Monday, October 16, 2006
Rounding up, Simchat Torah plus
First of all, being a carnival host, I know how much work goes into them. OK, consider this also another hint about getting me your posts for the Kosher Cooking Carnival! Take a gander at Carnival of Education and Carnival of the Recipes. Both are really interesting.
And now for Simchat Torah this year in Ramat Shmuel, Shiloh...
Simchat Torah is one of those Jewish Holidays I don't remember much from my pre-religious days. It's not the total blank of Shavuot, but it's even weaker than Succot. I remember that we decorated a succah, never seeing it again, certainly didn't eat in it.
Remember that even though I went to after school Hebrew School at Oakland Jewish Center (Bayside, NY) for five fun years, we had vacation from it during the Jewish Holidays, but we went to public school. I do remember one year going to shul at night on what must have been Simchat Torah. There was dancing around with those flags (picture credit) and we ate sweet, red candied apples. Oh, were they good. I don't think I'd ever eaten one before and certainly not after.
Back to this year...
A week or more before the holiday, my husband came home from shul and announced that he had been asked to be Chatan Bereishit. Eighteen years had passed since the last time, and now we had very "set" traditions in the neighborhood shul. The Chatan Bereishit and Chatan Torah jointly host a kiddush during the Simchat Torah prayers. So I asked him who is partner would be--didn't know. That went on for a few days, and I was getting nervous. He kept calling members of the "committee," but nobody knew.
Finally a neighbor called, said: "Mazal Tov," and we started to plan. Since we're carless, they're not and one of the committee members is the best at finding good bargains in kiddush food, I said that I'd "pay my share" and help set up, especially since I didn't know what shape I'd be after Thursday's Od Avihu Chai March from Shiloh to Jerusalem. That was fine with them.
Then a couple of days later, I heard that there would be a Brit Millah in the neighborhood on Simchat Torah, and the family wanted to make a joint kiddush with us. And that's what we did.
We set everything up near the "other shul," closer to where the young mother lives. There was tons of food, lots more than needed, except that there wasn't enough kugel. There was enough herring and lots of left-over cakes and bourekas. We also had lots of freshly cut salad, carrots, cucumber and peppers. People came from all over the yishuv.
Actually, it was in the same spot where my elder son was run over 16 years ago, when he was just nine. He suffered a dislocated hip and lots of cuts and other bruises. Baruch Hashem, he recovered. The wife of the Chatan Torah, who shared the simcha (joyous occasion) with us, was the neighbor who took on the difficult task of knocking on my door and telling me about his injuries and to get ready to go with him in the ambulance. So even though it wasn't my first choice as a location, it was the right place for us to celebrate.
Have a wonderful year, good health to one and all.