Since my shul wasn't playing the accordian this year, we went to services Saturday night. We had 6 sifrei torah and a whole lot of "mini-torahs" for the kids to carry around. I think anyone who wanted to got to dance with a Torah.
We had so much fun... We danced and sang. The Sifrei Torah were danced into the Social Hall and we danced around and around and the Cantor (sometimes with help) sang beautifully. Then the scrolls were danced back into the sanctuary and the portion was read, we sang and danced some more and eventually things wrapped up and we came home.
The rabbi said yesterday that Shemini Atzeret and Simchas Torah are sort of "tacked on" to the end of Sukkot. But Simchas Torah is always very special for me. I love Sukkot... but I don't feel that Simchas Torah is just tacked on. It stands alone as a beautiful, perfect day, intended really to rejoice in Torah. What better holiday could you have?
honeybea offered a beautiful explanation...
We do and should celebrate the Torah at least once a week. But when we've finished the yearly cycle, we go even further and show our joy, our simcha, at having finished, and even more that we can now begin all over again. How great is our G-d that He gave us a gift that never ends? We read it over and over again, and the words never change, but every time, it is different.
Anyway, we had a beautiful time in shul last night and Seth went today, though I stayed home because I wasn't feeling great (having slept poorly), but once I relaxed a bit, I felt terrific. I studied today's Torah Portion, relaxed with the kitty cats, and did some other reading. When Seth came home, I gave him lunch and then he took a nap. All in all, it was a beautiful holiday. :)