I feel like a bad Jew when the holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah (actually, it’s one holiday, but I’ve already established that I’m an inferior Jew) come around, but this is one of those times when guilt should take a hike. After all, it’s a new year and we start again at the very beginning of the Torah (which, of course, is a very good place to start.)
But when I read stories like this about how Jews in other countries, in other times would suffer most anything to be able to dance with the Torah, the guilt creeps back. *sigh*
Being an American Jew in 2005 certainly isn’t hard like being forced into the Czar’s army, made to convert to Christianity and whipped with your own tefillin; it’s hard like trying to convince your kid how cool Chanukah is now that he’s old enough to notice that the f*in’ Christmas decorations are already out in the stores. No, it doesn’t make you bleed or leave scars, but it doesn’t instill a huge sense of meaning and purpose, either. And sometimes that’s hard, when I know Jews all over the world are dancing with G*d’s gift and I’m just trying to get dinner on the table. But really, I’m just glad to be here.
Anyway, I linked some good educational resources in last year’s post, but I found out this year that a prayer for rain is included in the official liturgy.
But and this is a just a suggestion, rabbis I think the wet people of the Southeast would appreciate it if y’all skipped that prayer this year, ’cause frankly, there’s plenty, thanks.
Instead, a mighty blessing going out to the Florida Jmerica contigency, from whom I’ve heard very little this week. Hope all is well, dry and safe.
I too thought about the fact that we’re so assimilated we don’t dance. One time I was in Philly and a Hasidic group came down the street with kids singing and dancing, joy on their faces. I asked what was going on and a store owner said, “Simchat Torah.” I was standing in front of a menorah and bought it.