Join in the dance


I had an enlivening conversation last weekend with the heilege/holy Yiscah Smith over dinner at Asiyah member Mikhael Reuven and Naomi Kling's wedding. We were talking about lights, as one does on the last night of Hanukkah, and she recalled an anecdote from one of her Chabad teachers. "If you bring a match close to a burning havdallah candle, the smaller fire from the the match will naturally lean toward the larger one of the candle.* So it is with human souls and the Divine." 

It reminded me of one of Reb Zalman's oft-repeated sayings, that just as plants are heliotropic, reaching for the sun, human beings are theo-tropic, reaching for the Divine. We yearn to be closer to the Source of Life or the Grandeur of Creation, or whatever moniker makes sense to us. 

Sometimes it feels right there, and sometimes it feels impossibly far away. This is called being human! It also points to the reason spiritual practices are called "practices"—because they're not about perfection or an end goal, but rather a commitment to be in the circle dance. Lucky for us, the entry level of Jewish spiritual practice is also communal, so that even if we're feeling far from God, we can at least feel closer to people.  

Being human is hard. Spiritual practice doesn't have to be. Just put it in your calendar and join in the dance.