Tuesday, October 21, 2008


In Israel, Shmeni Atzeret and Simchat Torah are squished together into one holiday.

Thank G-d. I don't think I could handle another holiday.

Er, I mean, how wonderful to increase the joy of a holiday!

Today was very cool. I walked over an hour to the other side of town to the womens' tefillah group, where I read Torah with and for other women. It was a tremendous blessing to be leining (reading) the Torah, our holy words from G-d, in Israel, our holy land given to us by G-d. Yes, I got a little choked after the first reading (we read this portion of the Torah over and over again, until everyone has a chance to come up and make the blessing - or in the womens' case, a statement and request - over the reading).

There was much dancing, much singing and many introductions for me. I had been worried about Simchat Torah here in Israel, because it winds up being a men's festival. In the Orthodox community, women tend to get left out of Simchat Torah for reasons that would take more detail than I have energy to go into here. In Vancouver, we had a womens' reading every year, but in Israel, it's not very common. I certainly didn't expect it here in Modi'in. I'm so glad I was wrong. I had a kickin' Simchat Torah, topped off with lunch with one of our first new friends in Modi'in. And that was topped off by her father being in town visiting. Oscar was Gabbai at Schara Tzedeck in Vancouver, and it was fun catching up.

Next up: our first tiyyul!

1 comment:

Evenewra said...

I was wondering if you would find a women's reading in Israel... if it would be easier or harder. I definitely thought about you at our women's reading here.

Yasher Koach.