From the American Scene: I Remember Tulsa
We had quite a Simchas Torah in Iowa City last year. The celebration of our “rejoicing over the Law” took place at night, of course—everybody had to be at work the following morning. We are a congregation of grocery owners—how better celebrate Sukkoth than among stacks of Iowa apples and squashes?—but running a grocery all day doesn’t dampen Jewish fervor at night after the store closes. Quite the contrary—though the spirit is not what it used to be. The mothers worry about the children staying up too late, with school tomorrow. Once upon a time, when the men of this Yiddish-speaking generation were younger, they did the kazatsky on Simchas Torah. Now they import a hora from the university crowd. But how they can drink and sing!
There must have been a lot of sleepy children in school next day, because the big doings went on until ten forty-five and later. At nine-thirty the occasion ceased to be an aim in itself for the youngsters and became a test of endurance, which they found even more delightful. At ten-thirty little Shirley, three years old, rendered “Ani Maamin” in an off-key soprano from the shulchan [lectern].
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