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A Sad Simchas Torah

I have not been in the USA for Simchas Torah in over 25 years. But I was told by a number of people that in many shuls people get drunk. Boozing and Shmoozing.

Very distressing [in spite of my strong Chassidic bent].

Why can't people get drunk with Torah? Torah is INTOXICATING!

Amongst the gentiles alcohol is the primary focus of many a party. Maybe even our Simchas TORAH is "under the influence" [pun intended] of the surrounding culture.

Like almost everything else we do.


to put it mildly, when i was younger, i actually thought that drinking on simchas torah was a mitzvah as much as drinking on purim! not only is it not a mitzvah, but it has led to many aveiros, especially pritzus. another commmon problem with simchas torah is the bars (maybe this one is only in manhattan). i do not mean that, chalila, frum people actually go into bars on yontif, but almost every year, some important postseason baseball game is played on simchas torah, and since of course, no frum jew can watch the game on his own tv on yontif, it is not uncommon to see hordes of jews congregating outside of the bars peering at the big screen tvs inside in order to watch the game. i understand the importance of baseball very well- i am a die-hard, obsessed yankee fan- but this is hardly a way to spend simchas torah.

What is baseball?

What is a bar?

Well, I was at Aish Kodesh (in Woodmere) this Simchas Torah, and not only was there none of that stuff, there wasn't even any auctioning off of Kibudim! And they had Hakafos on Leil Shemini Atzeres as well. DRS High School (also in Woodmere) also had quite nice Hakafos.

funny you mention that, i was also at aish kodesh and drs for simchas torah...

funny you mention that - two of my favorite people in the universe were at aish kodesh and drs. Wonder if you saw them..........

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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