Honorable Mensch-ion

It’s Time to Dance

For the last seven days, we have sat in our sukkot: big and small, tall and short. Our sukkot are filled with friends and family celebrating zman sinchateinu, our holy day of joy. Yes, we go outside in a fragile structure, but we are still protected by walls and a roof representing ananei kavod, God’s clouds of glory.

It is apropos that when we finish the holy day season, we leave our homes and our huts, and we publicly carry our Torah for all to see.

I recall being a college freshman on the upper west side of Manhattan: block after block was cordoned off so the Jewish community could celebrate the conclusion of reading the Torah. When I lived in Jerusalem, I will never forget the teems of people flooding the streets to hold a Torah, and to dance the hora.

And for the last three years, we at Sinai Temple began a tradition that grows bigger every year. The Torahs are removed from the ark, and we dance down the sidewalks of Westwood.

Perhaps it is ironic that we conclude the reading of the Torah with a holy day that is not biblical; it is a medieval innovation.

In the Torah, we learn that Ezra proclaimed we must read the Torah publicly. He would bring the Torah out into the public square and the people would gather. Thousands of years later, if Ezra only knew that we do the same, as we sing Torah tziva lanu moshe: This is the Torah that God commanded to Moses.

Now it is ours–let us never forsake the tree of life.

Join us, dance with us, and conclude your holy day of joy not alone, but in sacred community.

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