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Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “Harmony”

In Jewish thought, the concept of beauty is linked to the central Sefirah of Tiferet which in itself is actually an expression of several basic elements of existence, each of them manifesting the same fundamental quality in different ways such as: truth, Torah, beauty, compassion.

The common denominator may be seen as harmony.

And since this apprehension of harmony is so many-sided and variegated, it cannot be reduced to only one aesthetic meaning.

Even in the Hebrew language there is a constant interchange and substitution between the concepts of the good and the beautiful–the good being called beautiful and the beautiful good–because both are grasped as a harmony between things.

Tiferet is thus the basis of the good, the beautiful, and the true, without ever being manifested or capable of being directly expressed in an “image.”

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz