to their problematic nature as museum displays, which we've commented on before.

1 comment:

Kevin P. Edgecomb said...

An interesting development. An arson's fire burned some Torah Scrolls irreparably, so they are to be buried. The burial is referred to as a "funeral" by the reporter!

(I thought immediately of your project upon reading it.)