Falling right after the High Holidays, Sukkot and Simchat Torah are, at Temple Israel, a time to celebrate more informally and a beginning of our year. After the the blasts of the Shofar and the hardship of fasting, it’s nice to gather in the sukkah for an informal dinner with friends, to shake the lulav, to carry a Torah around the sanctuary and to see your youngsters begin their Jewish educations at Consecration.
Temple celebrates Sukkot and Simchat Torah with a carry-in dinner, activities for children and families and a service. On Sukkot, the service ends in the Sukkah where everyone has a chance to shake the lulav. Being in the sukkah gives a wonderful feeling of being both inside and outside simultaneously. On Simchat Torah, we parade the Torahs into the Great Hall, unroll one of them and listen to the end and the beginning of the story of our people. Seeing a Torah unrolled from beginning to end and held gently in the hands of our members is simply awesome.