July 23, 2024
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July 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Tu B’Av: Dancing in Circles. Are We Getting Anywhere?

My biggest dilemma at my wedding will be deciding the order of whom I dance with first. I think about this all the time.

After wondering who I will marry, of course.

After my mother/sister/mother-in-law/sisters-in-law, will it be my aunt or my cousin?

Then my childhood neighbor and her mother? Do I dance with them separately or together?

My friend who is on my shidduch resume? My former roommates with whom I’ve spent many days laughing and crying? My teacher who has been on my shidduch resume for more than a decade? My co-workers?

My therapist? Should I invite her incognito? If I do that, she needs to have a good HIPAA-compliant story.

“How do you know the kallah?”

“Well, I got a flat tire once and she came when I called Chaverim.”

“Do you know there is a new branch of Chaverim called Chaveiros where women can participate in helping people with their cars?

“It’s only for older single women who have owned at least two cars in their life.”

“But I thought you were a therapist?”

“I started Chaveiros actually, and I counsel the girls when they cry if they can’t fix the car they were sent to repair.”

“Oh.”

“Interesting niche. I’m going to get some sesame chicken.”

Or maybe I should sit all my therapists at one table, along with the dating coaches, too. They can all hash out who was the one who convinced me to get married.

That would be a table I would pay to be at. Well, I have already paid these ladies enough.

Good thing at my wedding, I will be sitting at the table with my one.

One day… One day… One day… Remember that old tune?

OK, back to the dancing debate.

Mother, sisters, aunts. Shomeres. Single friends. Married friends who are super-close with me.

Everyone else.

I think I can breathe now.

Seriously, it is a big dilemma. Partly because I am a dancer.

Why is it that everyone wants to be part of the kallah’s circle, the focal point of the celebration?

Perhaps it is because dancing with the kallah shows that you are part of her inner circle. When she asks you to dance, she validates your friendship, your connection, and honors how your lives have been intertwined.

At this moment, when she and her choson have chosen that they want each other to be the most important one in their inner circle, they spend the last moments of their separate lives, dancing together with the people who have been in each of their concentric circles.

Coincidence?

I think not.

Remember Tu B’Av, the holiday where all the maidens would dance in the field in a circle?

The Gemara also talks about how in the future Hashem will make a dancing circle for tzadikim and he will sit among them in Gan Eden—and everyone will point with their finger: This is Hashem, I have waited for Him.”

We dance when we experience a transition from galut to geula. At the yam, Miriam led the women in song, and Moshe led the men. Finally, the moment has arrived.

Az Yashir is in future tense, which meforshim interpret as a message about singing in the future. As if to say: Hold that dancing idea, so to speak. You will need to do this again.

When we move, we energize our body and mind, and as chasidic thought will concur: our souls.

Our neshamas need to dance. They relish the opportunity to move, to move in synchronicity with others. Holding hands together, we are united in purpose and we lift each other up in a way that is beyond something words can hold.

Music also helps.

On Tu B’Av we immerse ourselves in a musical experience that is a microcosm of redemption.

At a wedding, anyone who is misameach the choson and kallah are like building a wall of the ruins of Jerusalem.

The circle of life moves us all.

Being single can feel like turning in a circle with no end.

The holiday of Tu B’Av reminds us that there will be an end to the journey, or rather a destination. So keep moving, sisters!

Marriage seems to me like a closed circle, as a home is built, there is a finality of two who are husband and wife, and they will be followed by children as well, iy’H.

As a single, we are ever expanding our circle. Networking, dating, moving, working; we are refining and building endless connections.

That in mind, I understand why my kallah circle will be so hard to determine in order. So many people have been added to my life in these years being single. It’s hard for me to single out (no pun intended) whom to prioritize. I appreciate each and every person for what they have contributed to my life’s journey. Words are not enough, and dancing tells the story.

Even you, the person invited from the other side, whom I don’t know, who thinks the kallah won’t notice her.

Yep, You’re next!


Esther Kost is passionate about teaching and learning Torah. Having a degree in education, she has taught in various educational environments; her favorites are outreach programs and summer camps. Currently, Esther works in a startup tech environment, coaching managers and writing training programs for new employees. She enjoys teaching dance, and deepening her music appreciation by taking various classes. She recently performed at the Open Mic night for women at the event run by HERE Happenings.

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