We’re not sure what to make of a video that came to our attention on Facebook this week.
It shows young people dancing intently to a Brazilian beat — around a model of the biblical Ark of the Covenant.
There is something odd and unsettling about seeing an image from the Temple, lost for 2,000 years, recreated in Brazil. But its intended meaning is unclear.
It appears to have been posted on a Brazilian Facebook page called “Cristianismo Puro & Simples,” apparently a Pentecostal Christian site.
The video is titled “Idolatria” — Portuguese for “idolatry” — and the caption translates to “Without words… Judge me!”
Is this a condemnation of the Golden Calf with the ark as a stand-in?
Is this a soul-felt recreation of David’s dancing before the ark as described in the Book of Samuel?
These are questions about the dancers. But we can turn them toward ourselves. How would it feel to dance ecstatically before the ark in our synagogue? Is this dancing different than our dancing on Simchat Torah?
Whatever the creators of this video meant by posting it for its intended audience, it offers us an opportunity to reflect on a planet full of different cultures and different beliefs, each like our own and different from our own, now each just a click away on Facebook.
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