I always knew Jewish communities knew how to party, but I had NO IDEA what that REALLY meant until last night!
Yesterday was the holiday that marks the ‘end’ of the New Year festivities called Simchat Torah (The Celebration of the Torah). We rejoice in this festive holiday by unrolling the Torah scroll out entirely and then we roll it back up so we can read it all again! Then we have a series of seven processions (marchings) with the Torah – each one accompanied with about 20 minutes of CRAZY INTENSE DANCING!!!!
I would compare the dancing circles at Ikar last night to running with the bulls in Spain — once you’re in, you can’t get out!!! The energy was BOOMING last night – with probably close to 200 people. People of all ages were dancing and singing their hearts out.
I wish I could show you photos from my experience last night, however, taking photos or video on holiday is actually not permitted. I did find these great photos though, and I think you can get a great feel for the vibe.
I know I don’t stand alone when I saw that sometimes, we forget to celebrate. Sometimes, as a community of Jews, we REALLY forget to celebrate, and can often focus on the sorrowful, the painful and the tears.
This holiday reminds us what it is all about. Rejoicing – Celebrating – Singing – all with one’s community. Feeling uplifted and supported by those that you spend your life with is crucial to enjoying life.
May we all be blessed with such a community; one that uplifts, cherishes and rejoices in God and in each other.
TO A GREAT YEAR AHEAD!