Women’s Dancing on Simchas Torah

Home Coffeeroom Yom Tov Simchas Torah Women’s Dancing on Simchas Torah

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  • #590530

    pookie
    Member

    Do you think that there should be a mechitza up on simchas torah and that the women would also be able to dance.

    #1018065

    cantoresq
    Member

    That’s what happens where I daven.

    #1018066

    haifagirl
    Member

    Where I used to daven it worked out a bit differently. If we didn’t have a mechitzah up, the women wanted to dance and we had to put up the mechitzah. If we prepared, and had the mechitzah already in place, no women danced.

    #1018067

    Joseph
    Participant

    Watching the men dance with the Sifrei Torah, after each hakafa, is much neater.

    #1018068

    mepal
    Member

    Yeah, that’s how it works by us too. The lady’s watch the men. Much more interesting that way 😉

    #1018069

    My feeling is – if there is a mechitza already up for this purpose then, the women should indeed take the opportunity to dance b’simcha.

    If the custom of the shul is for the women to not dance – and a woman feels the urge to cut loose, so to speak, she should go to a shul where it is the custom.

    #1018070

    pookie
    Member

    but them then the they feel left out

    #1018071

    cantoresq
    Member

    Much neater? What do you mean Joseph?

    #1018072

    mazca
    Member

    The purpose of dancing is to dance with the Torah. What good is to dance in a different room? It is better to watch.

    #1018073

    Why on earth shouldn’t they dance? They do at chasunas. What they want to do behind the mechitza is their business. Besides, it’s their Torah too.

    #1018074

    cherrybim
    Participant

    Do I detect a kinder and gentler Joseph? It almost sounds like you’re agreeing b’dieved. Is that correct?

    #1018075

    Jothar
    Member

    The only halachic issue is women dancing with the Torah. Otherwise, why shouldn’t women dance, as long as it’s out of sight of the men?

    #1018076

    mazca
    Member

    but the torah is not with them…and at chasunas the kallah is in the ladies section.

    #1018077

    mybat
    Member

    They are not dancing with the torah! In a wedding you dance because its a mitzvah to make the kallah happy!

    Just watch the men dance!

    #1018078

    oomis
    Participant

    Why should only men be allowed to express their simcha? If there is a mechitzah, I say go for it, ladies!The Torah was given to both men AND women. Of course, no woman should be made to feel she HAS to dance,if she does not feel comfortsble in doing so.

    #1018079

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    jothar- what is the issue for women to dance with the torah?

    #1018080

    oomis
    Participant

    There is no issur for women to hold a Sefer Torah, as far as I was taught. The Torah is not mekabel tumah from anything or anyone. Are you worried it will be too heavy for them?

    #1018081

    Joseph
    Participant

    rob:

    The Rema in Orach Chaim 88 concludes that a nida should not touch the Sefer Torah. Since most single girls are niddos in addition to many of the married women, the Shevet HaLevi concludes that it is inappropriate for women to dance with the Sefer Torah.

    BTW Rav Yosef Soloveitchik’s psak has been recorded by Rabbi Moshe Meiselman, in Jewish Woman in Jewish Law (p.197/p.146) where the author cites the psak of Rav Soloveitchik that women should not dance with Torah scrolls.

    #1018082

    mybat
    Member

    Thank you Joseph for the clear explanation.

    #1018083

    oomis
    Participant

    Joseph, that is very interesting. I was specifically taught in Yeshivah both here and in E”Y that it is absolutely NOT assur for a Niddah (kal v’chomer a married woman who is not a niddah) to touch the Sefer Torah, because the Torah is compared to Aish, and just as AISH is not mekabel tumah, neither does the Sefer Torah. The words “should not” do not mean MAY not, and the word inappropriate is very subjective. Is it appropriate for a man who is drunk, or even slightly buzzed, to dance with the Torah? It may be very inappropriate for the men to see the women dancing (that is also a subjective idea, as dancing with the Torah is not the same as dancing in a chasunah), but it surely is not inappropriate if they are not even visible to the men. Has anyone else any other sources on this issue? (personally, I do not dance on Simchas Torah, but I would not want to stop someone else who is so inclined, if it is allowed halachically).

