Posters and photographs reveal how Holocaust survivors celebrated Simchat Torah with Yiddish theater and dancing in the 1940s
“The Soviet authorities expected a large crowd, and they did their best to frighten it away. The Jews were not to forget that someone was watching.”
Some adventurous chefs are dancing with their Torah scrolls this Simchat Torah — and eating them, too.
A Brooklyn synagogue had to celebrate Simchat Torah without four of its holy scrolls, following a theft on Tuesday morning. But in a thankful reversal of fortune, the Torahs were returned to the Midwood congregation shortly after midnight on Friday, leaving some to speculate that the robber saw the error of his ways.
A synagogue in New Jersey will be celebrating the upcoming Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah holidays on a single day, rather than on two consecutive days as is normally the case outside Israel.
The line stretching down the block was Abigail Pogrebin’s first clue: Simchat Torah is a scene. She joined the hordes queueing as they would outside a nightclub, and soon lost all inhibitions.
The president of Kesher Israel synagogue gave a heartfelt reaction to Rabbi Barry Freundel’s arrest on voyeurism charges — in a speech that did not mention Freundel by name even once.
Gabe Friedman tried his best to avoid the giant circle dance stretching across Brooklyn on Simchat Torah night. But the energy was so contagious that it drew him in.
Rabbi Freundel’s arrest on voyeurism charges did not stop the congregants at Kesher Israel from celebrating Simchat Torah with a determinedly joyous lay-led service.
Many Orthodox synagogues now allow or even encourage women to dance with scrolls on Simchat Torah. More than 100 Israelis shuls have joined in the trend.