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Simchas Torah, 1939

Simchas Torah, 1939

Associate Editor

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Today is October 6.

Oct. 6, 1939 was a Friday, Simchas Torah. World War II was just five weeks old. People still built sukkahs and were sitting in them, 70 years ago this week. They said “Farewell To The Sukkah.” — “Just as I have fulfilled [the mitzvah] and dwelled in this sukkah, so may I merit in the coming year to dwell in the sukkah of the Leviathan.” — On Simchas Torah, did children in villages tie an old man’s tzitzis to the bima? Kids gathered under the tallis for the kids’ aliyah. Women lit candles in Warsaw that Friday at 5:39. They still had candles bought in summer. It was Shabbos Bereshis. And there was morning and there was evening.

To the west, all was relatively quiet in Amsterdam, and would remain so until the first Nazi roundup of Jews in early 1941. That summer… Hey, isn’t that Anne Frank looking out of the window?

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