artist’s siyyum

Our Torah begins with an act of divine artistry. The sculpting of our perceivable universe. A masterpiece that becomes the background and context of the entirety of humanity.  

Many ancient Jewish texts teach that before our universe, The Creator created many universes. Specifically in Breishit rabbah 3:7, we learned this in relation to the verse in which Hashem proclaims “Hinei tov meod—behold it was very good”. rabbi Abbahu describes this as The Creator affirming, “this version of what I have made pleases me.”

This was the satisfaction of contentment after hard work and failure and also affirmation of achievement. Even our Creator and even our universe required rough drafts.

The response of “Hinei tov meod,” behold it was very good,” as well as the creation of Shabbat remind us what we as artists need to do for ourselves. Self-affirm the completion of our work. recognize the all-encompassing creative process. Be able to mark the end of intense devotion to a project. Allow our hearts and hands and head to move on.

In our tradition resides the perfect ritual for this completion, a siyum. The process allows for those who have completed a large amount of study like a tractate of Talmud to “Lkadesh”, to elevate an experience by setting it apart from other experiences. The process acknowledges the knowledge gained from the process, the finishing of the project, as well as marking the moment in which the individual moves on to the next adventure. 

Nourish yourself in this ritual: A siyum for any self-identifying artist for any project. recognize and declare each and every project; big or small, fun or difficult, relaxing or stressful, as holy.