A large and enthusiastic crowd of families from Hewlett joined together to celebrate the holiday of Simchat Torah at Chabad of Hewlett by the train station in Hewlett on Sept. 26.
Beginning at 7 p.m., the room was full with happy children as they had their own exciting program and received their own, unique flags for dancing. The children were an integral part of the party and kept dancing and singing throughout the night.
Simchat Torah marks the conclusion of the annual cycle of Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle, With plenty of delicious food, drink, dancing, and L’chaim the celebrants felt a real celebration.
“We always talk about the ‘joy of Torah’,” said Rabbi Nochem Tenenboim, of the men, women and children that danced and sang during the get together. “We actually felt it. Yes, we can celebrate together.”
The dancing spilled out onto the street , as the celebration continued into the night. Nassau County police helped to ensure the safety of the celebrants by closing off Railroad Avenue for a few hours. Families from different Jewish backgrounds celebrated together. “That’s what it’s all about,” Rabbi Tenenboim said. “We’re all Jews, and we all celebrate Torah.”
The celebration continued till the early hours of Friday morning with the traditional Hakafot dancing and the reciting of specific Torah verses.
“I attend [a] celebration every year, but this was the first time at Chabad of Hewlett,” said Mike Levy, who brought his two daughters. “But here it is unique, people come from all different backgrounds, affiliations or non-affiliations and they all feel so connected, so united, and so happy,” he added with a smile.