Ecstasy

The Baal Shem Tov was the founder of Hasidic Judaism

The Dance of the Hasidim

At the festival of Simhat Torah, the day of rejoicing in the law, the Baal Shem’s disciples made merry in his house. They danced and drank and had more and more wine brought up from the cellar. After some hours, the Baal Shem’s wife went to his room and said:”If they don’t stop drinking, we soon won’t have any wine left for the rites of the sabbath, for Kiddush and Havdalah.”

He laughed and replied: “You’re right. So go and tell them to stop.”

When she opened the door to the big room, this is what she saw: The disciples were dancing around in a circle, and around the dancing circle twined a blazing ring of blue fire. Then she herself took a jug in her right hand and a jug in her left and – motioning the servant away – went into the cellar. Soon after she returned with the vessels full to the brim.

It is said the Sufi Muslim poet Jalaludin Rumi invented the whirling dance of the dervish when he was walking past a the sound of a goldsmith at work with his hammers. In the rhythm of the hammering he heard ecstatic music and he began to turn and to turn . . .

Dance, when you’re broken open.

Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.

Dance in the middle of the fighting.

Dance in your blood.

Dance, when you’re perfectly free.

– Rumi


DIY : Dance, dance dance!

Categories: DIY Magic by Anthony Alvarado | Leave a comment

About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in the rural wilderness of Joshua Tree, California, where I am a partner in JTHomesteader.com with Stephanie Smith.

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