Turn Turn Turn – Because I’m the dancing Jewish Rabbi Catholic Priest

A reader sent in this totally cool video of a dancing Rabbi, baby-Jesus, or is that a dancing priest? Notice Calvary as the video continues. This is 3:1-8 of the Book of Ecclesiastes, the Preaching-Guy, Qoheleth. The music is The Byrds Pete Seeger.

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

  • A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
  • A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
  • A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
  • A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
  • A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
  • A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
  • A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
  • A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

byers dance paul vi audience hallI have a love-hate relationship with this song. I love it as the words are ascribed to King Solomon, but, I think, with the most wonderful sarcasm for being the anti-Christ he came to be after the departure of the Queen of the South. It’s about his fall from wisdom. Wonderful, incisive warning to us on the part of the Holy Spirit. The same bit about sarcasm goes a thousand times more for another book ascribed to him, the Song of Songs. Oh my. That’s another project, to write a commentary on that based on the commentary of Mother Xavier McMonagle, OSB, Mother General emerita of the Tyburn Nuns. I have her permission for that project.

I hate this song because it was used as a the intro to a rock band in the sanctuary of our parish church in the mid-1960s, with a wall of speakers turned up to the max, with teenagers dancing in the aisles. I hated that lack of reverence before our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I was thoroughly scandalized. So were the teenagers, never to be seen again in a church. That was the end of church attendance as we knew it. We went church hopping, but those teenagers found better parties elsewhere, like Woodstock.

I love this song because it is so reverent before the providence of God in our fallen human lives.

I hate this song because Pete Seeger wrote six words and donated proceeds for anti-Israeli projects (with the aid of his communist friends).

Having said all that: I love the video and the song and his six words. Perhaps I’m one of those aging hippies, I don’t know. I don’t think so. I was born at the neutral time, 1960, and carry much from the early early 1960s.

What I do know is the Lord of History, the Word Incarnate, is among us, and we have great hope. Jesus loves us so very much. It’s enough to make me dance for joy.

2 Comments

Filed under Missionaries of Mercy

2 responses to “Turn Turn Turn – Because I’m the dancing Jewish Rabbi Catholic Priest

  1. pelerin

    That song brought back memories though in England I think it was ‘The Seekers’ who popularised it for us. I have to admit that I had no idea the words were ascribed to King Solomon only that they were biblical in origin.

    As for the dancing Rabbi/Priest – it is indeed a dance of joy – really delightful. Thanks for showing.

  2. Cathy

    Happy Anniversary, Fr. Byers!

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