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Do women dance the hakafot in your shul?
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Poll

Do women dance in your shul?
Yes  
 12%  [ 34 ]
No  
 87%  [ 241 ]
Total Votes : 275


amother




Papayawhip
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 7:31 pm
amother [ Carnation ] wrote:
Yes, and as I said it has endorsements from
Rabbi Yisroel Belsky
Rabbi Michel Twersky
Rabbi Meyer Twersky
Gila Manolson
Rabbi Zev Leff

To each their own, to me women dancing with a Torah and standing in line with their sticky handed toddlers to get a wannabee aliya without a bracha is a joke #notmyjudaism.


And women not participating and expressing their joy in Torah, because "women just don't have that kind of connection" to the book that Hashem gave to all of us, and that governs and guides every moment of our lives, isn't my Judaism.

Then again, my sticky handed toddlers always wanted to be with Abba, to get an aliya. But they haven't been toddlers in a decade. Women continue to live and grow after their kids are out of nappies.
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amother




Oldlace
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 7:39 pm
simcha2 wrote:
What has marriage got to do with men and women dancing hakafot? By that logic girls and single women should dance.

In a marriage there are different roles, I just don't see how it is relevant here.


My post was a response to a specific comment upthread, not a general comment on the whole thread.
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amother




Hosta
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 7:42 pm
simcha2 wrote:
You do realize that there is no mitzvah to dance with the Torah on Simchat Torah, right?

It is purely a way of expressing our love and joy in our chelek. And women and men have equal chelek in the Torah.

So if the reason was of of tznius, I could almost understand (but then just put up a mechitza like you do at a wedding), but because we have less of a connection to Torah? That I don't understand.


Had no intention of joining this discussion...but this reminds me...

Many years ago I was in seminary and they had the big siyum hashas in (I think) binyanai ha'uma. R' Nosson Tzvi Finkel spoke movingly, as did many others. Then the bochurim and the m'sayemim started dancing. A lot of seminaries were there and some girls started dancing too. As I recall, a mentor I respected greatly said that the girls dancing were dancing for the chavaya and in the hype of the moment. The m'sayemim and the bochurim who hoped to emulate them, and who had dedicated their day to day to learning shas had a very different simcha.


This is obviously a generalization, but most women aren't leining and getting aliyas and going to shul every Monday, Thursday, and shabbos for Torah leining. The simcha, and the celebration, are different because the obligation and experience are different.

Sara shnierer was very aware that she was an exception not the rule. But of course her connection to Torah was huge. So too many many women who do connect to Hashem through Torah. But it's not the rule and it's not the obligation. (And when you hear galloping, you say horse, not zebra...)

I personally connect through Torah and davening (from behind the mechitza) in shul where there's a minyan. But I understand that it's not my obligation. I've always thought it interesting that a sotah who has the zechus of limud Torah doesn't die immediately from the sota waters. (Although some meforshim say the zechus of limud Torah isn't hers, it's if she encouraged her sons and husband, others hold it's her own Torah.)
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amother




Navy
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 8:12 pm
amother [ Hosta ] wrote:
Had no intention of joining this discussion...but this reminds me...

Many years ago I was in seminary and they had the big siyum hashas in (I think) binyanai ha'uma. R' Nosson Tzvi Finkel spoke movingly, as did many others. Then the bochurim and the m'sayemim started dancing. A lot of seminaries were there and some girls started dancing too. As I recall, a mentor I respected greatly said that the girls dancing were dancing for the chavaya and in the hype of the moment. The m'sayemim and the bochurim who hoped to emulate them, and who had dedicated their day to day to learning shas had a very different simcha.


This is obviously a generalization, but most women aren't leining and getting aliyas and going to shul every Monday, Thursday, and shabbos for Torah leining. The simcha, and the celebration, are different because the obligation and experience are different.

Sara shnierer was very aware that she was an exception not the rule. But of course her connection to Torah was huge. So too many many women who do connect to Hashem through Torah. But it's not the rule and it's not the obligation. (And when you hear galloping, you say horse, not zebra...)

I personally connect through Torah and davening (from behind the mechitza) in shul where there's a minyan. But I understand that it's not my obligation. I've always thought it interesting that a sotah who has the zechus of limud Torah doesn't die immediately from the sota waters. (Although some meforshim say the zechus of limud Torah isn't hers, it's if she encouraged her sons and husband, others hold it's her own Torah.)


I’m in shul for krias haTorah every Shabbos. I also hear the complete Torah (shev’chsav) each year, and I also complete it on Simchas Torah? (I also learn every day.) Why is there no Simcha for me? Crying

ETA - Again, I have no interest in dancing - but I resent and am hurt by the implication that I have a lesser connection and there is no Simchas Hatorah for me.
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amother




Snapdragon
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 8:23 pm
I may not read from the SEFER Torah, but I most certainly learn Torah, both from seforim and from shiurim. It is 100% my simcha also. The Torah does not belong more to men than to women. We all were there at Matan Torah.

The main reason why women don't dance would seem more to be an issue of practicality (limited space in the Ezras Nashim of most shuls) and tznius (in places where there might not be an adequate mechitzah).

