Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Torah, torah, torah

If it's January, that means Sisterhood Shabbat is coming to my shul, and somehow I've been involved for the past 4 years in the production of this event. It's a great event, an inspiring day, and it's amazing to see the service completely led by women.

The main problem with coordinating Sisterhood Shabbat is finding the 55-some-odd women to take all the parts of the service. Some parts -- like opening the ark -- are easy to fill. Other parts -- like leading a portion of the service -- are harder to fill. But the most difficult part to fill?

Raising the Torah.

No one wants to raise the Torah (also known in Hebrew as "hagbah"). They are afraid they aren't strong enough. They are afraid they will drop the Torah. They are just afraid.

This is starting to drive me crazy.

My feeling about it is this: the synagogue and Judaism and the service all belong to us. We don't have to be afraid of it. We aren't performing for someone else, or doing it for someone else. This is for us!

The Torah belongs to us! We can look at it, touch it, read from it, kiss it, carry it, and, gosh darn it, we can raise it! It may take some strength and some training, but I know that I can lift my son who weighs 63 pounds if I need to, so I'm certain that I can raise the Torah if I need to! And if I can lift that much, I'm sure most women (who also can lift their children) can lift a 25 pound Torah. Period. End of story. Sof pasuk.


BipolarLawyerCook said...

Oy vey. 25 pounds! Would it be sacreligeous to tell them that Torah = Toddlah, at least weight wise, and to stop being such wimps?

nachtwache said...

Good luck with the recruiting!

nyjlm said...

when my dd was consecrated last year, the rabbi had me hold the torah as it was dressed to return to the ark. I hadn't known about this before the service, so I didn't have time to fret ; ) I took a deep breath, and lifted it up. I have no idea of what is done elsewhere, but we sit as someone else dresses the torah, so once I got to the chair I could breathe.
It's especially exciting because our torah is a Czech torah rescued after the Holocaust.

Good luck planning it all!