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Saturday, October 2, 2010

An Amazing Scene

Anytime someone in a congregation is honored with an aliyah (Torah portion read in his/her name; the number available varies depending on the occasion), there is a great fuss and fanfare. The person is called up by her or his full Hebrew name, recites the blessing, and then holds the Torah roller as the portion is read. This is followed up with a final blessing at the end.

The two biggest honors of the year are Chatan/Kallat Torah (Groom/Bride of the Torah) and Kallat/Chatan Bereishit (Bride/Groom of Bereishit), the last and first aliyot in the Torah, respectively. These happen on Simchat Torah after all the dancing. In either case, the honoree is a well-respected and very special member of the congregation. A speech is made explaining why the honor has been given to this person. Rather than just calling him or her up, the gabbai begins by asking permission from God to honor this person. The honoree walks up under a canopy made of two tallitot sewn together. Everybody stands as the person approaches the bimah (sort of like a stage) and the Torah portion is read. During Chatan/Kallat Bereishit, singing and clapping for joy follow each verse of the aliyah.

And the whole thing is just amazing.

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I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!