Live always at the edge of poetic possibilty, even in the face of severe prose. - Walter Bruggemann

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Simchat Torah

I'm trying hard to get pictures up so that you all can have a look at my world view now. Somehow it's taking a little longer to figure this out. I used to be able to download and now I can't. What's up with that?

This has been another couple of filled days. In each day there is a new discovery. Yesterday we walked around the moshav and took a look at the loolen (chicken coops). On Kesalon they keep thousands of chickens, sometimes three in a small cage (no comment). The chickens are used only for their eggs that they produce. That's why so early in the morning I can hear thousands of chickens clucking. They are laying their eggs. Ahh, the sounds of birth.

As we were walking back home Yasmin asked if we could go to Synagogue that evening. It was Erev Simchat Torah. So Yael said sure...well in the meantime Eden needed attending to so Yasmin and I threw on our skirts and went to Synagogue. That was an experience. A three and a half year old and a non-Hebrew speaking-sort of, non-Jew going to an Orthodox Synagogue on Erev Simchat Torah. We almost walked into the wrong door until a little boy outside told us to go around to the women's side. We climbed up the stairs to the second floor behind the meheitza (that's a curtain). We peeked through the curtain to see below. Lot's of davening and singing and praying. We thought we were going to see some dancing with the Torah but, it didn't happen. More on dancing Torah's in a minute.

Today we visited friends on Kibbutz Tzuba. It's a beautiful kibbutz and because today was Simchat Torah lots of people were out enjoying the sunny weather. We ate in the cafeteria and then walked around the kibbutz and picked walnuts, lemons and what was left of the pomegranates. There are approximately 250 people who are members of the kibbutz and their main forms of industry are Kaf Tzuba, a kid's amusement park, a factory that makes windshields, and a hotel. There are several places on the kibbutz property with antiquity caves and wine presses. Very cool.

Not to miss the dancing Torah's.... at 7:30 we drove over to Castel which is a small town around Messeveret Ziyon, which is close to Moshav Kesalon. Castel is a community of Sephardi Jews who have immigrated from Kurdistan. This celebration was more of a cultural celebration since it was actually after Simchat Torah just ended at sundown. And what a celebration. It was outside and everyone could go up to the Torah's to see them and kiss them. Then, a man got up on stage and began singing about the Torah in the most joyful and happy way to a live Sephardi band. The men started and dancing and then, all of a sudden all of the Torah's were up in the air and the were twirling around and around. Everybody was so happy and the women began dancing a little too. And what is a celebration without fireworks? Of course there were fireworks, right above our head. Everyone should be so happy to read the Torah. So ends another day.

For those of you who don't know. The Torah is the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Simchat Torah, literally rejoicing in the Torah, is a holiday that ends Sukkot. It's important because the last few pages of Deuteronomy have been finished and they will begin to read Genesis all over again.

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