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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


JoyInTheMorning




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 11:24 am
SixOfWands wrote:
Yes, many/most do, with a Torah.

I think its wonderful, but dancing, on Simchat Torah or otherwise, really isn't my thing.


There are times when I am convinced that I am SoW's carbon copy.
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 11:28 am
SixOfWands wrote:
Yes, many/most do, with a Torah.

I think its wonderful, but dancing, on Simchat Torah or otherwise, really isn't my thing.
Same. I dont like dancing at all, but most women in my community do love the dancing, so its nice to watch, sometimes.
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keym




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 11:38 am
JoyInTheMorning wrote:
What is the argument against women dancing without a Sefer Torah? Don't women dance at other occasions?


Practical/logistics.
We have a very small shul without a social hall.
For hakafos, the mechitza is moved away and a line of tables is placed there just to serve as a mechitza.
It's nice because we can sit in our seats and see everything that's happening clearly (as long as children aren't standing on the table) but the downside is that we can't dance without being seen by men- which we don't do.

Every year, some teenage girls who want to dance will go to a nearby basement and dance but it does tend to fizzle out quickly.

Though honestly, we are a younger community with most women pregnant/nursing/caring for little children and most spend Simchas Torah soothing children, unwrapping lollipops, and passing kids back and forth to the men's section and have no inclination to dance.
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miami85




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 2:06 pm
shabbatiscoming wrote:
Your post makes me very sad that you see women's connection to torah as you do 😥
And you should also just know, there are many men out there that dont like simchat torah at all and dont find any connection to it at all and there are many women who find simchat torah extremely uplifting and not at all like a cousin relationship but like a best friend relationship.


There's nothing wrong with being a cousin, you misunderstood, it's just a different relationship. Men have a primary obligation to learn Torah, and we find from Torah sources that when one is "obligated" to do something its because it's not necessarily something that one would do naturally, therefore it's commanded. Women can absolutely have a connection to Torah, but they are not obligated to learn that may come from their intrinsic connection to Torah and mitzvos. Whereas men NEED to find the will and ability to learn what they are capable.

It's kind of like when the kid who NEEDS to wear glasses but doesn't want to, vs the kid who WANTS to wear glasses but doesn't need them, we don't say "it's not fair" that someone who needs glasses gets something special, but it's what the person needs. Most mitzvos are considered a "tikkun" for the neshama, fixing a need. Hashem gave us mitzvos for us to earn more reward and we earn reward based upon how much effort it takes from us.

For me the joy is now seeing my husband dance, and him dancing with my children. It's a different kind of dancing than at a wedding--when of course I go all out. I love dancing. But seeing a rosh yeshiva dance vs seeing women dancing it's just very different, the emotions are coming from a different place.
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amother




Carnation
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 2:15 pm
miami85 wrote:
There's nothing wrong with being a cousin, you misunderstood, it's just a different relationship. Men have a primary obligation to learn Torah, and we find from Torah sources that when one is "obligated" to do something its because it's not necessarily something that one would do naturally, therefore it's commanded. Women can absolutely have a connection to Torah, but they are not obligated to learn that may come from their intrinsic connection to Torah and mitzvos. Whereas men NEED to find the will and ability to learn what they are capable.

It's kind of like when the kid who NEEDS to wear glasses but doesn't want to, vs the kid who WANTS to wear glasses but doesn't need them, we don't say "it's not fair" that someone who needs glasses gets something special, but it's what the person needs. Most mitzvos are considered a "tikkun" for the neshama, fixing a need. Hashem gave us mitzvos for us to earn more reward and we earn reward based upon how much effort it takes from us.

For me the joy is now seeing my husband dance, and him dancing with my children. It's a different kind of dancing than at a wedding--when of course I go all out. I love dancing. But seeing a rosh yeshiva dance vs seeing women dancing it's just very different, the emotions are coming from a different place.

