Sunday, 12 October 2014

Celebrate Simhat Torah by Leading a Hakafa Carrying Your Baby Instead of a Torah Scroll. All You Have to Do is Follow this Yemenite Custom.

 

I am happy to introduce to you the ultimate, baby-centered Simhat Torah custom. It was created by Yemenite Jews and you could say that it gives you marching orders.

It goes like this: Babies six months and older are dressed up in their best outfits, and brought to the synagogue to celebrate their arrival on this earth, on the first Simhat Torah after their birth. Their father or grandfather makes a donation to the synagogue by purchasing a Hakafa (circular Torah procession). He then becomes the leader of a specific Hakafa and instead of carrying a Torah scroll to lead the procession, he proudly carries the baby in his arms.

In this egalitarian age, Moms and Dads alike are invited to try out this custom. It's a wonderful way to expand the celebration message of Simhat Torah while at the same time supporting your synagogue.

What about older children? Are you making flags with them instead of buying a ready-made version? Will you be standing under the talit (prayer shawl) with them when children are called up to the Torah for a special blessing? Will you be throwing candy for them to catch?

Get ready and enjoy this very child-centered holiday.

חג שמח

 

 

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