by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths
You never know with whom you dance.
I sat with a co-worker, a religious Jew from Bnei Brak whom I haven’t seen in a few weeks. I mentioned I was in Meron for Lag B’Omer and asked him if he’d been there.
He looked at me kind of sideways and said “We’re litvish, Meron is too much dancing, it’s for chassidim.”
I pulled up the video I made and pointed out the large number of yeshiva bochrim (young litvish Torah students) there, who were dancing vigorously.
The video starts with this beautiful elder chassidic man that I danced by with my son. He struck me because of the intensity of his dancing, he was dancing almost as vigorously has the young men with great kavanah (with intense concentration).
My co-worker looked at the video and said “ah, a great video of the Amshinover Rebbe”!!! Just a chossid in the crowd at Rashbi…the Amshinover Rebbe. (One person wrote this is incorrect, that it is Reb Mordichai Steiner from Monsey.)
He said to me “well, when I was a bocher (young Torah student) I did such things also.” But he explained that too much simcha is not part of his path of avodah (too much happiness – which could be frivolous and a loss of time for Torah – is not part of the litvish path of Torah and Hashem.)
Truly I couldn’t relate. Simcha (joy) in the service of Hashem seems to me the way forward for the future. Tempered with gevurah (strictness and discipline), yes. But this is not a time for gevurah, it’s a time for simcha!