Yes I agree with your beautiful post
Also our grandmothers (at least mine) didn’t dance by hakafot and they did dance at weddings.
Personally, I don’t find any meaning in brand new minhagim.
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miami85




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 2:33 pm
Women can "learn Torah", they can understand it they see the beauty of it.

Men are "amail b'Torah"--I think the best translation might be "conquering" Torah. They delve, they "shteig", they can sit with the same daf for a whole day, they become intimate with it. They have a relationship with it.

In some ways I have a different relationship with my children than my husband because I have a different emotional connection with my children. Mothers tend to understand their newborns better than fathers do because of that maternal instinct.

Judaism never claimed to be egalitarian, because it never considered men and women as the same. That doesn't mean that one is BETTER than the other, but they are 2 halves of a whole, and what one needs, the other doesn't. While the punishment for Chava was "v'hu yimshol bach" that was only one element--and we mainly interpret it as "in the bedroom", in many places it obligates men to treat their wives better than themselves.
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simcha2




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 2:36 pm
amother [ Carnation ] wrote:
Yes I agree with your beautiful post
Also our grandmothers (at least mine) didn’t dance by hakafot and they did dance at weddings.
Personally, I don’t find any meaning in brand new minhagim.


I never asked my grandmothers a"h, but my mother definitely recalls fondly the simchat Torah celebrations of her childhood (in the 1940's) and the dancing of the women. (And the kids with lit candles on their flags.

It certainly isn't "brand new".

But this is one of those "today I learned on Imamother" moments, that there are places where 1) women don't dance on simchat Torah and 2) where women have a different connection to Torah than men.
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amother




Carnation
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 3:05 pm
miami85 wrote:
Women can "learn Torah", they can understand it they see the beauty of it.

Men are "amail b'Torah"--I think the best translation might be "conquering" Torah. They delve, they "shteig", they can sit with the same daf for a whole day, they become intimate with it. They have a relationship with it.

In some ways I have a different relationship with my children than my husband because I have a different emotional connection with my children. Mothers tend to understand their newborns better than fathers do because of that maternal instinct.

Judaism never claimed to be egalitarian, because it never considered men and women as the same. That doesn't mean that one is BETTER than the other, but they are 2 halves of a whole, and what one needs, the other doesn't. While the punishment for Chava was "v'hu yimshol bach" that was only one element--and we mainly interpret it as "in the bedroom", in many places it obligates men to treat their wives better than themselves.

Yes I learned that vhu yimshol bach is the source for not asking directly. (In Rashi on those words)
Also, it says in the Sefer Eleh Pikudecha (written by the בני יששכר) that each neshama is made up of two halves, male and female. Dh is the male part and I am the female part, it’s very simple to me.
We share everything here in this world and will also share our Chelek in the next IYH.
We are here to accomplish.
He has his roles and I have my roles.
We are here to serve Hashem together and to raise servants of Hashem together and we will share our future together and enjoy our shared chelek together.
I have no complaints for being female and he has no complaints for being male, that is our own individual essence and the two parts of our shared neshama.
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amother




Diamond
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 3:10 pm
miami85 wrote:
For me the joy is now seeing my husband dance, and him dancing with my children. It's a different kind of dancing than at a wedding--when of course I go all out. I love dancing. But seeing a rosh yeshiva dance vs seeing women dancing it's just very different, the emotions are coming from a different place.


And what about women who don't have husbands, and there is no man to dance with their children? Or what about women whose husbands don't go to shul? Yes, there are some of us in those situations. And we can feel very left out on Simchas Torah.
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amother




Carnation
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 3:13 pm
simcha2 wrote:
I never asked my grandmothers a"h, but my mother definitely recalls fondly the simchat Torah celebrations of her childhood (in the 1940's) and the dancing of the women. (And the kids with lit candles on their flags.

It certainly isn't "brand new".

But this is one of those "today I learned on Imamother" moments, that there are places where 1) women don't dance on simchat Torah and 2) where women have a different connection to Torah than men.

To me something from the 1940s is very brand new.

