Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Simchu Na, Simchu Na...

Simchat Torah was... blah. It is depressing to watch people trying to force themselves to be happy. I don't know if it is a function of the fact that most of my fellow shulgoers are professionals, doctors, lawyers, accountants, who feel awkward letting go? And why did they ban liquor in our shul?

And then there are the obligatory kids from the YU Torah Tours who try to get the crowd wound up - but it is hopeless. Some guy says that the reason why these YU guys get so hyper is that this is basically a big mating dance for them - they are showing the girls who came along with them how well they can daven and yell and scream and be spiritual...

The amount of candy being given out is obscene. I am probably the most permissive parent out there, but this is getting out of control.

The only bright spot is the sephardim - they know how to bring out their joy. Thank God we have a lot of sephardim in our shul. Usually, they are a crazy lot, superstitious conspiracy theorists, but we need them on Simchat Torah.


Blogger evanstonjew said...

Really interesting observation. Charedim could go to town with this post...see lack of deveikus batorah. And I guess if you learn torah most of your free time it is easier to work up a feeling of joy.

My guess the inability to get with the celebration is due to a sort of self consciousness that creeps in with assimilation. Singing zemiros at a shabbus meal or singing at a seder are very difficult for non Orthodox people of a certain age to do. Think of these Protestant after church Sunday lunches... could you even imagine those tight assed, proper church goers breaking into song, let alone a dance. The ability to integrate neginah with other activities somehow fades quickly once a child gets past Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street.We need the privacy of a shower to sing freely.

October 13, 2009 9:23 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...


It is assimilation, but maybe not in the sense you're talking about. There are many non-orthodox jews that know how to have a good time - go see Russian Jews have a party. I think this is assimilation into the Protestant like, proper society. And related to that is the class issue. Letting go is considered low class. Contrast with Sunday worship at black churches...

BTW, here are some assimilated ex-Soviet Mountain Jews dancing it up in Israel.

October 13, 2009 10:10 AM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

And why did they ban liquor in our shul?

No liquor at Simchas Torah?
Nor liquor at a kiddush or simcha?
And the idea of no liquor at Purim is even crazier.

October 13, 2009 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually enjoyed Simchas Torah, and I'm the guy who hates Purim. But the dancing was lively, the YU Torah Tours guys and gals were ok, and my kids had a blast. Also, I got there in time for the last hakafos, so the davening wasn't too bad.

October 13, 2009 4:23 PM  
Blogger Neil Harris said...

Banning alcohol is the newest trend. I think Rabbi Ephaim Twerski (Khal Chassidim-West Rogers Park) banned two years ago).
Not really a big deal, since you can walk several blocks to other shuls to make a l'chaim.

October 26, 2009 7:21 AM  

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