Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Mufti Sheikh Rawil Gaynetdin, Chairman of the Mufti Council of Russia, and Berel Lazar, Chief Rabbi of Russia sent the greeting letters to the organizers of the II International Exhibition of Calligraphy. These letters were read aloud during the official opening ceremony of the exhibition.
Dear Mr. Chobitko and Mr. Shaburov,
Thank you for the letter where you tell about the activity of the National Union of Calligraphers and the Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy aimed at preservation and promotion of Orthodox Christian culture through writing.
Unfortunately the present day primitive “mass culture” is imposed upon people as an alternative to national traditions. In such conditions a careful and thoughtful attention to the handwritten word practiced in the Church due to special reverent attitude towards the Holy Scripture contributes to thorough study and enrichment of our historical, spiritual and cultural heritage.
The touching beauty of Slavic script devised by Saints Cyril and Methodius can unite the representatives of different generations in their faith in the Russian culture and spiritual tradition.
I hope the International Exhibition of Calligraphy and the Holy Scripture in Calligraphy contest will prove that Slavic writing tradition is a precious and ever relevant part of our national culture.
I wish you blessed success in good deeds.
I whole-heartedly welcome the initiators and participants of the International Exhibition of Calligraphy in Moscow.
Calligraphy is not merely an art. For centuries it has been an act of sacrament. Calligraphers have scribed the Holy Books of all the nations and religions. As for the Jews, the calligraphic skill – “sofer STaM” – is the profession which is taught in religious colleges and institutes. All holy books and significant cult-objects like tefillin and mezuzah can be scribed in parchment only and in a special way. There is a plethora of laws regulating calligrapher’s work. Every synagogue has the Torah manuscripts designed exclusively by the masters of calligraphy. Sometimes it takes several years of hard work to write such a scroll. We are proud the exhibition in Moscow demonstrates the World Famous Mezuzah, a unique calligraphy work enlisted in the Guinness World Records.
Today the more the handwriting tradition is substituted by computers the more valuable the script manuscripts become. Let us remember how happy we used to be when we received the letters from our friends and family handwritten on paper. What we could read there were not only some facts but the reflection of the sender’s inner world. It is twice as fair when we speak about calligraphy: experts can name the author (sofer) of this or that manuscript at once. Looking at the ancient manuscripts of the Dead Sea we observe the work of ancient artists; examining medieval manuscripts we can understand how the art was developing. Thus your exhibition is of special significance – it helps us revive the feelings which the ancient masters of calligraphy attributed to their works.
It is highly symbolic that the exhibition is timed to coincide with the beginning of a new year-long Torah reading in the synagogues of Russia and around the world. And Torah is always read off a manuscript. It is also symbolic the show is organized within the Year of the Russian Language. All the peoples of our multinational country worship the handwritten word and the culture of writing. Thus, this show also admits the contribution of Russia, its people and traditional confessions to calligraphy development as an important means of spiritual progress and promotion.
Good luck to the show organizers! And let God hear your praying.
Dear Mr. Shaburov,
On behalf of the Mufti Council of Russia and Spiritual Administration of Muslims of European Russia I express my respect and greet the organizers and exhibitors, the calligraphy artists on the opening night of the II International Exhibition of Calligraphy in Moscow.
Islam worships the pen and acknowledges its significant role. For us Muslims calligraphy is celebration of Lord, and that is why we always treat it as the testimonial of peace and appeal to peace!
The history of writing had known its ups and downs related to all aspects of human life. Writing is the first result of human attempts to cooperate with the environment and share one’s thoughts and experience with others and the future generations as well. We know that calligraphy hasn’t lost its significance in some of the Muslim countries. Though it is considered to be a traditional art at present time calligraphy is applied as a means of thought expression.
The International Exhibition of Calligraphy is one more piece of positive evidence of the unity of humankind and makes it possible to bring people together, unite them for the sake of the world, beauty and humanity.
Calligraphy is the art of both ideal writing and an ideal soul.