Women and men have equal connection to Hashem, but not the same dedication and connection to the mitzva of talmud Torah, because they’re not obligated in learning it (and don’t get an avaira for bitul Torah) they do get reward though. (For taking their sons to learn, and encouraging their husbands and keeping the Torah).
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 3:18 pm
miami85 wrote:
There's nothing wrong with being a cousin, you misunderstood, it's just a different relationship. Men have a primary obligation to learn Torah, and we find from Torah sources that when one is "obligated" to do something its because it's not necessarily something that one would do naturally, therefore it's commanded. Women can absolutely have a connection to Torah, but they are not obligated to learn that may come from their intrinsic connection to Torah and mitzvos. Whereas men NEED to find the will and ability to learn what they are capable.

It's kind of like when the kid who NEEDS to wear glasses but doesn't want to, vs the kid who WANTS to wear glasses but doesn't need them, we don't say "it's not fair" that someone who needs glasses gets something special, but it's what the person needs. Most mitzvos are considered a "tikkun" for the neshama, fixing a need. Hashem gave us mitzvos for us to earn more reward and we earn reward based upon how much effort it takes from us.

For me the joy is now seeing my husband dance, and him dancing with my children. It's a different kind of dancing than at a wedding--when of course I go all out. I love dancing. But seeing a rosh yeshiva dance vs seeing women dancing it's just very different, the emotions are coming from a different place.
First of all no chag is only for men or only for women. And that has nothing to do with being equal. Its just how it is.
So again your example of dancing at a cousins wedding just does not work for me.
There is literally no reason why women shouldnt be happy about the chag as well and want to dance. he torah cycle for which we are dancing, has to do with the parsha cycle moreso than anything else. And I dont know about in your comunity but where I live and where I grew up, women were a big art of shul on shabbat as well as the men.
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amother




Carnation
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 3:22 pm
I missed the post that spoke about being a cousin.
I think a cousin is less connected so I understand that ‘mashal’ in connection to Talmud Torah.
But not in our connection to Hashem.
Both males and females are connected to Hashem the same, directly.
Women don’t depend on their husbands for that connection.
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amother




Snapdragon
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 3:25 pm
I have to say that dancing on Simchas Torah (without a Sefer Torah) is a really special experience. I know most shuls don't do it, but I think everyone should have the opportunity at least once!

I have also been in shuls clapping and celebrating internally, which can also be very meaningful, but there is a certain ecstasy that you only get when actually dancing, and doing that for the Torah is very beautiful.
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simcha2




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 3:27 pm
amother [ Carnation ] wrote:
To me something from the 1940s is very brand new.

Women and men have equal connection to Hashem, but not the same dedication and connection to the mitzva of talmud Torah, because they’re not obligated in learning it (and don’t get an avaira for bitul Torah) they do get reward though. (For taking their sons to learn, and encouraging their husbands and keeping the Torah).


I'm sure it goes back much further than the 1940's, but that is the limit of my personal hearing it.

But what does one's obligation in learning Torah have to do with dancing and celebrating on Simchat Torah?

The dancing is celebrating our connection to the Torah.

We just read a couple of weeks ago in parashat Nitzavim

"You stand this day, all of you, before the LORD your God—your tribal heads, your elders and your officials, all the men of Israel, your children, your wives, even the stranger within your camp, from woodchopper to waterdrawer— to enter into the covenant of the LORD your God, which the LORD your God is concluding with you this day, with its sanctions; to the end that He may establish you this day as His people and be your God, as He promised you and as He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob"


Women were given the Torah too, in equal measure.

Eta - this article mentions women dancing in the 17th century
https://www.etzion.org.il/en/h.....torah
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Teomima




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 3:38 pm
amother [ Diamond ] wrote:
And what about women who don't have husbands, and there is no man to dance with their children? Or what about women whose husbands don't go to shul? Yes, there are some of us in those situations. And we can feel very left out on Simchas Torah.

