(Continued. I also must acknowledge that I'm suffering from holiday burnout... four weeks of two of these per week, followed by Shabbat, has taken its toll. Now, don't get me wrong--I loved it, every minute of every endless meal and Amidah. But the Tuesday/Wednesday business was a bit much, and I agree wholeheartedly with this blogger. For the next week or so I'll probably not post extensively, since I need to spend a bunch of time resting/catching up on work/remembering what my brain does when it's not praying/otherwise pursuing real life.)
By the following Simchat Torah I understood more about why we danced in celebration of those 80,000 fixed yet fluid words, words that changed to reflect how different we were each time we read them. I remember listening to Lech Lecha that first Saturday morning at my synagogue and thinking, what a great story! I can't wait to hear the rest. (I studied it in Hebrew School, and elsewhere in life, but only vaguely.) When we came around to reading Lech Lecha the following year I was sad, at first; I figured it would never seem as exciting as during my initial introduction. But I was wrong; the story took on new shapes and sounds, its mirror tilting in a completely different direction, because I knew more than I did a year before, had lived and seen more. As I held hands and flew in circles with my friends on Simchat Torah, I understood that we were dancing through the open door of the coming year. The people embracing the scrolls were just average, like myself, all of us not the best Jews in the word but similar in one respect: we wanted to read those words again. I was no longer afraid to hold the scroll, because I knew that my desire to learn gave me the right.