So says G-d: …Again I shall rebuild you, O maiden of Israel… I shall bring them from the lands of the north, and I shall gather them from the ends of the earth… a great community shall here return… For G-d has redeemed Jacob… and they shall sorrow nevermore. Then, the maiden shall rejoice in dance…
History is a dance, its partners moving to and fro, advancing and retreating, separating and converging.
G-d and the “maiden of Israel” have been dancing these steps some 4000 years now, advancing and retreating, drawing apart and pulling together. G-d chooses Abraham, then hides His face for the terrible years of the Egyptian exile. Israel, the trusting bride of the Exodus, eagerly striding to the betrothal canopy of Sinai, regresses into the ignominy of Golden Calf worship and her other desert betrayals. They enjoy seasons of marital bliss in Jerusalem, only to destroy their nuptial home and depart to centuries of galut-estrangment. Back and forth they dance, each separation intensifying the tension that pulls them together, intensifying the joy in their inevitable reunion.
This last dance-step has flung us to the very extremities of the dance-floor. Never has our bond been drawn tauter, never have we been so driven to converge. When we now unite, it is to separate and sorrow nevermore.
Then, the maiden shall rejoice in that particular joy that only dance can yield.
Adapted from the teachings of the Rebbe by Yanki Tauber