These are such sad and terrible times inside and just across our borders lately, I have to keep urging myself: "Keep looking up."
Especially now, on Hoshana Raba and on Simchat Torah, which is supposed to be a joyous holiday.
Simchat Torah mean Rejoicing in the Torah.
In Orthodox synagogues the
men dance and sing with the Torah scrolls, while in Reform and liberal congregations the
women and children join in in carrying the scrolls and everyone
The last parasha or portion of the last
book, Deuteronomy, is chanted.
To keep the reading cycle going
unbroken, the scroll is either rewound or a different scroll is opened
and the first chapter of Genesis is begun immediately.
And so life goes on, at least for the lucky ones.