Or Panecha (God's Countenance)

2019

46” x 54”

Repetition in Judaism piqued my interest this summer during a particularly long service. Why do we say “Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh” three times? Why do we dunk our bodies three times at the mikvah? Three times the witness yells out “kosher”! We put three shovel fulls of dirt on the casket at a burial. We say the shma, we say the kaddish prayer, we say the Amidah, we bless candles and food and we repeat and repeat these words and supplications. I had many long and fulfilling discussions regarding this topic with rabbis, scholars and educators. I found research on repetition in music has shown proven that it is calming for the brain. Psychologists recommend repetitive verbal exercises as healing tools.

 

My conclusion is the reason for this repetition is to let the light of God enter our neshama (soul). In return, we give our light (candlelight, prayers and our belief) to God.