The Pre-Exile Jew

I have an affinity for the colorful and modest garb that some women from other cultures where. This Shabbat (aka Jewish Sabbath which falls on Saturday) I saw a woman doing a delivery wearing such an outfit. I felt connected to her, just seeing the beautiful tapestry she was wearing, as well as knowing she was a spiritually-connected person. I feel an affinity for women immersed in spirituality and religion. Even if they are Hindu or Sikh, I feel like we are both on the same path seeking wisdom, seeking peace—for ourselves, our family, community, as well as the world at large.

This Shabbat when I looked out the window and saw this woman in her lovely, artistic garb, I realized that we not only share similarities in our inner, spiritual world, but perhaps at some point, our clothes were more similar—that is, before the Jews were exiled. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. (aka A.D.), dance and song were no longer part of our formal prayer repertoire. Sure we still do circle-dancing at celebrations, singing songs including “Hava Nagila” (that well-known song that Jews play at bar- and bat-mitzvahs—as depicted in various movies over the years 😉 ). But we’ve lost much of the richness of Judaism over the years. Much of the color.

So when I see a woman wearing colorful, modest garb, deep within my soul, it harkens back to those times. It feels familiar; as well as uplifting.

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