October 22, 2016 8:15 pm at 8:15 pm #618553
As a single girl, I often find Simchas Torah to be a bit difficult. I am not a feminist, chas v’shalom and I have no desire to dance with a Sefer Torah. I also don’t have a particular desire to dance at all. What I do have a desire to do is to figure out what my tafkid on Simchas Torah is. I came up with a few ideas which I will list below. If anyone else has an ideas, please feel free to post them for the oilam as well (but not if they include dancing with a Sefer Torah or something similar).
1. Give out candies to the kids in shul. This may sound trivial, but it’s not. I once spent Simchas Torah in a particular community where one person in the community sponsors really nice pekalach for each child in the community. At the house where I was spending Yom Tov, someone mentioned the amount of money this man spends on this. A discussion ensued as to whether or not it was a waste of money.
The Rav whose house I was at thought that it was a very good use of money. I can’t remember exactly how he phrased his reasoning, but it was something to the effect of giving the kids a real geshmak appreciation for Torah.
2. Saying Tehillim during hakafos for men and boys to be zoche to learn a lot of Torah. You can either daven for all the men and boys in particular or for a specific person. There is also a concept of davening for your zivug (whoever he is) to learn well.
3. Learn Torah or say Tehillim.
4. Just enjoy Yom Tov the way you enjoy any Yom Tov.
A good, enjoyable and meaningful Yom Tov to one and all! Good Yom Tov!October 23, 2016 1:19 am at 1:19 am #1188271
go to shul & listen to the singing & dancing of Simchas HA-torah. Its a total different atmosphere & much more kedusha songs sung special on Simchas torah versus listening to the rocken music songs of todays singers.
This is one day a year where the music comes from everyones hearts with no orchestra or DJ in the background playing the music
ENJOY EVERY MOMENT OF IT WHILE IT LASTS & have a wonderful yom tovOctober 23, 2016 1:55 am at 1:55 am #1188272
Whilst feeling a bit emotional when watching the dancing in a “sincere people shul”,daven in your heart to be zoche to a true ben Torah , by true I mean he loves the Torah for real (not just status) and he knows about how a true ben Torah treats a wife. Daven.in your heart to be zoche to children who will always stay on the Torah path. The simcha of watching lively singing and dancing combined with a heartfelt plea to Hashem TO BE PART of the simcha by way of Torah children/spouse is sure to be accepted by Hashem.October 23, 2016 6:04 am at 6:04 am #1188273
The babbler – NICE! Amen!October 23, 2016 2:07 pm at 2:07 pm #1188274
lilmod, I feel very depressed on simchas torah too, for different reasons though. I grew up in the US where simchas torah was really toward the more gashmiyus side, and I loved it. If I lived in Meah Sharim I’d like it to cuz it’s toward tons of ruchniyus, but where I live now- it’s just sorta….eh both ways.
No peckelach, very little candy, no trading candies at 2am and noshing and talking in thw womens section. Dancing is very boring, just a bunch of people going around in a circle with no feeling. No streamers, flags, shining faces and little kids trying to kiss the torah….
I’ve been to shul after shul in this city. And all I see are drunk boys, groups of girls giggling over nothing, tired fathers and mothers, and children who go to bed at 9 or 10.
I hope to try your techniques so this year me, and some of the other people I know can actually once again love this holiday.October 24, 2016 8:18 pm at 8:18 pm #1188275
Shopping – that’s so sad! I can’t believe that you live in the same country that I do! I have no idea where you live, but it’s obviously not Yerushalayim or any of the other cities that I spend time in!
Maybe you should consider going away for Simchas Torah next year. There are so many wonderful places you can be spending Simchas Torah in in Eretz Yisrael! Chaval not to take advantage.October 26, 2016 4:00 am at 4:00 am #1188276
I gave out candy all through high school! It’s a great boost in self esteem, if your idea of ideal popularity is among 4-8 year olds :). But it was loads of fun. I would have this year and last year except that I forgot to buy stuff and my family’s reached a point where we don’t automatically buy candy anymore. I wouldn’t say it was meaningful, but definitely fun, and (at least at that point) a step above talking awkwardly to neighbors I never actually see during the year (I’m not a major shul goer).
I didn’t go at night this year, but during the day I went to a small shul with the majority of my extended family. On the one hand, it was nice, because I got to see my relatives and play with their adorable children, but it was in a tiny cramped basement and the women couldn’t even see into the men’s section (where they were, depending on personality, being spiritual, boozing and having a blast, or a combination)- I just started talking to people and basically forgot I was in shul, which wasn’t a great feeling. I did catch up on Nach learning that I’d fallen behind in, which was nice.
It’s a shame- I’d love to go to a shul where women dance on Simchas Torah. Not with a Torah- I was at a shul like that (as a guest) in seminary and was weirded out, not to mention that I ended up in a massive argument with a friend over whether it was muttar. But going off into a separate room, no sefer Torah, no official hakafos- many women experience that joy of limud haTorah and it’s a shame that for so many people, including me quite often, Simchas Torah for women is sitting around bored and disconnected when there are deep feelings that can be brought to light.October 26, 2016 4:36 am at 4:36 am #1188277
I followed my own little advice, and hope Hashem heard my heart:) but a lot of nice ideas on this thread!October 26, 2016 8:51 am at 8:51 am #1188278
lilmod ulelamaid – first of all, thanks for posting this topic. It’s a very important topic to address. Second, I must say that I was very humbled when I saw your second suggestion. So beautiful and selfless! May you be Zoche to marry a Ben Torah and bring Bnei Yirei Shamiyim into the world!
thebabbler – also very good!October 30, 2016 2:13 pm at 2:13 pm #1188279
MA & The Babbler: I would like to thank you for your words. I had a very good Simchas Torah this year, and I think that it was in large part due to the things you wrote that helped me to have a different perspective.
I have had a very hard time the past several years on Simchas Torah, and I realized that it was because of something someone said to me years ago. He was explaining why girls don’t dance and he made it sound like girls have no shaychis to Simchas Torah or Limud Torah and like it is feminist for a girl to feel that she is part of things on Simchas Torah.
I knew it was the wrong way to feel, but didn’t know how to start. Anyhow, I guess something you wrote struck a chord, because this year, I realized that I am part of the Klal and I am part of Am Yisrael and I was able to have a different attititude.
I also realized that part of my issue is that I find it boring to watch the hakafos the whole time. I felt better about this when my friend’s husband mentioned that he thinks the hakafos go on for way too long and he wishes they were shorter. So I guess you don’t have to be female to be bored on Simchas Torah!
In any case, I was exhausted from staying up on Hoshana Raba night, so I only lasted in shul for about 5 minutes of hakafos so I didn’t have time to get bored. But I did find those 5 minutes to be very meaningful, thanks to the encouraging words in the CR! So Thank You!October 30, 2016 4:57 pm at 4:57 pm #1188280
Don’t know, I’d think for women and girls it’s about showing our happiness about a Torah way of life. Even if not engaged in Torah study, there’s the Life of Torah every one in the Jewish nation can feel and relate to. And that’s what we’re all so happy, ecstatic about.
(my humble thought)October 31, 2016 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm #1188281
What about organizing a shiur (Chumash, Navi, etc.) for women in the shul? Single, married, etc. would all be welcomed…
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