    #1018084

    Joseph
    Participant

    Here is the text from Rav Meiselman’s Sefer (P. 146):

    Regarding the permissibility of women dancing in the synagogue with Torah scrolls during hakofot on Simhat Torah. This practice has been opposed by all contemporary Rabbinical authorities. My revered teacher, Rabbi Joseph B Soloveitchek, told me he opposed this practice when questioned by synagogues in Brookline, Massachusetts and New York City. The basis for this ruling, he told me, is the Talmud in Berakhot, which says just as there is an etiquetter which regulates one’s behavior when visiting someone else’s home, so too there is a tradition which regulates behavior in the synagogue. Thus, for example, eating in the synagoue is not permitted. An element of proper synagogue behavior, such as eating in the synagogue, is explicated in legal detail by the Talmud and by subsequent codes of Jewish law. The same applies to introductions of innovations which our ancerstors considered to be in conflict with the feeling of respect and awe owed to the synagogue. Proper synagogue behavior is determined by practice and tradition. Since it has been the age-old practice of synagogues that women do not dance with the Torah scrolls during hakafot, the introduction of this practice would be a violation of synagogue etiquette.

    #1018085

    cherrybim
    Participant

    Sh’koach Joseph, that’s pretty clear and doesn’t leave too much wiggle room for innovation.

    #1018086

    jphone
    Member

    Can we extrapolate from this that “buzzed” males should also not be allowed to dance with the torah? As far as i know this has never been appropriate synogogue etiquette either. (Personally, i would like to say yes, but perhaps there is some source that disagrees and permits it?)

    #1018088

    oomis
    Participant

    It’s true people should not eat in the shul, but they do eat in the kiddush room of the shul. So what would your opinion be if the hakafot are brought out of the main shul area and into the same room where kiddushim are held? Would you then view this in a different light? Proper Shul behavior (I hate the word synagogue)is incumbent on all of us, to be sure. Still, based on the specific point that you make, I could see room for discussion about this. No one is suggesting that women come into the actual shul to dance, and the ezras nashim is too small, anyway.

    #1018089

    mybat
    Member

    I was taught that a woman that is niddah should not even look directly at the letters in a sefer torah.

    #1018090

    mybat
    Member

    Or hachaim 88 mishnah berurah.

    #1018091

    pookie
    Member

    ”buzzed males” whats that mean?

    #1018092

    Jothar
    Member

    I have heard Rav YB Soloveitchik as being misquoted to be allowing it. however, it is clear from many sources, including the one Joseph brings, that he never allowed such a thing. Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L was known to have been very much against it as well.

    As for women dancing, why not? They have a cheilek in Torah as well.

    #1018093

    oomis
    Participant

    “Member

    I was taught that a woman that is niddah should not even look directly at the letters in a sefer torah.”

    For what reason? The Torah cannot “catch” tumah.

    Buzzed means having drunk just enough to be feeling really good, but not yet actually drunk. Driving buzzed can cause just as many accidents as driving drunk, btw.

    #1018094

    YW Moderator-42
    Moderator

    I personally think that “buzzed” men should not be dancing with the Torah at all, it is not respectful in my opinion. Simchas Torah is not Purim, people should learn to be able to celebrate without the need for alcohol. You should be feeling the simcha of the Torah, not a chemical simcha caused by alcohol.

    #1018095

    starwolf
    Member

    I agre with Mod 42. I like alcohol as much as (or more than) the next guy, but if you cannot derive enough simcha from the Torah itself–well then you do not need to be dancing with it. In addition, under alcoholic influence, one’s judgment is impaired, and it is easy to drink just a little too much. A dropped Sefer Torah is no little matter.

