The Museum of

       Shabbat and the Jewish Holidays


Members of Hanoar Hatzioni, a Zionist youth movement, dance with Torah scrolls in celebration of the Jewish holiday, Simchat Torah, in the Lodz ghetto, 1943.

USHMM, courtesy of Henryk and Juta Bergman

Simchat Torah

The Happiest Holiday
Łosice, Poland

The happiest holiday was Simchat Torah (The Rejoicing of the Law). We would dance in the streets at night leading the Rabbi in a procession to the Bet Ha' Midrash. The greatest activity during Simchat Torah came after prayers. The Chassidim would skip from one prayer house to another for a "Kiddush." With their shiny coats and tallisim on their backs, they would go with a song from home to home, eating, drinking, and so they came with a "tasty" Chassidic dance. Every year there would be the most exciting Kiddush from the Parczewer prayer house. My mother, Rywka had already baked and cooked the entire day for the Simchat Torah Kiddush. My uncle was overcome with happiness when the Chassidim overfilled our house and with song and dance, and then left politely. And between a glass of some kind of drink and a plate of kreplach we were told stories by the Rabbi.



From Łosice; in Memory of a Jewish Community, Exterminated by Nazi Murderers, 1963.

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