Sunday, October 11th
9:30 AM Joint Service with CBT & Har Zion (led by CBT)
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Meeting ID: 819 9155 1870
Torah: Sweet as Honey
An Interactive Simchat Torah Activity
Reconstructed Hakafot for the COVID
Era Rabbi Nathan Weiner Congregation Beth Tikvah
BACKGROUND: In the 12th century, a Jewish custom emerged for Shavuot of inviting children to lick honey off of a slate of sacred texts to demonstrate the sweetness of Torah. At the beginning of their learning, children would come to see the words and letters of Torah as sweet on their tongues.
This Simchat Torah, we reconstruct this medieval Shavuot custom to bring the sweetness of Torah into our homes in place of communal Hakafot (Torah processions).
The traditional Simchat Torah custom is to join together in joyous community to sing and dance with the Torah scrolls, as we both restart our reading of the Torah and we renew our commitment to Torah learning. To accommodate necessary COVID restrictions, this of course is not possible. Therefore, Jews of all ages using this activity, together from a distance, can taste the sweetness and joy that comes from continued commitment to Torah and it's sweetness in place of the traditional Hakafot.
IN ADVANCE OF THE SERVICE YOU WILL NEED TO...
Print out the texts below, one printout per participant of all ages. Get your honey ready! Go to your online services, daven with your community. When you get to the Hakafot, wait for your service leader to give instructions. Remember to be joyous!
First Hakafah Text: אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהֹוִ֗ה נָ֤תַן לִי֙ לְשׁ֣וֹן לִמּוּדִ֔ים לָדַ֛עַת לָע֥וּת אֶת־יָעֵ֖ף דָּבָ֑ר יָעִ֣יר The Lord God gave me a skilled tongue to know how to speak timely words to the weary (Isaiah 50: 4)
Second Hakafah Text: בֶּן־אָדָם֙ בִּטְנְךָ֤ תַֽאֲכֵל֙ וּמֵעֶ֣יךָ תְמַלֵּ֔א אֵ֚ת הַמְּגִלָּ֣ה הַזֹּ֔את אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֲנִ֖י נֹתֵ֣ן אֵלֶ֑יךָ וָאֹ֣כְלָ֔ה וַתְּהִ֥י בְּפִ֖י כִּדְבַ֥שׁ לְמָתֽוֹק׃ 'Mortal, feed your stomach and fill your belly with this scroll that I give you.' I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey to me.
Third Hakafah Text: נֹ֛פֶת תִּטֹּ֥פְנָה שִׂפְתוֹתַ֖יִךְ כַּלָּ֑ה דְּבַ֤שׁ וְחָלָב֙ תַּ֣חַת לְשׁוֹנֵ֔ךְ׃ Sweetness drops From your lips, O bride; Honey and milk Are under your tongue (Song of Songs 4:4)
Fourth Hakafah Text: בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית בָּרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים אֵ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֵ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ׃ When God began to create heaven and earth...(Genesis 1:1)
Fifth Hakafah Text: וַיִּקְרְא֧וּ בֵֽית־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל אֶת־שְׁמ֖וֹ מָ֑ן וְה֗וּא כְּזֶ֤רַע גַּד֙ לָבָ֔ן וְטַעְמ֖וֹ כְּצַפִּיחִ֥ת בִּדְבָֽשׁ׃ The house of Israel named it manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and it tasted like wafers in honey. (Exodus 16:31)
Sixth Hakafah Text: אבגדהוזחטיכלמנסעפצקרשת Hebrew Alphabet Forwards
Seventh Hakafah Text: תשרקצפסנמלכיטחזוהדגבא Hebrew Alphabet Backwards