Thursday, October 4, 2007

Simchat Torah

Tomorrow we start over with Genesis, so I offer the following interpretation, even though I didn't really get to celebrate Simchat Torah tonight:

History of Loneliness

In a beginning, there was nothing. Then, God said.

There were light and trees and oceans and horizons,
and there was Adam.

God said everything into existence,
Those that missed something nonexistent no longer suffered.
Darkness was lonely, and there was fire.
The trees were despondent, there was shade.
Adam was aching. God said. And there was Eve.

God said “This is very good.” And it was.

But soon, Adam and Eve realized they missed the longing they’d felt without each other.
They built a fire, darkness disappeared,
and when the fire sputtered out, darkness became even louder,
thicker than before the first flame.

When Eve ate the apple, and offered it to Adam,
they were sent out of Eden.
And the first people on the planet felt another kind of longing,
called homesickness.

Ever since then, people have been obsessed with the notion of home,
and the notion of emptiness,
not to mention God.

You see, in a beginning,
God didn’t know that people could long for nothing,
could court nothing, could fall in love with absence.
So God filled God’s world with endless somethings
that begat more somethings,
and each something found a longing inside
that no other something could fill.

They say God’s light was a vessel that splintered
into millions of pieces.
We are glittering fragments, trying to heal the world
by finding light in each other.
We are drawn to glowing, because we are drawn to God.
They also say that God didn’t create the world,
but is creating the world,
so we are constantly repairing and shattering,
and repairing again.

It wasn’t the beginning, it was a beginning,
and it was an ending.
It was the end of nothing.

(copyright 2007)


Hillel offered an 80's dance party for Simchat Torah, and they couldn't get enough people for a minyan, so dancing with the Torah was out of the question...

and Chabad offered a full traditional service but required that men and women dance on separate sides of the room...

So, there was nowhere to go. Maybe we shouldn't have tried to go at all, but usually Simchat Torah gets a big turn-out at Hillel. Things are different now. The Sukkah was overflowing on Sukkot, but only nine people - most of them Hillel interns - were there for Simchat Torah tonight.

Oh well...It was still nice to schmooze with the few people who were there. They hadn't had a chance to meet the boy yet, so it was good to chat, even if it didn't feel like Simchat Torah as I remember it. That's how it goes sometimes.

Chag Sameach!

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