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Simchat Torah organized dinners

Toronto, Canada
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Simchat Torah organized dinners

We will be in Jerusalem for a few days during Sukkot and Simchat Torah. We are interested in joining an organized Simchat Torah dinner celebration on Thursday Oct. 16th. We are Jewish, not Orthodox, but we do enjoy the festivities.

Tel Aviv, Israel
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1. Re: Simchat Torah organized dinners

I'll say it again:

Simchat Torah is like any other holiday or Erev Shabbat dinner. From a tourist's perspective, you can simply enjoy your holiday dinner at your hotel, just like you would an Erev Shabbat dinner. You should reserve that dinner in advance. Since almost all the restaurants in Jewish Jerusalem are kosher, nearly all restaurants will be closed on Erev Simchat Torah. Your only choice would a kosher hotel dinner or a non-kosher meal at one of the few non-kosher restaurants in Jerusalem.

Israel
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2. Re: Simchat Torah organized dinners

As I pointed out on the other thread, Simchat Torah in Israel starts on the evening of Wednesday October 15. The evening of Thursday October 16 is "after the holidays" and Friday is a normal day.

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Simchat Torah organized dinners

If it is the festivities you want then going to a synagogue would be the way to experience Simchat Torah. There are non-orthodox synagogues that you could visit and enjoy the Torah reading, music and dancing. If you attend a service, you could find out whether the shul has a home hospitality program for those attending services so you could join another family for dinner. Some do.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Simchat Torah organized dinners

Is it usual in Israel to have a major dinner erev Simchat Torah? Because it isn't at all, at least in my own experience, in the US. If you celebrate Simchat Torah, you are off to a synagogue to join in the joyous festivities. Obviously you have to eat, but it's not ----- again in my experience --- a home-based holiday.

NYC/Israel
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5. Re: Simchat Torah organized dinners

Although a DE I have never been in Israel for Simchat Torah and my thoughts are along the line of ItalophileNJ's. Simchat Torah is a BIG shul based holiday. Meals on that day are usually holiday meals but on the simple side. In fact, in my own Orthodox community people do NOT usually have company on this day, because the services in synagogue are very prolonged. ( lots of celebration there)

Jerusalem, Israel
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6. Re: Simchat Torah organized dinners

Some clarification is needed here......

In Israel, Simchat Torah starts on the evening of Oct 15th this year, as Shuffaluff mentioned, and that is when most of the festivities take place. The holiday ends after dark on Oct 16th. However, there are usually some festivities connected with Simchat Torah still going on then ("Hakafot Shniot"), but not everywhere.

In the Diaspora, Simchat Torah is celebrated a day later. That means it starts on the evening of October 16th and ends after dark on Oct 17th.

Simchat Torah evening dinner is a regular Shabbat-like festive dinner - nothing special.

Edited: 28 August 2014, 06:28
Israel
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7. Re: Simchat Torah organized dinners

Simchat Torah and organized dinners don't really belong in the same sentence - organized in any sense of the word. If you are with a family you'll find that people are drifting back from synagogue all the time, when each person has had enough! It's a bit chaotic, and the choice of dishes served will reflect that - nothing that will be harmed by spending a bit longer in the oven or on the table.

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Simchat Torah organized dinners

Thank you all for your comments. I just learned that the holy days of the holidays in Israel are not the same as here in Canada. I think what we actually wanted to do was have dinner at a synagogue and then to spend the evening at the Kotel. We are expecting that there would be celebration going on there. Is that right? Thursday evening will be our last night in Israel.

Tel Aviv, Israel
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9. Re: Simchat Torah organized dinners

Synagogues in Israel do NOT offer dinner. They are not community centers the way you are familiar in North America. Synagogues here are strictly for prayer.

At Simchat Torah, I'd actually recommend you spend the evening at one of the non-Orthodox synagogues in Jerusalem. You may have more fun with that than at the Kotel.

Have dinner at your hotel.

NYC/Israel
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10. Re: Simchat Torah organized dinners

Shuffuluff,your description means that my guess was pretty much correct. Great similarities between NY and Israel. (With of course day differences as you explained in a different thread and clarified in #2.