There are multiple ways to express joy, and dancing is a big one. If you feel that you would connect more to the Simcha of Simchas Torah by dancing, please find a shul where you can participate! It doesn't need to be with a Sefer Torah on your side of the Mechitzah. If you are dancing in shul on Simchas Torah, you are dancing with the Torah.
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BrisketBoss




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 8:42 pm
amother [ Green ] wrote:
Small heimishe/chassidishe shul with lots of BTs. On simchas Torah there is no mechitza, just some tables separating the men and women. The children often sit on the tables. Neither I nor anyone I know have ever wanted to dance.


Why do you suppose that is? Socialization? That men naturally like dancing more than women do is doubtful, based on other communities.

(I haven't caught up yet so sorry if I missed that something.)
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amother




Thistle
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 9:24 pm
Does it really matter why someone is celebrating? So what if the seminary girls are caught up in the excitement of the moment? is that a sin?

At the same time, I have never heard anyone criticize seminary girls for excessive drinking and conduct unbecoming during ST festivities. I have both heard of and personally observed behavior extremely unbecoming among these supposedly holy bocherim and men due to excessive reliance upon yayin vesheichar.
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iluvy




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 9:35 pm
amother [ Hosta ] wrote:
Had no intention of joining this discussion...but this reminds me...

Many years ago I was in seminary and they had the big siyum hashas in (I think) binyanai ha'uma. R' Nosson Tzvi Finkel spoke movingly, as did many others. Then the bochurim and the m'sayemim started dancing. A lot of seminaries were there and some girls started dancing too. As I recall, a mentor I respected greatly said that the girls dancing were dancing for the chavaya and in the hype of the moment. The m'sayemim and the bochurim who hoped to emulate them, and who had dedicated their day to day to learning shas had a very different simcha.




Wow I guess it's refreshing to hear misogyny expressed so explicitly. Not sure why you found it insightful enough to repeat or why you consider this person a mentor.
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amother




Carnation
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 9:42 pm
amother [ Navy ] wrote:
I’m in shul for krias haTorah every Shabbos. I also hear the complete Torah (shev’chsav) each year, and I also complete it on Simchas Torah? (I also learn every day.) Why is there no Simcha for me? Crying

ETA - Again, I have no interest in dancing - but I resent and am hurt by the implication that I have a lesser connection and there is no Simchas Hatorah for me.

Who ever said that there’s no simcha for you?
I never heard or learned that.
The Torah is for every single Jew, man or woman, working or learning.
I don’t know the reason, if it’s for tznius or another reason, but I highly doubt the reason is because we are less connected to the Torah. Torah isn’t an academic subject that only whoever learned it gets to participate in the “graduation”, I literally never heard this answer from anyone or anywhere before.
And where I come from we go to shul to participate, we just don’t dance.
I can think of many reasons that make sense to me, but they’re all my own so I won’t even bother writing them unless I find a proper source. (But I don’t have much incentive because honestly, it doesn’t bother me).
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amother




Snapdragon
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 9:47 pm
amother [ Carnation ] wrote:
Who ever said that there’s no simcha for you?
I never heard or learned that.
The Torah is for every single Jew, man or woman, working or learning.
I don’t know the reason, if it’s for tznius or another reason, but I highly doubt the reason is because we are less connected to the Torah. Torah isn’t an academic subject that only whoever learned it gets to participate in the “graduation”, I literally never heard this answer from anyone or anywhere before.
And where I come from we go to shul to participate, we just don’t dance.

This. As a matter of fact, we dance with a ROLLED UP Torah to show that we all have an equal part of the Torah, whether or not we learn from it.
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zaq




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 10:19 pm
amother [ Hosta ] wrote:



This is obviously a generalization, but most women aren't leining and getting aliyas and going to shul every Monday, Thursday, and shabbos for Torah leining. The simcha, and the celebration, are different because the obligation and experience are different.



and this means we denigrate the women's and girls' celebration as bogus?
I venture to guess that a new mother and a new father have somewhat or even radically different feelings on the birth of a child. What did the dad do, after all, but place the order that the mother spent nine months of blood and sweat (among other body fluids) into filling? Yet no one would dream of delegitimizing the dad's joy.
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tp3




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 10:32 pm
zaq wrote:
and this means we denigrate the women's and girls' celebration as bogus?
I venture to guess that a new mother and a new father have somewhat or even radically different feelings on the birth of a child. What did the dad do, after all, but place the order that the mother spent nine months of blood and sweat (among other body fluids) into filling? Yet no one would dream of delegitimizing the dad's joy.

This is a good example to show how joy can be felt and expressed differently by men and women.
Same thing for Simchas Torah. Women don't need to dance like the men in order to celebrate or be happy.
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amother




Carnation
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 10:34 pm
zaq wrote:
and this means we denigrate the women's and girls' celebration as bogus?
I venture to guess that a new mother and a new father have somewhat or even radically different feelings on the birth of a child. What did the dad do, after all, but place the order that the mother spent nine months of blood and sweat (among other body fluids) into filling? Yet no one would dream of delegitimizing the dad's joy.

