Women and Simchas Torah

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  • #616409

    flatbusher
    Participant

    As a man I really enjoy the spirit of Simchas Torah, but what do the women get out of it? How would we men feel if we were relegated to observers? There must be a more meaningful way for them to celebrate the Torah, in which they have a big chalek when they allow their husbands to learn. I would like to hear from women in particular about their feelings about the current celebration and what they think they would like to do as an alternative to watching men going round and round and round and round….

    #1104923

    Joseph
    Participant

    Just as women earn their chelek in Torah by enabling and assisting their husband and sons to learn Torah, women enjoy watching the menfolk dancing and celebrating the Torah.

    #1104924

    flatbusher
    Participant

    Why do you assume they enjoy it?

    #1104925

    YITZCHOK2
    Participant

    Every girls school should make there own programs with dancing etc.

    #1104926

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Why do you assume they enjoy it?

    1) They tell me they do

    2) More women come to shul (where I am) than in any other day of the year.

    #1104927

    flatbusher
    Participant

    I agree, Yitzchok. The question is why hasn’t that happened in al these decades? Maybe because powers they be may feel it is too similar to what egalitarians do regarding women. But I suspect women would love it, as opposed to sitting idly (or worse)

    #1104928

    Joseph
    Participant

    Do you jump on the stage to sing when you go to a concert? Do the people paying big bucks for the tickets not enjoy the show since they aren’t on stage?

    #1104929

    cherrybim
    Participant

    We all owe a great debt to the vast majority of Orthodox women who do not dance with a Torah on Simchas Torah. It is only through them that Yiddishkeit thrives and it is these women that will make possible the coming of Moshiach.

    #1104930

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    I never go to concerts because they are very unpleasant.

    #1104931

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Who says you have to like everything in Judaism? Did you like giving your kid a bris?

    Hashem amar. That’s good enough for me.

    #1104932

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Did you like giving your kid a bris?

    Yes, in fact, I made a party!

    #1104933

    simcha613
    Participant

    Simchas Torah is about celebrating the Torah. It should be enjoyable, like any celebration. I mean, happy is in the name of the holiday. I don’t think there is one correct way to do it. Some women celebrate the Torah by “dancing” vicariously through their husbands and watching. Others would be bored by that and want to dance themselves. Eilu vaeilu divrei Elokim chaim.

    #1104934

    flatbusher
    Participant

    Even if they say they enjoy (a small sample at best), how do you know if they wouldn’t enjoy some participatory event better? If at weddings, you told all the women, that they shouldnt dance but just watch the men dance, would these same women say they like that better than dancing themselves?

    #1104935

    Little Froggie
    Participant

    funny thing.. he asked for women’s opinion.. only men have responded.. (me? I’m froggie, nish ahin, nish aher, nish mit alemen nisht mit aleladies)

    #1104936

    Goldilocks
    Participant

    Yitzchak, I think you are missing the point of Simchas Torah. The idea of the yom tov is not dancing for the sake of dancing – it’s all about celebrating the Torah.

    Dancing alone is pointless.

    I like Simchas Torah, and I suspect that most Jews who like the Torah feel the same way.

    #1104937

    takahmamash
    Participant

    . . . women enjoy watching the menfolk dancing and celebrating the Torah.

    Maybe in your corner of the world, but most of the women I know get little enjoyment out of watching the men dance.

    #1104938

    YITZCHOK2
    Participant

    wedon’t have moshiach because we don’t really care about our kids both boys and girls ! Second of all I didn’t say anything about women dancing with the torahs but I would venture to guess that when sara schneir had the guts to open up a bais Yaakov they said the same things. jewish history pc people don’t realize how many in the main stream opposed her in her efforts to give girls a torah education.

    Back to the point at hand jewish girls unmarried are bored out of there minds on simchas torah and the girls schools are to lazy to do anything about it.

    #1104939

    flatbusher
    Participant

    I wonder why women have not commented on this topic. I really don’t think it is sacrilegious for them to admit that they don’t enjoy it. My wife generally will stay for part of the hakafos and leave; she said that’s more than enough time to get the feeling. She’s not the only one.

    #1104940

    Joseph
    Participant

    I wonder why women have not commented on this topic.

