Saturday, October 10, 2009


Thoughts on Simchas Torah

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

Just some random Simchas Torah thoughts and observations...

- "In Israel we have to squeeze the ruchniyus (spirituality) of two days into one day". Not exactly, it's the kedushah (holiness) of Eretz Yisroel (the holy land) that infuses more into the same moment. [In Israel the holy days of Shemeni Atzeres and Simchas Torah are observed on the same day.]

- After having a bit alcoholic to drink someone commented to me, "you seem to be in good shape but enjoying yourself". I responded "the mitzvah is to be b'simcha (joyful), not to be blitzed or pass out." I'd like to think that's my own smart answer, but rather it's experience.

- One Chabad chossid did become very seriously intoxicated and proceeded to cry and scream for 2 hours about how all of our work is worth nothing, for Moshiach hasn't come. He continued to scream "How can we get up tomorrow and it's yet another Sunday that's still the same? Without Moshiach and without the Divine Presence. How can we go on with just another day, another week, of golus (exile from Hashem)?" Literally with tears and moans and screaming in peoples faces.

Naturally everyone thought he'd lost it, pitied him for his seemingly out of control actions...

But I wonder. If I let myself go that far, would I be calling out for Moshiach, the Geulah (redemption), and bemoaning our separation from HaKodesh Baruch Hu? Unfortunately I suspect not. Is he to be pitied, or me?

When the yanin (wine) goes in, the secrets come out.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe once answered someone, "if only 10 people really wanted Moshiach...". This Simchas Torah I met 1.


AlexY said...

Dear Akiva,
unfortunatly, people often don't have the self control you have toward drinking... This year, here in Israel, not far from you, I saw how Simchat Tora can turn to hell, thanks to too much mashke... I saw this year what's a "lechaim vele...klala"... I saw people screaming, but not for Moshiach, people shouting at other ones, sleeping instead of dancing with the Tora scroll, I saw people falling down almost hurting young children, and worst... This was not "simcha" at all, this was a taste of gehinom... Really... My children were scared by what they saw, my wife was upset, I did not have the mood to dance, it was a big big mess... On the morning, I went to another shul... My wife told me: "simchat Tora is the chag I like most, but if this is the way chabad is dealing with, I don't want you anymore to go daven in such a "shul"... Unfortunatly, this is not the genious way to bring Moshiach'...

Akiva said...

Alex, I've seen the same in the past. The worst Simchas Torah I ever had was similar, with most of the shul passed out within an hour and a half.

The Rebbe was specific that one should have NO MORE than 4 l'chaims on Simchas Torah. And because of such problems many rebbes and rosh yeshivas have completely prohibited drinking on Simchas Torah.

The Yezter Hara also comes to Simchas Torah, Hashem Ya'a'zor.

B"H, except for the incident above - which was after Shacharis was complete, it was absolutely wonderful. B'simcha for the adults and for the children.

josh said...

Alcohol has become a disease of the religious people as well. Purim I can handle but Simchat Torah?! Since when was that condoned? Why do people need to get plastered to enjoy the Torah? I can't stand how so many religious people have turned into connoisseurs of whiskey, especially those that have absolutely no hecsher, but are 'approved' but drinking, and on Simchat Torah of all days!?!

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