Being IN ISRAEL for Simchat Torah was an amazingly joyful experience for us this year! It was pretty uplifting for the past few years in Cleveland, but here, well it was different.
In Israel Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are blended into one day, which makes for a long day at shul – I think it started around 7 or 7:30 AM and ended around 1:30 PM here.
Rabbi Katz, Ma’aleh Adumim’s Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi, brought the Yeshiva boys up from Mitzpe Nevo to join into our celebration at Musar Avicha – they managed to increase the volume and liven up the dancing beyond what I already felt was a lot of fun.
One very noticable difference between the celebration here and in the US was the lack of big alcohol consumption at the synagogue – it was a refreshing change. I never did understand why people should have to get drunk in order to feel the joy of such a special day.
The whole holiday season has been the best ever for us, but all good things must come to an end – or so someone once said. The morning after brought me the reality of 8 loads of dirty laundry!
It also brought us RAIN, which Carol Baum and her friend Adina (from Cleveland Heights) claim responsibility for. They felt that their observance of the “second day” and their prayers for rain provided the second rinse for our laundry!
Yisrael was happy to celebrate his 8th birthday rain and all because he received a new addition to his Lego Mars Mission collection! Plus some nice Amazon Gift Certificates from Jessica & Tom, and Uncle Vincent, Aunt Valerie, Courtney and Maria! He sends a BIG THANK YOU!