|"no longer a dance, but a kind of silent prayer, offered by a body of flickering flame..."|
The following is translated from the Prologue to Fishel Schneersohn's novel, Chaim Gravitzer:
As soon as the Rebbe had passed through the door, uncontainable joy lifted the great hall into the air. Like a long withheld tempest, Chaim Gravitzer’s melody burst forth from thousands of breasts. The happy tune ignited every corner, and the great hall was as though aflame. The undulations of this melody do not cease to uplift; they flow forth, lifting up and turning over everything and everyone in a whirlwind of immense, radiant joy. The heart does not want to give up, but expands magnificently and burns with rejoicing. Ancient ecstasies seem to tear themselves free as though from chains; ecstasies that have no beginning and no end. Men, as though they have been forever drunk, take each other by the hand, dancing and twirling around the tables. Others intertwine their hands and let themselves go on whatever the world stands. Momentarily some tear themselves free of the circles, carrying themselves like a whirlwind up onto the tables, and with heads thrown back, eyes closed, and hands upheld, they all but dance out their souls. This is no longer a dance, but a kind of silent prayer, offered by a body of flickering flame; a silent prayer where the soul expires and then is born anew...
Chaim Gravitzer is available in the original Yiddish, here.