Sunday, November 30, 2008
No more long lists of birds; juicy tales of iniquity and enlightenment await instead. A while back I sung about the serpent and apple, and a week later stars in the sky. Up next: 23 verses about the rape of Dinah, just short of the part about her brothers' payback. As I'm still having trouble getting back to real, non-holiday time two months after the fact, still catching up on work I put off during all those weekdays of chag (and hoping the crappy economy will oblige with new work once this pile is gone), it feels good to get up early, take many deep breaths, and practice telling a great story. It's a tragic one, but the next parasha will not be--and I bet the one after that will. On Simhat Torah, little tributaries kept breaking off from the big, dizzy crowd of dancers and, hands on shoulders, winding sinuously around twirling circles of people and Torot. From the balcony the lines looked like a network of joyous, sneaky snakes, squeezing in and out clumps of flying spinners when they least expected it. I was surprised to find myself describing this ecstatic scene with a metaphor of the symbol of humanity's worst sin. The line between good and evil can be tenuous; it seems somehow fitting that I sing about infinite promise one week, and bottomless anger the next.