Keep Dancing

Having survived another Simchat Torah filled with much music and dancing, I find it difficult to get back to a regular work week.  I am reminded of a story told by the Baal Shem Tov. He said:

Once a fiddler played so sweetly that all who heard him began to dance, and whoever came near enough to hear, joined in the dance. Then a deaf man who knew nothing of music, happened along, and to him all he saw seemed the action of madmen- senseless and in bad taste.-  Buber

Is Judaism a wonderful dance or something senseless or worse in bad taste? I guess it depends on your perspective.

In this weeks Torah portion, we learn that Noah saved humanity because he was righteous in a corrupt generation. (See Rashi on Tzadik B Doro) In many ways Noah needed to be counter-cultural to build an ark. In the end, the story teaches us that we cannot determine taste by the majority.

I hope that even with the holidays behind us, we can all strive to find ways to continue to dance to the rhythms of Jewish living. I believe that commitments that are personally meaningful, universally relevant, and distinctively Jewish will ensure our sustained contribution to the world. It is not so bad being counter cultural; it might just be the secret to our survival. Together we can find ways to dance to our timeless music and talk about how we might do our part to ensure a safe future for all of God’s creatures.


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