It’s Olympics time I’ll admit to a fondness for cycling. Actually I claim an interest in cycling that pre-dates the recent gold/yellow jersey rush but these last weeks have been astounding for a peddler like me.
And this Thursday I was filmed for a Channel 4 programme on Jewish views of marriage. After the Three Weeks – a marriage free zone in Jewish law – we are now entering busy season. As a community we are due to celebrate ten marriages between now and the end of October. I’ve been thinking about love and cycling.
These two worlds are connected, in my mind, by one of Rebbi Nachman’s greatest aphorisms - the whole world is a very narrow bridge and the most important thing is never to be afraid. On a bike, riding along on the narrowest of supports, the most important thing is to keep on pedalling. In marriage, in a world where the statistics on divorce and adultery make such depressing reading, the most important thing has to be to keep on working on the relationship. Letting the fear of falling off stop us will guarantee our stumble. Driving forward is, perhaps counter-intuitively, a source of stability. Maybe it’s good advice for every part of our community. It can feel fragile, our kind of Judaism, but if we keep on driving (or peddling!) forward we will do fine.