    Perhaps they aren’t bothered about this terrible issue. Perhaps they aren’t farbissine feminists. Perhaps they actually enjoy watching the men dancing with the Torah HaKedosha at least as much as you enjoy watching the singer sing at the concert you paid $150 per ticket.

    #1104941

    flatbusher
    Participant

    It’s not a feminist issue. I don’t go to concerts, so I don’t know what you are talking about.

    #1104942

    Joseph
    Participant

    Somehow there is a multibillion dollar concert industry of people paying big bucks to go watch people sing. You might not be a fan of it but, seemingly, millions of people do enjoy it enough to pay hundreds of dollars to watch.

    #1104943

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    And I find it unpleasant enough that if I was offered $150 to go to a concert, I probably wouldn’t go.

    #1104944

    simcha613
    Participant

    Just because a person enjoys going to a concert doesn’t mean they would enjoy listening to their spouse or a random person. Concerts are performances by professionals. Simchas Torah hakafos are not. There are some women who enjoy watching it. Others don’t. But it’s not comparable to a concert of a world famous professional entertainer. There are many ways to enjoy Simchas Torah. The way I’m assuming your wife prefers is just one option.

    #1104945

    simcha613
    Participant

    Also, there is a big difference between married women who are watching their husbands and sons dance (which some enjoy and some don’t), to single girls who are watching a bunch of random men and kids (which I assume even less enjoy).

    #1104946

    Joseph
    Participant

    You might prefer the singing of “a world famous professional entertainer” to the singing with the Torah. But the common Torah Jew prefers the Torah.

    The point above really was that people do enjoy “merely” watching and listening as a spectator to something they enjoy.

    Hopefully people enjoy the Torah at least as much as a professional entertainer. Otherwise Simchas Torah is not their thing. They might enjoy playing a board game or socializing with their friends or watching TV more than going to shul to watch Simchas Torah.

    #1104947

    epshurewhat2
    Member

    The Women stay in the Michitza and watch, no Questions asked.

    I could probably give you at least 8 Rabbanim and sources that says its an Issur for women to celebrate Simchas Torah.

    Its even Dirabuunun and I have many sources

    #1104948

    Hashemisreading
    Participant

    <I wonder why women have not commented on this topic.>

    because we know that were all men?! how do we know that every person that just replied aren’t women?!

    #1104949

    simcha613
    Participant

    Yes, but watching people celebrate the Torah is only one way to enjoy Torah. Another way is to celebrate yourselves. A third way is just to learn (some people just don’t like dancing- they do their seven hakafos quickly and just learn). Of course I hope most people enjoy Torah more than going to a concert. But the way you think woman should practice Simchas Torah is not the only way to enjoy Torah.

    #1104950

    flatbusher
    Participant

    epshure: please cite your sources

    #1104951

    epshurewhat2
    Member

    Exactly right on Target Simcha 613.. and besides people who think Women should celebrate Simchas Torah and enjoy and learn Torah just encourage Women of the Wall… so….

    #1104952

    simcha613
    Participant

    After Krias Yam Suf, I’m sure some women enjoyed watching the men singing praises to HKBH. Others wanted to sing themselves.

    #1104953

    Matan1
    Participant

    epshurewhat2, are you serious? Are you saying that women are not allowed to celebrate the Torah??? C”V that should be the case!

    #1104954

    Matan1
    Participant

    Joseph, there is a different between going to a concert and Simchas Torah. By the concert, people go because they want to. If they want to do something that is more hands on, they can. Hakafos on the other hand is an institutionalized practice that occurs in every shul. There is no plan B for women who want to celebrate the Torah in a way that they are not only spectators.

    #1104955

    epshurewhat2
    Member

    Matan,

    Thats not what I said.

    They should be exposed but not encouragd to make a Women of the Wall mishigas

    #1104956

    Joseph
    Participant

    Just as at the concert there is no “hands on” option of jumping on the stage and singing along with the performer, even if the person doesn’t enjoy merely sitting in the hall, that’s how it works on Simchas Torah.

    They could stay home from the concert, they could stay home from shul, they could play Chinese Checkers if that’s what they like and get enjoyment from. The Ezras Noshim is far from empty in the shuls with women happily observing. They chose to come to shul because they prefer Torah over Chinese Checkers.

    Some people only enjoy, or enjoy more, Limud Torah by sitting in front of a large group and giving shiur. Not everyone has that opportunity. Some of those people have to sit in the shiur as part of the group of students even though they’d rather be behind the shtender.

