Dance of Love

I have been super busy preparing for a public lecture to a tough academic crowd. And I am on hiatus from editing until I receive my manuscript back from my editor, so my blogging has been light.It was a nice semi-vacation from my computer.

In the meantime, I got a nice shout-out (and email) from David Wolpe

The Dance Of Love
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
David Wolpe

The Talmud in Ta’anit envisions the “future dance of the righteous.” In Alan Brill’s book “Thinking God,” about Rabbi Zadok of Lublin, he quotes Rabbi Zadok’s beautiful comment on this passage:

“The future dance of the righteous” is because the dancing occurs in a circle in which all are equal. … When everything is complete, then one will not need effort to love in one’s heart the creation because then loving creation will be as natural as loving parts of one’s own body.”

A dance expanding the body beyond itself, so that we are swept up in something larger, is the ideal — to gradually expand the circle of our love so that it embraces all of God’s creation. One day we will cherish everything as we cherish our very selves.

Such universality is not possible for a human being to realize now, in this partial and fragmented world. But Rabbi Zadok reminds us to hold out the image of the dance in which the upright heart will also be an all-encompassing heart. He reminds us that at the core of our tradition there is a deep, wild, wondrous vision of the possibilities of love.

Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Follow his teachings at

2 responses to “Dance of Love

  1. Alan,
    That is indeed a lovely reference. At the same time I would note that within Israeli hasidic influenced religious-Zionist frameworks (and certainly Neo-Breslov ones) dancing is no longer a circular affair. On the contrary, increasingly common is the sight of yeshivah boys jumping, twirling and skipping individually to their own muse. I am often reminded of one of my favorite parts of Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum, the Brazilian/Tribal church dance scene.

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