Dancing in the Night

16 Aug



Last night, driving home from the gas station outside Herzliya, our way was blocked by what appeared to be a small parade one block from our house. We managed to see a crowd of people following a small ornately decorated truck from which was blaring lively music. After parking in our garage I walked out to see what all the fuss was about.

Behind the slow moving truck decked out with a gazillion lights, I saw men wearing traditional Jewish broad brimmed black hats dancing about in a circle. They were dancing in front of some other men who were walking in a procession. At the center of the procession was a man cradling a large silver trophy-like  (or scepter-like) ornament in his arms. The trophy/scepter was periodically passed from one man to another. Music was blaring from the truck. Men, women, and children were following the procession but only men were dancing and handling the “trophy/scepter.” Children were waving fluorescent wands. I sensed a feeling of joy and exuberance from everyone. I was grateful no one seemed to mind me taking photos of the procession which continued onto a pedestrian bridge over a highway and into an area where I know there is a synagogue.

I came home and did some research on the internet. I think I’ve figured it out. The item the men were carrying and passing one to the other was a Torah scroll. The “trophy/sceptre”-like item was a case housing the scroll. What I had witnessed was a ceremony know as Hachnasat Sefer Torah which literally means “ushering in the Torah scroll.” So glad I got to catch this glimpse of Jewish ceremony before we move.

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2 Responses to “Dancing in the Night”

  1. Domenica Genovese August 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    (singing) *they’re dancing in Chicago….and in Tel Aviv*

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