24
Sep

Simhat Torah Night at Ezzy Bezzy

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We are all looking forward to a fantastic Simhat Torah at Ezra Bessaroth!

This year, we are going to put into place a few additions/changes that will both engage all those who join us, and will ensure adherence to Halacha.

First, a note about a practice that is common in many synagogues, but that is on very shaky halachic footing, if any: that's drinking alchoholic beverages in the sanctuary during Simhat Torah services and Hakafot.

This is an issue for two reasons: there is a halacha that one may not eat or drink in a synagogue sanctuary, with the exception of the ritual consumption of wine for Kiddush and Birkat Milah etc. But the consumption of whiskey and other such drinks in the actual sanctuary is an (unwitting) affront to the Kedushat Bet HaKnesset/sanctity of the synagogue as a place of prayer.

Secondly, many people are accustomed to partake of these drinks without having said Kiddush first. Due to the extended dancing, people get thirsty and are anxious to quench their thirst.  Once the Hag has come in, halacha proscribes partaking of any food or drink prior to saying/hearing Kiddush.  The shot glasses of hard liquor, even if consumed outside of the sanctuary, are not appropriate for Kiddush at night, and Kiddush at night involves more than a beracha on your drink.

In addition, through the generosity of Ralph C. each year, we have terrific apples; those, too, should be consumed only after Kiddush. 

In order to make this Kiddush B'makom Seuda, there will be mezonot in two locations: outside the men's sanctuary exit and in the foyer outside of the women's sanctuary door.  One must eat a kezayit of mezonot to fulfill the obligation of "Makom Seuda"/the place of the "meal". This would be, say, three medium-sized whole grain crackers, etc.

In addition, women are welcome to dance in the foyer outside of the women's section during the Hakafot in the main sanctuary.  Any women interested in helping with the "Ruach"/spirit, should contact me Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday day to coordinate our efforts.

Between the third and fourth hakafa, I will be offering a 10-15 mini-shiur for women in the Midrash.

Simhat Torah morning, the Meyers clan is sponsoring the (now) annual ice cream sundae Kiddush in the foyer.  Be sure to avail yourselves of cookies/waffle cones to fulfil the obligation to eat mezonot for the Kiddush "seuda" during the day as well.

Below is a PDF copy of the teshuva/responsum on which the nighttime Simhat Torah Kiddush arrangement is based.  - Mo'adim LeSimcha!

Rabbi Meyers

simhat torah night kiddush.pdf 

 

 

מן י

 

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