This. If there weren't women dancing where I go, I wouldn't even bother. It breaks my heart seeing all those fathers dancing with their children, knowing mine will never have that. At least I can take them dancing. At least they can partake in celebrating the joy of the day.
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miami85




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 3:55 pm
amother [ Diamond ] wrote:
And what about women who don't have husbands, and there is no man to dance with their children? Or what about women whose husbands don't go to shul? Yes, there are some of us in those situations. And we can feel very left out on Simchas Torah.


When I was single and I didn't have a father, husband or children dancing doesn't mean that I just joined in. I still understood my role and I hoped and desired that someday I would have someone there. Still doesn't change the way my relationship is with Torah compared to those who sit 12 hours a day.

Do I feel left out on Shavuos when my husband goes to shul to learn all night and I'm "stuck home with the kids"--maybe a little bit, but also I remind myself, that why do men have this avoda in the first place because of the tikkun that the day of Matan Torah the men slept in or didn't have the proper reverence for the day so forevermore men stay up all night to make up for it.
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amother




Navy
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 3:58 pm
miami85 wrote:
There's nothing wrong with being a cousin, you misunderstood, it's just a different relationship. Men have a primary obligation to learn Torah, and we find from Torah sources that when one is "obligated" to do something its because it's not necessarily something that one would do naturally, therefore it's commanded. Women can absolutely have a connection to Torah, but they are not obligated to learn that may come from their intrinsic connection to Torah and mitzvos. Whereas men NEED to find the will and ability to learn what they are capable.

It's kind of like when the kid who NEEDS to wear glasses but doesn't want to, vs the kid who WANTS to wear glasses but doesn't need them, we don't say "it's not fair" that someone who needs glasses gets something special, but it's what the person needs. Most mitzvos are considered a "tikkun" for the neshama, fixing a need. Hashem gave us mitzvos for us to earn more reward and we earn reward based upon how much effort it takes from us.

For me the joy is now seeing my husband dance, and him dancing with my children. It's a different kind of dancing than at a wedding--when of course I go all out. I love dancing. But seeing a rosh yeshiva dance vs seeing women dancing it's just very different, the emotions are coming from a different place.


So I guess non-Jews have a greater intrinsic connection to Torah and mitzvos and/or need less of a tikkun than Jews??? I want a primary relationship with the Torah and mitzvos - not a more distant one (e.g. cousin).

ETA- I don’t like to dance, and I only dance at weddings for the mitzvah. I would dance with the Torah (if allowed in my community) for the same reason.
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miami85




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 3:59 pm
shabbatiscoming wrote:
First of all no chag is only for men or only for women. And that has nothing to do with being equal. Its just how it is.
So again your example of dancing at a cousins wedding just does not work for me.
There is literally no reason why women shouldnt be happy about the chag as well and want to dance. he torah cycle for which we are dancing, has to do with the parsha cycle moreso than anything else. And I dont know about in your comunity but where I live and where I grew up, women were a big art of shul on shabbat as well as the men.


But that's just it, it's not "rejoicing in the chag", it's "rejoicing in the Torah." In general we don't "just dance on shabbos and yom tov"

Are the same women who are dancing with the Torah doing the Hoshanos the rest of sukkos?
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amother




Pansy
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 4:02 pm
amother [ Carnation ] wrote:
To me something from the 1940s is very brand new.

Women and men have equal connection to Hashem, but not the same dedication and connection to the mitzva of talmud Torah, because they’re not obligated in learning it (and don’t get an avaira for bitul Torah) they do get reward though. (For taking their sons to learn, and encouraging their husbands and keeping the Torah).

But since there are many women (and historically always have been) with no husband and/or sons, what would you say to them? They will just live their life being second class when it comes to connecting to Torah?
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Sep 23 2021, 4:06 pm
miami85 wrote:
But that's just it, it's not "rejoicing in the chag", it's "rejoicing in the Torah." In general we don't "just dance on shabbos and yom tov"

Are the same women who are dancing with the Torah doing the Hoshanos the rest of sukkos?
OK, I meant in the Torah, which is what the chag is for.
And yes, I know women who do hoshanot. Why ever not?
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