Post High Holydays: The dance of life

We can stay close to G-d even after the intensity of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We must remember that He is always there for us.

Helena Hawkins, | updated: 12:40

Judaism Helena Hawkins
Helena Hawkins
INN:HH

Sometimes, it’s the times in life when we are most uninspired that we must force ourselves to do whatever it is that is so daunting a task.

For me, writing often requires inspiration. There are times when I am struck by the lightning bolt of inspiration, and the Divine force flows through me with ease, and suddenly the words are toppling forth onto the page with a current and rhythm I, myself, could never create. It is truly coming from God, and not from myself.

But even those times when I feel my ego most at large, when my own self intrudes on the intimacy of the Divine connection, I feel I must write, and in a way, it is a holier act than when God’s desires whisper through my words. 

And so it is with life; I would venture a guess that at least half of our time is spent in disillusionment, doubt, and distance from God. At the very least, I can say that this is true for myself. It’s hard to say what percentage of the time I spend in this mental state, but it is often such a large part of everyday life that it often feels as though it is the norm.

And although it is certainly possible to infuse daily life with greater inspiration, I can’t say that this is the truth for many people in the modern world, with all our catastrophes, both natural and manmade. It is difficult, even more difficult than ever before, to be the simple servant, the one who enjoys life’s work, the one who is fulfilled with a family and a world that was much less complicated than the world now.

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking that I sound like a typical millennial, complaining about the struggles of modern life. But the truth is, the pressure is on everyone. The sages describe an era of birth pangs, one that heralds a Messianic era. We are experiencing the birth pangs, and perhaps even approaching labor - but as the time gets closer for birth, or really rebirth in our case, what exactly can we expect aside from extraordinary pain?

Yes, it results in birth - renewal, revitalization, a new reality. And the anguish of the labor will subside, and as I’ve always heard from mothers, the pain will be completely forgotten in light of this new life. Meanwhile, though, we are experiencing the anguish. And this anguish is not an easy pill to swallow for so many of us.

We are growing up, often in broken homes, creating our own broken lives, and repeating this cycle of self-destruction and destruction of others. People are alone, lives are viewed as cheap, and they stand behind empty causes, spouting out proclamations of tolerance and justice for the needy and the pathetic, while they ultimately show their own emptiness and vanity.

How can we possibly ride the waves of this broken world, how can we keep telling ourselves that we have to learn to sail smoothly on the tidal waves of life, when the tidal waves grow larger and more menacing all the while? The amount we have to adjust on a regular basis to the ever-growing tsunamis of evil is becoming almost unbearable.

Almost.

So what is the point of all of this?

The point, it seems to me, is to draw closer to God.

It feels to me like a dance. We draw closer to each other, only to draw apart once again, always connected, either by our hands, or by the mere force of the dance itself. We are always longing for the closeness, but so much of the time is spent apart. 

Life is this dance - this dance with God, where distance and intimacy mingle and become one. 

And always, no matter how far apart we drift, we know that He is ours and we are His.

And even though this is a dance in which the floor all around us is burning, we know we are always connected to our partner, our husband, our lead. 

And even if He is gone for a moment, He is always there, just within arm’s reach, waiting for us.



 





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