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I'm not a dancer!

Friday, 28 September, 2018 - 8:00 am

It’s no secret that while I love music, the pen of the soul, I am not a big fan of dancing. For me to get into it, to invoke authentic joy that is expressed in physical dancing, it must be a real joyous event like the wedding of a sibling, a euphoric Purim moment or, occasionally, when it’s just me and the kids in their room, and we dance like nobody’s watching. Yet, this coming week, after wrapping up Sukkot with Sushi and Scotch in the Sukkah, we will usher in Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, the finality of this incredible Holiday season, when we take the priceless scrolls out of the Aron HaKodesh, the Holy Ark, and dance the night away as we hold them with palpable love.

Why the love? I will tell you:

Growing up as an orthodox Jewish boy in Brooklyn gave me slight shelter from outside, un-Jewish, influences, but our family was still quite aware of, and somewhat interactive with, the realities of the world around us. We were blessed to have our own Torah-based value system that guided our every move and which we cherished deeply, but we knew that secularism or “Western Culture” had its own set of rules and way of thinking. As adults, Chavie and I are witness daily to what secularism has offered America and the tragic ramifications of its impact on our culture. Which is why when Simchat Torah arrives, we will join in Shul, conclude Deuteronomy, begin Genesis, read the Torah verses of “Ata Hareisa” emphasizing the Torah’s value and then, despite my reservations, I will lift my lazy legs off the ground and, together with our beloved community, boogie to the energizing Jewish music of our collective soul as it soars spiritually.

The Talmudic sages predicted some 1,800 years ago that in pre-messianic times society will become brazenly senseless and oh how right they were. The more divisive, unholy and corrupt humanity is, the more grateful we must be, that despite having to deal with the coarseness directly, we have a bright Torah that helps us wade through the murky waters without drowning in it. Next week, as I hold Chanchy’s Torah in my arms dancing with my younger children and amazing Shul-buddies, I will be dancing like there’s no tomorrow, thanking G-d for the amazing scroll that give us inner life, inner liberty and inner happiness, not just the “pursuit” of it.

L’Chaim! Gut Shabbos! Gut Yom Tov!  

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May He protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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