Song of Songs

Rabbi Meni Even-Israel

Physical and Spiritual Beauty in Song of Songs

Song of Songs (Shir HaShirim) is often studied as a portrait of lovers and focuses on the beauty beheld by the poet. It has also been understood as a metaphor for the relationship between the people of Israel and God. Between these two vastly different interpretations is a rich discussion about the nature of beauty as the thread connecting the physical and the spiritual. What if it is just about the physical? How does this challenge our reading of Song of Songs, and deepen our apprehension of beauty as a Jewish concept?