Monday, June 18, 2007
Important Links for Today
Dixie Yid - Thoughts on life and Chassidus: Memory, Forgetting, Music and the Self
Here are the relevant parts about music:
I listened to another mp3 program from wnyc.org's program, Radio Lab, on the topic of memory. I have three reflections on the mechanics of memory from that very informative program after listening to the fascinating story of Clive, a musician and conductor who was struck with a disease that took away his ability to remember anything more than 7 seconds in the past. It's an unbelievable story of someone with no past and no memories. All he has is the present.
...One of the only two things this man with Amnesia did remember was music and his love for music. When people speak to him normally, he knows nothing about music, his life as a conductor, or anything related. However, when they placed his former students in front of him and gave him a conductor's baton, he immediately began reading the music, conducting and leading his students as proficiently as if nothing had every happened. When the piece was over, however, he didn't even remember what had happened. It was exactly as before. What was so deep about music that is is virtually the only thing this man can remember when he can remember nothing else?
In Rav Moshe Weinberger's shiur, "The Power of Music - Tazria-Metzorah," he explains the deep place in the soul that music is connected to. It's unbelieveable but somehow, the soul is deeply connected to music, such that hearing a certain song can evoke feelings from decades ago that had long since been dormant. It can stand out in a person with no memory of anything. It's an amazing koach [power], and it was very interesting to hear of this amnesia case, where music was about his only connection to his former self. It is also a mussar haskeil [ethical lesson] that we have to take very seriously the types of music we listen to and the source of the music we listen to, since it has a very deep connection to who we are.
To which our good friend, A Simple Jew, commented by sending this link:
Music works wonders on a person's memory; it opens previously lost worlds.
-- Rabbi Moshe Yechiel Elimelech of Levertov
And be sure to read the entire piece, here.
Today is the yahrzeit of Rebbe Nachman of Horendenka. Be sure to check out this great piece by A Talmid, at the Zechus Avos blog.
Akiva of Mystical Paths reminds us that tonight and tomorrow is Gimmel Tammuz, the yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZT"L, and that one should take on an activity which increases Jewish unity.