ORRAZ (Light and Mystery) Symphonic Poem in Four Movements
symphony is inspired by the work of Yehudah Halevi (1075/86 -
1141) Spanish Jewish physician, poet and philosopher. Specifically the
Ayin Nedivah (“Generous Eye”) a Qasida For Solomon Ibn Ghiyyat; as well
as the Gematria relationship between the Hebrew letters making for “or”
(light) and “raz” (secret – mystery).
for Large Orchestra (2020)
A qasida is an ancient Arabic word and form of writing poetry, often translated as ode.
The classic form of qasida maintains a single elaborate metre throughout the poem, and every line rhymes on the same sound.
The numerical values of Hebrew letters is well known from time
immemorial. Adding these numbers in a word or a phrase and looking for
similarities in other words is known as Gematria.
Gematria originated as an Assyro-Babylonian-Greek system of
alpha-numeric code or cipher that was later adopted into Jewish
The Hebrew words OR (light) and RAZ (secret, mystery) share the
same numerical values (207) obtained by adding the numbers
corresponding to their letters.
Light and secrecy do seem rather opposite. Light involves openness
while secrecy or mystery seems to be related with darkness or the
opposite of light.
Tzvi Freeman relates in chabad.org:
Everything begins with light, and light is the destiny of all things.
“In the beginning, G‑d created the heavens and the earth.” And what is the first thing G‑d said? “Let there be light!”
So this is the secret of life: that each thing holds its own secret. And this is how the story unfolds:
Through our struggle with life and with the world, we
crack its shell and get that secret out into the open. The secret of
all darkness is that it desires to become light; the secret of all
conscious beings is that they must perceive that light; the secret of
all existence is to know that it emerges out of that which stands
Those who know the secret reveal the light. Those who
have light reveal the secret. Until eventually that light shines,
everywhere and through everything.