Aaron Novik

Aaron Novik’s ‘Secrets’

The eclectic, avant-klez clarinetist takes inspiration from a 13th-century kabbalist.

06/12/2012
Special to the Jewish Week

Rabbi Eleazar of Worms was a 13th-century scholar whose life was torn apart when two Crusaders broke into his house and killed his wife and three children. After that terrible incident in 1196, he wrote numerous ethical texts counseling cheerfulness, patience and love for humanity, suggesting a greatness of spirit that all but passes understanding. But he also delved deep into the mystical vein of Judaism, authoring countless kabbalistic texts including new systems of gematria (the numerological interpretation of Torah) and a singular work called “The Secrets of Secrets.”

Novik, below on bass clarinet, in a recent performance. Mark Wilson
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