Power. Strength. Might. Boundaries. Discernment. Structure within Beauty. Glory. Art.
May, 2002. I had the privilege of traveling to Florence on an anniversary tour with my college chamber choir. It had been a long flight, followed by a long drive and a late-night arrival. The next morning found me weary and not feeling as excited as I should have, considering my surroundings. My feet were dragging as we set out on our sight-seeing tour. The weariness was almost painful. And then...
We rounded a corner and suddenly, looming before us, was the famous cathedral capped by the dome designed by Renaissance architect Filipino Brunelleschi. I gasped and burst into tears. It’s not that I’m such an architecture buff. If you’d asked me what sort of Beauty was likely to bring me to tears, I don’t think I would have ever told you it would be a work of architecture. But there it was. I was floored.
THAT is what comes to mind when I think of Gevurah SheBeTiferet. Beauty holds such amazing Power. Who hasn’t been struck dumb by something so Beautiful it defies comprehension? “The face that launched 1000 ships...” Beauty has the Power to stop us in our tracks or get us off our feet. Beauty and Art can provide us with Strength in times of weariness, confusion, despair. I’ve had the experience of finding Discernment through contemplating a Beautiful work of nature or Art.
I think, once again, of the blessing of Gevurot in the Amidah - the variety of Mighty acts of the Glorious One: healing, supporting, freeing, sustaining life. Yes, that is the Power of Tiferet. That’s the kind of Strength I want.