Women’s Dancing on Simchas Torah
Home › Forums › Yom Tov › Simchas Torah › Women’s Dancing on Simchas Torah
- This topic has 138 replies, 36 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 7 months ago by Gadolhadorah.
October 5, 2009 2:49 am at 2:49 am #590530
Do you think that there should be a mechitza up on simchas torah and that the women would also be able to dance.October 5, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm #1018065
That’s what happens where I daven.October 5, 2009 1:49 pm at 1:49 pm #1018066haifagirlParticipant
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.October 5, 2009 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #1018067
Watching the men dance with the Sifrei Torah, after each hakafa, is much neater.October 5, 2009 3:10 pm at 3:10 pm #1018068
Yeah, that’s how it works by us too. The lady’s watch the men. Much more interesting that way 😉October 5, 2009 3:17 pm at 3:17 pm #1018069smalltowngirlMember
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.October 5, 2009 3:55 pm at 3:55 pm #1018070
but them then the they feel left outOctober 5, 2009 3:55 pm at 3:55 pm #1018071
Much neater? What do you mean Joseph?October 5, 2009 4:07 pm at 4:07 pm #1018072
The purpose of dancing is to dance with the Torah. What good is to dance in a different room? It is better to watch.October 5, 2009 4:57 pm at 4:57 pm #1018073David Bar-MagenMember
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.October 5, 2009 6:17 pm at 6:17 pm #1018074
Do I detect a kinder and gentler Joseph? It almost sounds like you’re agreeing b’dieved. Is that correct?October 5, 2009 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #1018075
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?October 5, 2009 6:44 pm at 6:44 pm #1018076
but the torah is not with them…and at chasunas the kallah is in the ladies section.October 5, 2009 6:55 pm at 6:55 pm #1018077
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!October 5, 2009 7:16 pm at 7:16 pm #1018078
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.October 5, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm #1018079rabbiofberlinParticipant
jothar- what is the issue for women to dance with the torah?October 5, 2009 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm #1018080
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?October 5, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm #1018081
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.October 5, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm #1018082
Thank you Joseph for the clear explanation.October 5, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm #1018083
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).October 6, 2009 12:47 am at 12:47 am #1018084
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.October 6, 2009 1:04 am at 1:04 am #1018085
Sh’koach Joseph, that’s pretty clear and doesn’t leave too much wiggle room for innovation.October 6, 2009 1:13 am at 1:13 am #1018086jphoneMember
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?)October 6, 2009 1:24 am at 1:24 am #1018088
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.October 6, 2009 1:27 am at 1:27 am #1018089
I was taught that a woman that is niddah should not even look directly at the letters in a sefer torah.October 6, 2009 1:35 am at 1:35 am #1018090
Or hachaim 88 mishnah berurah.October 6, 2009 2:43 am at 2:43 am #1018091
”buzzed males” whats that mean?October 6, 2009 3:05 am at 3:05 am #1018092
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.October 6, 2009 3:50 am at 3:50 am #1018093
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.October 6, 2009 6:23 am at 6:23 am #1018094YW Moderator-42Moderator
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.October 6, 2009 7:46 am at 7:46 am #1018095starwolfMember
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.October 6, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am #1018096
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.October 6, 2009 3:02 pm at 3:02 pm #1018097
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.October 6, 2009 3:23 pm at 3:23 pm #1018098squeakParticipant
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.October 6, 2009 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #1018099A600KiloBearParticipant
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.”October 6, 2009 3:30 pm at 3:30 pm #1018100
And the Mechitza is ?? den thick with a seam running through it…October 6, 2009 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm #1018101
squeak, IFYP means?October 6, 2009 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm #1018102
P-Pathetic?October 6, 2009 3:34 pm at 3:34 pm #1018103
P-Pin?October 6, 2009 3:35 pm at 3:35 pm #1018104
P-Probably correct?October 6, 2009 3:37 pm at 3:37 pm #1018105
aaah! Its back!October 6, 2009 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm #1018107A600KiloBearParticipant
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!October 6, 2009 3:47 pm at 3:47 pm #1018108
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.October 6, 2009 3:53 pm at 3:53 pm #1018109
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.October 6, 2009 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm #1018110
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).October 6, 2009 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #1018111
Oomis maybe the problem is not the sefer torah. Maybe its for another reason, I will try to check why.October 6, 2009 4:17 pm at 4:17 pm #1018112squeakParticipant
PostOctober 6, 2009 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #1018113jphoneMember
Well, one thing I think everyone can agree one. If the women will be dancing, there better be a mechitza.October 6, 2009 5:01 pm at 5:01 pm #1018114
a woman might as well dont hold a siddur when she is a niddah…lol hebrew is holyOctober 6, 2009 6:24 pm at 6:24 pm #1018115
Thanks, mybat. and TY Jothar for that interesting lesson.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.