Monday, October 16, 2006
Dances With Torahs
Note: I pre-dated this article (though I submit it on Wednesday, October 18th) because it was conceived during the holiday and was begun a few hours following the conclusion of the holiday. I just haven’t found the time to complete the relatively (for me) short entry.
At the conclusion of Simchat Torah we come to the great climax of a very long time of counting that I would say began at Rosh Chodesh Adar (from that point we look up to Purim, where we begin studying for Passover, which we count to Shavuot, which leads to the 17th of Tammuz (Revelation to Golden Calf), which, in the Three Weeks leads to Tisha B’Av. Seven Weeks of Comfort lead to Rosh Hashannah, Ten Days of Repentance to Yom Kippur, the first thing that we do at its conclusion is begin to build the Sukkah for Sukkot, which is followed immediately to Shemini Atzeret AND/OR Simchat Torah. In fact, the entire Torah reading for that year is a Torah cycle which begins, ends, and begins again on Simchat Torah)
During Simchat Torah I went to both VBS and to the Encino Chabad. It was not nearly as fun as New York, of course, but it still felt like Simchat Torah Lite. It was clearer, more than any other day, that I miss New York and all my friends there. There is nothing like all-night Shul-Hopping and the wild accompanying parties.
An interesting thing I noticed. In New York we did hakafot with the Torahs in the center, us dancing around the Torah. At Chabad they had the Torahs within the counterclockwise procession and at the center was the alcohol, a gigantic bottle of whiskey (with a mechanism for pouring) and a gigantic bottle of vodka (with a pump). I wonder if there is anything in this.