Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 13, 2006 / 21 Tishrei, 5767

Lessons from an ‘almost 6 years-old's’ encounter with Simchas Torah that have lasted a lifetime

By Lenore Roberts

We can create a magic glue for both body and spirit. Will we? Are we?


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Our immigrant family started out in Boro Park, Brooklyn. The apartment house where we lived at 1451 52nd St. was my universe. One that was, except for our wonderful superintendent, Mr. Jedlika, and his family, entirely Jewish.


Most days, the tenement's children played together. But even at a very young age, we were quite aware of the not-so-subtle religious observance differences in our respective homes. Especially when we could eat something and where, for kosher reasons, we'd politely have to say "thank you, but my mother has something for me at home."


The sixty families' observances ranged from Orthodox to "It's Passover, must Mrs. S. carry her bread home from the store purposely sitting atop of her bag so that everyone sees it and becomes upset?"


"Poor Mrs. S.," Mother would explain, "she's still an angry little girl." My mother was very wise and this was a teachable moment, if ever there was one.


Another, though I didn't realize it at the time, was Simchas Torah, 1940. I was 5 years old — actually, "almost 6". That particularly special time brings back some of my sweetest memories.


My very best friend was Renee Sacks. Renee's family was the most frum (devout) in the building. My family were members of the neighborhood Conservative synagogue. The Sacks' attended an Orthodox one, Young Israel. That year, they invited me to join them for Simchas Torah at their shul.


My parents said okay and off I went with Renee's family.


The dancing and singing — the pure joy of that night — still reverberates.


I had the most wonderful time and felt that I was in some wonderland. (Grown-ups in our synagogue weren't nearly so openly enraptured). There was so much candy for us, not a piece or two, but handfuls! This, during a depressed economy and at a time of war rationings. I remember thinking and saying Wait 'till I tell my little brother and my parents!


At the hakafos ceremony, while adults took turns dancing with the Torah scrolls, the children held paper flags pasted on wooden sticks that were topped with apples and a small Chanukah candle that Renee's father inserted into each of our apples — and then lit! Real flames!


In that magical instant, I was at once torn between being the possessor of the flame and having to tell my parents that I held a lit candle — not an easy dilemma for an "almost six-year old" with long hair.


That night, everyone sat together — men and women, boys and girls. Everyone danced and sang together. The Conservative synagogue had nothing of such magnitude for us kids.


In retrospect, there was so much joy, such complete joy, it seems impossible to me now that under the circumstances of the descent of darkness that was the Holocaust, the Young Israel members were able to manage it.


Yet they did — and because of it, I better understand being Jewish. And I'm ever indebted to such remarkably strong people.


As I matured, the profound message of that night became such an important, so deeply pronounced part of my life. So much so, that even today, at "almost 72", I really can't begin to describe it.


From each of my parents I learned Jewish lessons that continue to guide me in often stunning ways. But from Simchas Torah in 1940 in a small synagogue in Brooklyn, I added an equally important lesson to my Jewish "tool box". In the midst of horrific times, one can — and must — dance! We must say thank you for our Torah!


Serious religious study demanded by Jewish law — the most important way to say thank you — is, for many, it's own reward. But the joy expressed at Young Israel on that Simchas Torah was pure bliss. The candy, the marching around, the singing and dancing, the flames of candles were what not only made that night such fun, it gave us a memory, a kind of magic glue for both body and spirit, no matter what the future would hold for us.


What role models!

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes uplifting stories. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR reader Lenore Roberts writes from Philadelphia. Comment by clicking here.

© 2006, Lenore Roberts