    As far as women dancing goes- if that is what they want, then why not? If it gives them additional appreciation of the Yom Tov–more power to them.

    #1018096

    mybat
    Member

    Oomis

    I didn’t make it up its a halachah written in the mishnah berrura. Any questions take it up with with the halachah. Not with me.

    #1018097

    cantoresq
    Member

    After much thought I’ve determined that women should not dance on Simchat Torah. In fact they should not dance at all; not at weddings, bat mitzvah’s or anywhere. Allowing women to dance, might lead to. . . .mixed dancing.

    #1018098

    squeak
    Participant

    YW Moderator-42

    Moderator

    I personally think that “buzzed” men should not be dancing with the Torah at all, it is not respectful in my opinion. Simchas Torah is not Purim, people should learn, to be able to celebrate without the need for alcohol. You should be feeling the simcha of the Torah, not a chemical simcha caused by alcohol.

    IFYP.

    #1018099

    A600KiloBear
    Participant

    BS”D

    Again, we look to the most machmir opinion here, that of the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to Modesty for the Good and Proper SchmoigerWoman Who Receives Intergalactic Welfare” by Va’ad Multiple Personalities d’Creedmoor:

    “A woman may dance on Simchas Torah so long as the tinfoil burqa is adjusted to cover her eyes, and so long as her burqa is constructed of tinfoil of at least 100 den and covers her ankles.”

    #1018100

    mepal
    Member

    And the Mechitza is ?? den thick with a seam running through it…

    #1018101

    mepal
    Member

    squeak, IFYP means?

    #1018102

    mepal
    Member

    I-I

    F-Find

    Y-You

    P-Pathetic?

    #1018103

    mepal
    Member

    I-I

    F-Forgot

    Y-Your

    P-Pin?

    #1018104

    mepal
    Member

    I-In

    F-Fact,

    Y-You’re

    P-Probably correct?

    #1018105

    mepal
    Member

    aaah! Its back!

    #1018107

    A600KiloBear
    Participant

    BS”D

    The mechitza is 10 metres high and 200 den thick with a black seam running down the center which can be unzipped only by the Admou”r!

    #1018108

    cherrybim
    Participant

    Unfortunately, many people have overwhelming “daigas”, and while they very much want to focus and enjoy the simcha of what the Torah stands for; their worries would prevent them from participating. Boruch Hashem for a little l’chaim, it gives these Yidden the ability and courage, to forget their inhibitions and allows them to become immersed in the simcha as others appears to be.

    #1018109

    oomis
    Participant

    Mybat, I am not taking issue with you at all. I learned very differently,so I wonder what the exact words of the MB are, and if I am able to look it up, I will. It is possible that something is written as a “better not to” rather than “absolutely assur.” So I am wondering if that might be the case here. I learned it is not possible for a ST to “catch” tumah from ANYTHING, even a sheretz or dead body.

    #1018110

    Jothar
    Member

    It used to be that women didn’t even go to shul when they were niddos. The Mogen Avraham says it’s ok for women who are niddos to go to shul between slichos and Yom kippur. Furthermore, it used to be that women who were niddos were completely avoided due to the tumah. (V. Ramban Genesis 31:35) The shu”t Chasam Sofer (OC 23) says the nature of women’s Tumah has changed, and one should not be machmir. (The preceding mareh mekomos came from a footnote from ch. 17 of Kav Hayashar).

    #1018111

    mybat
    Member

    Oomis maybe the problem is not the sefer torah. Maybe its for another reason, I will try to check why.

    #1018112

    squeak
    Participant

    I

    Fixed

    Your

    Post

    #1018113

    jphone
    Member

    Well, one thing I think everyone can agree one. If the women will be dancing, there better be a mechitza.

    #1018114

    mazca
    Member

    a woman might as well dont hold a siddur when she is a niddah…lol hebrew is holy

    #1018115

    oomis
    Participant

    Thanks, mybat. and TY Jothar for that interesting lesson.

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