Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Healing Harp of Serech

I love the Kinor - the harp as an instrument of worship, symbolic along with its significant association in the Scriptures. The Harp is of course the instrument of choice used by one of the greatest worshipers of all times King David himself who used it to in the fields (and battlefields) while shepherding his flock worshiping God and composing psalms which he set to music.

I have decided to research stories and sources of interesting anecdotes (side notes) in the Scriptures and share them here from time to time which have immensely blessed my life. So on the topic of harp here's one from the Midrash.about the "Healing Harp of Serech". Though the accuracy of the legend cannot be confirmed about Serech living as long as David's time the story  is pretty cool.

"Jacob's sons worried about how to break the news to their father that they had found Joseph alive and ruler of Egypt. They feared the shock might be too much for him to bear.
When they approached Jacob's house, they noticed Asher's daughter, Serech, coming out to greet them.She was an extraordinary girl, spiritually greater than all the other children of the tribes, and she played the harp beautifully. 'Appear before Jacob with your harp' they instructed her, 'and sing a melody, stating that Joseph is still alive'. Serech slipped quietly into Jacob's tent and stood behind the mourning Jacob. Softly she began to play a tune with the words, 'My uncle Joseph is still alive, he is ruler over Egypt!'
Jacob drank in the words thirstily and enjoyed the pleasant music."May you be blessed, Serech" he said to her. "You have revived my spirit. May you live forever!"
Jacob's blessing was fulfilled. Serech was still alive in King David's time, and was one of the righteous people who were taken to Gan Eden alive.

~ The Midrash ~

This reminds me also of the story of the Israelites lead by Miriam and Moses with their harps breaking out in dance before the Lord after their great deliverance from Egypt.

In Israel today Micah Harrari and Shoshanna Harrari of the House Harrari are makers of ancient day harps, I plan to get one for its symbolic spiritual significance and meaning. In the Hebrew language there are 22 letters and interestingly the Israeli harps have 22 strings and they are not connected as just with the musical notes but to each Hebrew letter. From time immemorial the Hebrew letters of the Hebrew alaphabet (aleph-bet) were know to be more than just a means of communication as Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsberg says each letter represented deep significance, and is connected to the very essence of creation itself. As the letters preceded from the voice or word of G-d creation came to be. The letters when bonded together form new patters helping to illuminate more clearly who He is and who His creation is. The Atara Harp made by the Harraris have the 22 Hebrew letters carved on the soundboard which not only add the beauty but bring in the character of kedusha (holiness) and deeply related with scripture. When King David played his harp and meditated on Him, the way he played it was putting his ear and strumming the strings audible only to his ears opening and leading his heart into meditation with the Lord. The 22 letters of Hebrew aleph-bets are even reflected in the number of chromosomes in DNA, interestingly the word for letter in Hebrew also means "sign" or "wonder" which in rabbinical sense means wonder or divine insight.

"Blessed be the One He who spoke and the world came into being"

"Praise the Lord with the Harp" (Psalm 33:2)

Blessings & Shalom,

Sam Kurien

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