Agreed and I think it’s an excellent example.
Just like Mom did all the sweating, vomiting, nurturing, contracting, pushing, and nursing and more, while Dad was ‘only’ the enabler, yet still he’s a full partner. - Same goes.
With a child it’s crystal clear because science proves that child gets Dad’s genes, we don’t call him a full partner just to make him ‘feel good’.
Whereas in spirituality, a marriage is full partnership, they are ‘genetically’ (spiritually obviously) part of the exact same neshama.
I don’t know why the woman’s role in the actual bearing of children is so disproportionate to her dh’s relatively small part, but I know that they simply have separate roles, and I know a million percent that he’s an equal partner.
So I really like this allegory.

(And after birth everyone fusses only over the mother, and the baby, and rightfully so. While still, it’s dh’s simcha just the same).
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simcha2




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 10:42 pm
tp3 wrote:
This is a good example to show how joy can be felt and expressed differently by men and women.
Same thing for Simchas Torah. Women don't need to dance like the men in order to celebrate or be happy.


I don't think this is about gender.

My father really dislikes the dancing on Simchat Torah. It is not his scene and doesn't enhance his relationship with the Torah.
And for many, many women their dancing did express their happiness and engagement (and we have "proof" of this directly from the Torah with Miriam at kriat Yam Suf), I think making it about women "not needing" is reductive.
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tp3




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 10:48 pm
simcha2 wrote:
I don't think this is about gender.

My father really dislikes the dancing on Simchat Torah. It is not his scene and doesn't enhance his relationship with the Torah.
And for many, many women their dancing did express their happiness and engagement (and we have "proof" of this directly from the Torah with Miriam at kriat Yam Suf), I think making it about women "not needing" is reductive.

Obviously there are women who like dancing and men who don't. But it is a huge mitzva for men to dance on simchas torah while it was never that same kind of mitzva for women.
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amother




Hibiscus
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 10:53 pm
tp3 wrote:
Obviously there are women who like dancing and men who don't. But it is a huge mitzva for men to dance on simchas torah while it was never that same kind of mitzva for women.


Why is it just a mitzvah for men?
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amother




Carnation
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 11:04 pm
amother [ Hibiscus ] wrote:
Why is it just a mitzvah for men?

It’s not a mitzva it’s a minhag.

The minhag is to dance around the bima 7 times. My father who hates dancing fulfills this minhag in 2.5 minutes, maybe 5 max and sits down to learn often he even goes home.

A minhag is something that people decided to do many generations ago, it’s very valuable but it’s not a mitzva.
The Arizal used to do it and on his way home from shul, he joined in the hakafot of every single shul that was on his way home and was still dancing.
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simcha2




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 11:13 pm
tp3 wrote:
Obviously there are women who like dancing and men who don't. But it is a huge mitzva for men to dance on simchas torah while it was never that same kind of mitzva for women.


It is not a mitzva for men to dance on Simchat Torah (and definitely not with sifrei Torah), it is a minhag.

The mitzva is the 7 hakafot, which are the circuits around the Bima, like the hoshanot on Succot (though that is just once).

Eta - I looked into this more to clarify and it seems that the idea of 7 hakafot only arose in the last century or two (interestingly after it is recorded that women danced in honor of the Torah) . But I'll leave me comment and this correction.
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zaq




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 11:27 pm
tp3 wrote:
This is a good example to show how joy can be felt and expressed differently by men and women.
Same thing for Simchas Torah. Women don't need to dance like the men in order to celebrate or be happy.


That wasn't my point AT ALL. Who says women don't need to dance to express their joy? I have no doubt that dance is the highest form of expression of joy for some women. Others might sing, shriek like banshees (usually very young women), kiss everyone in sight or eat ice cream straight from the container.

I doubt that all men "need to dance" to celebrate or be happy. (An awful lot of men "need" to drink, or claim they do.) My dh is an awesome dancer at simchas and at simchas torah, but he does it because it's an expected and almost ritualized activity. I assure you that he does not break out in dancing when he's wildly happy. Come to think of it, I don't know any men who do. The only people I know who "dance" when they're excited are women.
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tp3




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 11:27 pm
amother [ Hibiscus ] wrote:
Why is it just a mitzvah for men?

It's not but mainly. Who is required to perform the actual hakofos? The men. Who danced way back in the bhmk? The men.
There is a Baal Shem Tov story about a malach from above going to each and every shul on the mornings after hakafos to collect the leftover soles of the men's shoes worn out from dancing, and bringing them up to Hashem as a most special gift. It was proof of Jewish nation's love for the Torah.
This story is told over and over throughout the generations to show how special it is to dance with all one's energy and strength, on simchas torah.

Women can also get a mitzva in whichever way we participate and celebrate but we don't need to copy the men's type of celebration in order to be involved.

If you really want to and your Rav says its ok- not my business.

I'm just explaining how it is where I am. Personally I feel much joy and pride watching my sons' dance and be honored with holding a Torah. That's enough excitement for me.

Miriam and the women dancing by the yam suf- I don't feel that's relevant until we are faced with another miracle on the level of splitting a sea.
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