    #1104957

    Matan1
    Participant

    Joseph, but we can easily create a hands option for women who want it.

    #1104958

    Matan1
    Participant

    epshurewhat2:

    “I could probably give you at least 8 Rabbanim and sources that says its an Issur for women to celebrate Simchas Torah.”

    You said it’s assur. You backtracked and said only if it’s like WOTW.

    I would love to see your sources. At least 8 of them.

    #1104959

    simcha613
    Participant

    Joseph- I guess I don’t assume that there is only one way how Simchas Torah works. Do you have a source that the only way for women to participate in Simchas Torah is to watch the men dance, and it’s some sort of chisaron in their enjoyment or love of Torah if they don’t enjoy or appreciate watching other people celebrate?

    #1104960

    flatbusher
    Participant

    Joseph, you said women tell you they enjoy watching men dancing. How did it come about that all these women flock to you to make such a comment? Further, they may say they enjoy it because they see no other option. I wonder if they were given the choice of watching men in circles or dancing themselves, which would they choose?

    Epshure: Still waiting to see your sources that it is assur for women to celebrate Simchas Torah other than to watch men dance.

    #1104961

    crispandrefreshing
    Participant

    rabbi j.b. solvovatchik deemed it impermissible (he does not say forbidden).

    however i do know a rebbitzen that gives some sort of chumash class during hakafos since she has zero intrest in watching hakafos.

    #1104962

    Joseph
    Participant

    Where did I say anything about anyone telling someone about something?

    Maybe some women would enjoy doing ballerina or yoga more than watching Simchas Torah or even more than dancing holding the Torah.

    #1104963

    Matan1
    Participant

    Joseph, why can’t women celebrate simchas Torah in way that isn’t solely based on watching men dance?

    #1104964

    Joseph
    Participant

    Why can’t men celebrate simchas Torah by wearing Hawaiian shirts, yellow pokadot pants and sandals?

    #1104965

    Matan1
    Participant

    I don’t know why. Maybe because it’s not dressing bikavod yuntif? I don’t see why that’s relevant though.

    #1104966

    simcha613
    Participant

    I’m sorry Joseph but the burden of explanation is on you here. Dancing is an appropriate way to celebrate Torah as we see that men do it. Women also naturally celebrate things by dancing as we see they dance at weddings. So, you have to explain why even though dancing is a way to celebrate Torah, and women celebrate other things by dancing, it is inappropriate for women to celebrate the Torah by dancing. Don’t try to avoid the question by bringing up something completely irrelevant.

    #1104967

    Joseph
    Participant

    Dancing with the Torah, not just dancing stam without the Torah on Simchas Torah.

    #1104968

    Matan1
    Participant

    So you have no problem with women dancing without a Torah?

    #1104969

    simcha613
    Participant

    Joseph- I’m sure you would agree that the Torah is not limited to a physical scroll. Why is it so difficult to understand that a woman can dance to celebrate Klal Yisro’els accomplishment in Torah this past year (and might I add somewhat controversially, maybe their own accomplishments in Torah this past year), even if they don’t have the actual sefer with them? What if they would even dance with a chumash, would that be better?

    #1104970

    Joseph
    Participant

    I was addressing Simcha’s point that “dancing is an appropriate way to celebrate Torah” by pointing out that on Simchas Torah the dancing is always done with the Torah. And women can’t dance with the Torah.

    The relevancy of the comparison to wearing Hawaiian shirts and yellow polka dot pants is that these newly proposed formats for women to celebrate Simchas Torah are not how Jews celebrate Simchas Torah.

    #1104971

    allusernamestaken
    Participant

    flatbusher,

    As a woman, I very much appreciate your recognition of the difficulties many women have connecting to Simchas Torah.

    Obviously, some women are either fine or tell themselves they’re fine with experiencing the celebrations vicariously. But you’re absolutely right – many women and girls have very little interest in watching men go round and round and round. Worse, since they’re not included in the celebrations, many feel as though the Torah isn’t theirs to celebrate.

    YITZCHOK2,

    I agree with you completely regarding school programs. I really don’t understand why such programs aren’t already in place. Sarah Schenirer’s whole goal was to get girls to love Torah – shouldn’t Bais Yaakovs make this the highlight of the year?

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