simchat torah

New Year, New Flag

Conservative/Masorti movement puts a pluralistic spin on the Simchat Torah flag.
09/24/2012 - 20:00
Staff Writer

When Rabbi Tzvi Graetz was a little boy in the Israel of the 1970s, he would visit the shuk, or market, with his father every High Holiday season to buy flags to wave during Simchat Torah, which celebrates the end of one year of Torah readings and the beginning of a new one.

The Masorti Movement's updated Simchat Torah flag shows women dancing with the scrolls. Photo courtesy Masorti Olami

Friendship, Asperger's Syndrome and Jewish Observance

Editor's Note: Although the DSM-5 no longer uses Asperger's Syndrome as a classification, it is still used by many people with Asperger's, clinicians and community.

I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when I was four years old and attended various special education programs since I was three. I am now a college student and understand how several decisions that I have made have been essential in helping me to overcome challenges, to become the person that I am today and to thrive. One of those decisions, my decision to become religiously observant, which I made around the time that I began high school, has been essential to my growth.

Moses' Greatest Victory

On Thursday night and Friday we will celebrate Simchat Torah. Amid singing and dancing, we complete the reading of the Torah and, without pause, begin the Torah reading cycle again. I have often marveled that, like a massive oak growing from a small seed, our religion has developed from a portable scroll. 

Rabbi Michael Levy

“Have We Met Yet?” The Power of Casual Conversation for Organizational Engagement

11/27/2012 - 19:00

Although I didn’t meet my friend Amy until we were both adults, it feels like we’ve known each other forever. In fact, we have a surprising amount in common. 

Deborah Grayson Riegel

Tweens And Torahs

Yes, I am the world's worst blogger. Or, at least, the world’s least attentive blogger.

No Reason To Feel 'Blue' This Yom Tov

This Yom Tov, and the past two, are exactly the kind of timing local kosher liquor stores used to dread.

When holidays fell on Sunday night, kosher consumers who wait until the last minute were in for an unpleasant surprise: Liquor stores were required to close on Sundays under New York's antiquated Blue Laws. If you were wise to this fact you'd shop in advance on Friday since Saturday is out for the Shomer Shabbos crowd. Otherwise, you were left scrambling for kiddush wine or Yom Tov spirits at certain permitted markets after 12 pm, where selections were limited.

Simchat Torah Withdrawal

10/04/2010 - 20:00

Flying high from the joyful celebration of Simchat Torah, JInsider is weary of potential letdown as we start yet another annual Torah cycle. As an antidote to post-Simchat Torah withdrawal, we asked Rabbi Eli Kaunfer to highlight the value of Torah study in everyday life. The always-cerebral Rabbi Kaunfer excerpted his popular new book “Empowered Judaism” (Jewish Lights) as the remedy. Tell us what you think or offer your own advice at connect@jinsider.com.

Be Challenged

Lazy Bloggers And Mark Zuckerberg's (Gasp!) Non-Jewish Girlfriend

Mea culpa, al chet and all that. Among my other shortcomings, I’ve been one lame blogger lately, posting nary a word for a whole week. And my sole flimsy excuse is the fact that I am, like other Jews, just now emerging from a month-long orgy of holidays.

Admittedly, the more observant Jews – the ones who spend the evening and morning of each yom tov in synagogue while refraining from electricity, driving and hundreds of other offshoots of the 39 melachot – have a better case for using the Jewish holiday excuse. Especially since most (unlike me) work for companies and organizations that remain open on said holidays and who, when not doing the aforementioned malachot-refraining and synagogue-attending, have had to scramble to build a sukkah, do laundry, cook and so forth.

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