Romeo Niram: Art, Jewish Music & Hebrew Language





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Uploaded on Dec 21, 2008


An Ode to the Hebrew Language

The Infinite Sadness of the Hebrew Language: a Visual & Musical Allegory

Romeo Niram: Painted Portraits

Romeo Niram is a Romanian - Jewish painter born in Bucharest, Romania, in 1974, who lives and works in Madrid, Spain.


Music: Zehava Ben, "Ma Yihye" (What Will Be)

Text: Eva Defeses, excerpts from the article "The Infinite Sadness of the Hebrew Language", Niram Art Magazine Nº 13-14/2008


A continuous Kaddish, Hebrew fights for us all so that we should not be forgotten. When we are long gone and buried, we will all be remembered in the aching consonants of its melody. Like a mother, she will pray for us all, asking God to release us from our mortal destiny. If one day Man reaches immortality, it will be thanks to the constant, desolated prayer of the Hebrew language, the only one that dares harass God, demanding our freedom as persistently as Abraham once did for Sodom and Gomorrah.

Proud daughter of Israel, she doesn´t lose herself to the passing moment of contemporary intercourse, like American English for instance. It is a language of love and intimacy between a Man and his God, between a husband and his wife, the never-ending mystery that still binds together the first khatan and his kallah, a realm of private thoughts and feelings meant only to be whispered. Even the word for love (ahavah) is sad in Hebrew, holding within it the desperation of the parting moment of death. In English, we say Till death do us apart at weddings. Hebrew is also aware of the parting moment but it refuses to let go. It is from the scattering pieces of the broken glass that we shall be once more recreated. The lamentation of the Hebrew language that struggles for the immortality of mankind stubbornly and dramatically, trapped alone within its beloved labyrinth of memories, will someday be our salvation.

True only to itself, Hebrew remains an enigma. It is the only language that refuses to name its God. Hiding behind its many faces and meanings, Hebrew knows how to remain silent and let only the soul speak. The invisible forces that attract and disperse its masculine, persistent consonants and its feminine, floating vocals have constructed a language governed almost by scientific rules. The written contraction of the words with illusive vocals and the later expansion of them in pronunciation, this constant tension, is similar to the physical forces that created the Universe. The written words are masculine, only consonants, the pronunciation is vocalized, thus feminine and the direction of writing, from right to left, aims specifically at our heart; with each written word, one gets closer to the heart, at least physically speaking. Hebrew wants to teach us again, by the continuous tension and attraction between its strong consonants and its mysterious vocals and by making the heart the final goal of the written existence of the words, the Lesson of Love. Without the feminine vocals (that have just a hint of visibility in the written form) the words couldnt be pronounced. The tough, imposing consonants cannot live without the invisible vocals. Only the vocals can give life to the masculine written words, or maybe both of them united can give life to each other in a continuous charge and discharge of energy. They cannot exist without one another, only together can they give life to the language. And thus, Hebrew pulls down the veils from the most ancient love-story; we are brought to the dawns of mankind where the first woman was called Life, created perhaps when the first man tried to cry out his loneliness with the first word. The constant hide-and-seek between vocals and consonants in Hebrew is the hide-and-seek between man and woman. Hebrew shows us two essential ingredients for a perfect union: the importance of the feminine, mysterious and undisclosed but present and life-giving, and the importance of paying attention to the attraction and distraction forces creators of that specific amount of tension able to generate never-ending passion. Like the continuous coming and going of the electric circuit, necessary to create the electric sparkle, the contraction and expansion of the consonants and vocals of the Hebrew language teach us how we can make our love eternal. The Physics rules that Hebrew uses are the rules of Love.

If Art is mans best way to express his feelings and ideas, than the Hebrew language is one of mans best artworks.


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