Friday, October 21, 2011

Simchat Torah -- Surrounded by Children

Journey's 4 came out shortly before Channah was born. I listened to that CD on so many of my trips back and forth from the hospital. I felt personally connected to a bunch of the songs. One in particular was about post war Europe, where some survivors enter a boarded up shul to celebrate Simchat Torah. They discover that the Sifrei Torah are gone but there are a pair of children hiding in the shul.

We danced round and round in circles as if the world had done no wrong
From evening until morning, filling up the shul with song
Though we had no sifrei Torah to clutch an hold up high
In their place we held those children, am yisrael chai"

Every Simchat Torah, I would think of this song as I danced with Channah. She was my Sefer Torah. Last year we realized that it was the last year that she would be my Sefer Torah. She was getting too big to dance with me at shul. Rachel and I were both comforted, knowing there was going to be a new Sefer Torah to dance with this year.

Last night at shul, I could feel a tear in my soul. I wanted to connect to the joy and deep meaning of the day. At the same time, I didn't have my Sefer Torah to hold and dance with. I had a hard time participating, never mind enjoying the night. I had expressed to the Rabbi earlier in the week that I wanted Kol HaNearim. He told me that it had been taken care of.

This morning the auction reached Kol HaNearim. (Chatan Bereshit & Chatan Torah are assigned before the Chag). I immediately put up my hand to bid. Things went so fast that I am not sure how much I bid, but I had to withdraw pretty quickly. A friend dropped out when bidding hit 1000 NIS. Very quickly, the price hit 2000 NIS. The Rabbi called a timeout and asked who the other bidder was. They had a short meeting. The other bidder was someone who is really important in our life and is one of the people we consider to be our adopted family. The auctioneer choked up as he announced the two had formed a syndicate and had purchased the Aliyah for 4000 NIS and were giving it to me. Suddenly, I was overcome with a feeling of peace and comfort. I was able to fully enjoy Hakafot.

The Aliyah gave me a lot more Chizuk then I thought it would. All the kids said the bracha with me while Channah stood behind me. My aliyah talked about the land allocated to Dan, Naphtali and Asher. Our home is in the Dan region and Naphtali was the name we were going to use if Channah had been a boy. Chattan Bereshit (which came right after mine), mentioned Moshe seeing "Gilad" before he died and the Gabi reference, where Moshe died and we don't know where he is burried. It also contains the letter that I wrote for Gabi, although leining was not taking place from that particular Sefer Torah.

I do not believe in segulahs, as they tend to be people putting their faith into made up rituals, where the outcome is not always in our hand. However, having Kol HaNarim seemed to be the correct way to express everything that we have been through this year. I spent the time hoping that Hashem will grant our prayers to not be quite in the same positions next year. Next year, I will be more than happy to stand by and watch as I hold my own new and little Sefer Torah in my arms. May Hashem answer this one prayer with a yes.

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