Last night several friends and I attended a Passover Seder sponsored by a Messianic Jewish congregation. I loved all of it – the Seder plate, the cups, the reading of the Torah, the prayers, the stories. The service was achingly beautiful: the haunting music, the dancers, the tradition, the connection with ancient Jewish history, and the sense of watching the intimate love of a community. I felt a new place was being carved out in my soul.
Most lovely of all were the dancers, especially the young teenage girls and the very old women. The way the older women welcomed the young girls into the dance was mesmerizing and heartbreakingly beautiful: widening the circle to make room for them, catching them up into the rhythm of their timeless joy and sorrow, accepting their youth with respect and expectation, handing down to them a precious past, trusting them as women in their own right now to carry it on. The girls followed the movements of the older women in the circle, arms and hands moving gracefully, echoing the rich heritage, the eternal beauty, of dancing before Adonai.
I don’t know when I have been so moved.