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Judaism and the Kabbalah - Mishnab sukkah 5 - Water Drawing Ceremony

Identifier

003027

Type of spiritual experience

Background

Dance was known in the Bible and described in Rabbinic literature as a means of achieving religious ecstasy.  There is little in the descriptions of exactly what is needed in order to promote the experience only that it works.  The practise was used by the early Hasidic Jews and also used in a ceremony known as the 'Water Drawing Ceremony' which was used in very very early Temple practise.  The dance and its ceremony disappeared with the destruction of the Temple towards the first century

A description of the experience

Mishnab sukkah 5

It has been said that anyone who never saw the rejoicing at the Water Drawing Ceremony had never seen true joy in their life.

At the end of the first day of the festival they came down to the women's courtyard and rearranged the situation.  There were golden candlesticks with four golden bowls at their tops. And there was no courtyard in Jerusalem that was not lit up with the light of the Water Drawing Ceremony.

Pious men and mystics used to dance before them with torches of fire in their hands, chanting songs and praises.

The Levites played on harps, lyres, cymbals, trumpets and many musical instruments

The source of the experience

Judaism and Kabbalah

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities