How I Felt About Not Dancing on Simchat Torah

How I Felt About Not Dancing on Simchat Torah

For years I danced on Simchat Torah, at times holding a Torah scroll, and I enjoyed that.

But that all changed when a year ago we left our old ‘hood for a new one, where the general practice is that women and girls watch the men dancing around and around instead of dancing ourselves.

This might sound kind of depressing, but the truth is I feel differently about it.

Rabbanit Yemima reminds us every year that for us JewishMOMs holding up the Torah isn’t just a Simchat-Torah thing, it’s something we do all year long.

We JewishMOMs work so very, very hard the entire year enabling our children and our husbands to go off and learn Torah and sometimes teach Torah. Some of us even make some time in our crazy busy lives to learn and teach some Torah ourselves.

We continue holding up the Torah even when we don’t feel well, even when we are SO tired, even when it’s very difficult. Because we know that is what being a JewishMOM is all about.

So this Simchat Torah, sitting in my seat, watching my husband dance around and around with our 1-year-old on his shoulders, our 4 and 6 year olds clinging to his tallis, and our 9-year-old a few steps ahead, I felt the intense pleasure of pure, unadulterated nachas.

As I sat there, I felt Hashem whispering in my ear, “Chana Jenny, you work so hard holding up my Torah all year long. Today is a gift for you to just enjoy and rest and, in your heart, just today, dance with Me.”

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10 comments

  1. Please tell me, what do you tell your older girls on this regard?

  2. Hmm. Doesn’t really help me, we go to the type of shul where the women don’t dance. I want to not resent it so that my daughter won’t grow up resenting it.

  3. I totally hear u! I once had an amazing spiritual experience as a teenager at the shul in katamon, yakar, where the women got the whole shul and a few torahs to dance with while the men went to the street to dance with the other Sefer torahs.
    Only when I grew up and had to move to the states did I realize that that is not the norm and had to deal with being the audience from then on.
    It’s very hard
    But thank you Jenny for the beautiful words of chizuk 🙂

  4. Roberta Carasso

    Woman dance if they choose, but it is better to find a different place than where the men are dancing. Yesterday, several women were dance at the same time, but what I found difficult to take, were those who felt they had to be sexy in their dancing. I think that demeans the whole spirit of Simcha Torah. So go somewhere else, and dance in a manner that honors the Torah, whether you hold a Torah or not. Thank you

  5. I have never been anywhere where the women dance. Watching the men always made me want to cry, it was so beautiful. Never bothered me one bit that we didn’t dance, it wasn’t an option so I never had to think about it.
    As women, our job is to think about the words that the men are dancing to and have kavannah with them and our thoughts can dance towards our Creator.

  6. Sounds nice in theory, but it also sounds like a nice way to justify why the women are not dancing. There is absolutely no reason why women cannot dance with the torah, if they are dancing with other women.
    If women are ‘holding up the torah’ all year, all the more reason for them to dance on simchat torah.
    Actually, halachically women can also have an aliyah, but many reasons are put forth by men to make sure we don’t have one. You can research this.

  7. This is the first time i hear that women dance on simchat Torah. Learn new things everyday.

  8. I love watching the men in our shul dance on Simchat Torah. I totally agree with Sara, that I can concentrate on the words of the song, and the singing itself brings the words deep into my heart. It turns into a beautiful prayer.

    Besides that, I feel that I can look for any Rabbi/talmid chacham that I greatly respect, and figuratively attach myself to him and feel his love for the Torah, and my heart dances with the Torah “next” to him. I know there are women out there who think this is a compromise, and that I am being cheated by not dancing with the Torah myself. But I feel that this greatly enhances my feelings for the Torah and for the Torah way of life, and I love it.

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