Rabbi Touched by Shen Yun’s Universal Themes

February 3, 2014

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.—“The entirety of the show was very beautiful. It was very meaningful and very beautiful,” said Gideon Goldenholz, a rabbi in Fort Lauderdale. He and Joyce Bak had just experienced Shen Yun at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, on Feb. 2.

“It was superbly coordinated—meticulously. [The artists] were passionate about what they were doing. The geometry of it all and the discipline—all of the artists were extremely disciplined. It was beautiful,” he said.

“The yearning for peacefulness and for humanity, and the kindness of people” portrayed by Shen Yun is similar to his culture, Mr. Goldenholz said. “I think that spirituality in any place, in any ethnic area is beautiful, and it always interests me.”

Chinese culture values harmony between heaven, earth, and man, and Mr. Goldenholz said that came through in the performance. Between the human and the divine, there was a seamless a flow, he said. “I found that very interesting.”

Remarking on the universality of Shen Yun’s program, Mr. Goldenholz said. “I think all of us have a certain commonality.” It’s important that “we have basic respect for each other and appreciate each other’s differences—the commonality and the humanity of everyone.”

Mr. Goldenholz said he was disturbed to learn of the communist regime’s attack on the traditional culture and people who wish to follow its positive ideas and traditions.

The dance Buddha’s Compassion Shines Forth tells the story of Falun Gong practitioners who endure despite persecution—the universal story of good versus evil.

In 1999, the Chinese Communist Party began a violent campaign to eliminate Falun Gong (also called Falun Dafa), a spiritual meditation practice based on traditional Chinese principles: truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

Mr. Goldenholz said he felt that Shen Yun’s mission of reviving the traditional Chinese culture and values is relevant to people living in today’s troubled world.

Ms. Bak said the performance gave her a better understanding of the Chinese culture, and she wanted to know more now.

The performance was “spectacular, colorful, and beautiful,” she said. “The decorations were colorful, and the women were just stunning—absolutely beautiful—and they moved beautifully.”

Reporting by Edie Bassen and Louise Rothman

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.

The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.

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Shen Yun New York Company