Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel used to say, ‘There were no days more joyful for the people of Israel than the Fifteenth of Av and Yom Kippur, since on these days the daughters of Jerusalem would go out dressed in white and dance in the vineyards. What were they saying? ‘Young man, consider whom you choose (to be your wife)?”‘ (Mishnah Ta’anit, Chapter 4).
Seven days later,
The full moon strings silver beads on branches,
Diamonds of light among the leaves,
Shafts of liquid light on summer-dried ground.
The black and white of moonlight
Creates illusions of wholeness.
Blood-soaked ground only darker shadow.
The full moon of the month of Av,
A month of nightmares now behind us,
Memories satiated with prophecies fulfilled,
Seven days of shiva for the fallen
For loss of sovereignty,
The hope that, just this once,
The end would be different.
And now we dance,
In white garments silvered by moonlight.
Dance over the hollow places of the world,
Our feet skipping lightly over our scorched earth.
Unafraid of the deeper shadows.
Whole in our brokenness.
Only seven days…
And here we are,
Dancing under the full moon,
Dancing over the abyss,
Weaving the sirens of incoming rockets into songs of faith.
Somehow, still trusting.