Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Movement in Prayer

In response to Paige's comment(which you can see below), I gave more thought to the concept of including significant movement during prayer. As luck would have it, following my post last Friday, I attended kabbalat Shabbat (Lit: Receiving the Sabbath) and there was significant dancing by both men and women.

It felt almost as if putting down our siddurim and joining in a lumpy, rhythmically challenged circle released some sort of euphoric energy that permeated the prayer space for the remainder of the evening. I can only explain it by saying that the siddur banging, and shuckeling (swaying) that was occurring before the dancing was similar to building up the pressure in a carbonated beverage. Obviously, when this bottle was opened we weren't all spritzed, but that's not the point.

So, I'm not sure exactly where to go with this from here, except to point out that in the case of last Friday, movement lifted the spiritual, physical, and emotional levels of the evening. I'm equally unsure of how appropriate it would be in all contexts, and what a "dancing/movement model" would look like while still retaining respect and reverence for prayer and the prayer space.


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