‘Customs are not set in stone, and like the bonfires of yore, time will tell which practices will endure.’
By CHANA HENKIN
OCTOBER 4, 2015 14:24
In Spring Valley, New York, where I grew up, we children had a grand time on Simhat Torah, tying men’s tallitot (prayer shawls) to each other. We relished circling the synagogue after the Torah scrolls and the treats that followed. Later, as a teen in the women’s section, we girls watched the men following the Torah scrolls, but mostly danced.
Our boisterous brothers developed what became the custom of the day. Immediately following kedusha of the Musaf prayer, the boys would lift the hazan (prayer leader) – who could not resist, as he was in the midst of his Shmoneh Esre prayer – and carry him up the stairs to the women’s gallery, where he continued leading the service until he finished the prayer and could retreat to the men’s section. Continue >>