Simchat Torah

Strictly no dancing at Synagogue

By Simon Rocker, October 18, 2013

The Federation of Synagogues has told women that they cannot dance with Torah scrolls on Simchat Torah after one of its congregations reportedly allowed them to do so last month.

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Maybe Buddhism gets it...

By David Robson, September 27, 2013

In her very enjoyable biography, published this week, the actress Rula Lenska talks about her adherence to a Japanese form of Buddhism where if you want or need something to happen you chant for it and it often comes to pass. How well the want-chant success rate stands up to statistical examination I cannot say. What I do know is that it’s very different from the Jewish way.

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Too much dancing is bad for the simchah

By Rabbi Harvey Belovski, September 25, 2013

Simchat Torah is an emotional day, concluding the Tishri Yomtov season and ending the entire festival sequence that started with Pesach. As its name, Joy of the Torah, indicates, it’s a day focused on the Torah, when we complete the annual cycle of Torah reading and begin it all over again amid singing, dancing and communal festivities.

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Israeli rabbi steals torahs from his own synagogue

By Anna Sheinman, October 17, 2012

An Israeli rabbi was convicted of stealing torah scrolls from his own congregation and replacing scrolls with rolls of paper.

Rabbi Yehuda Rosilio, of the Sephardi synagogue in the small Negev town of Moshav Brosh near Be’er Sheva, was found guilty of aggravated theft; fraud; fraud under aggravated circumstances; breach of trust and an affront to religion

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Why Simchat Torah is an affair of the heart

By Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, October 10, 2012

At Simchat Torah, death and life are linked by just two beats of the heart. Our Torah reading cycle reaches its final episode, the death of Moses. A single heartbeat later, we are once again “In the beginning”, as we restart the cycle, affirming life through Bereshit, the Creation of the world.

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Let go and join the Simchat Torah dance

By Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer, October 8, 2009

The scene that plays itself out on Simchat Torah each year in synagogues across the country is invariably the same. A small hard core of dedicated men with Torah scrolls in their arms do their best to circumvent the bimah against a riotous backdrop of noise and out-of-control kids fuelled by too much candy and fizzy drinks. Off to the side stand the rest of the adults, mostly parents and the occasional indulgent grandparent. Some are mildly amused. Most are bored stiff and cannot wait for the whole thing to be over.

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Has Simchat Torah become too boozy?

By Nathan Jeffay, October 17, 2008

This week's festival has become an excuse for binge drinking. Where is the justification?

If one thing is certain about Simchat Torah, it is that, by late afternoon, at least one youngster from an Orthodox neighbourhood will be having his stomach pumped. It happens every year in North-West London, usually Hendon or Edgware, or in Manchester's Broughton Park district.

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Sometimes God just wants to dance

By Jay Michaelson, October 17, 2008

Simchat Torah is all about dancing. On the literal level, Jews (especially Chasidic Jews non-Chasidic Jews, young Jews, and Jews who just like to move) dance with the Torah, parading it around in circles and chains until finally someone shouts out "Ad Kan" - enough for this circuit of ecstasy. And symbolically, the whole holiday is a dance, circling around from end to beginning, concluding the autumn holiday season, refusing to admit of linearity.

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