Little children sit on their fathers' shoulders and wave their flags and plush Torahs. Mothers dance, shmooze or stand on the side waving at their nachas as they go around and around, kind of like a human carousel.
So, after hours of that, wouldn't you think everyone would just want to put up their feet and enjoy a little quiet time.
Well, no. The moment the holiday is over, every neighborhood has something called "Hakafot Shniyot" (Second Circling). Usually, there's a great band and everyone comes out, still dressed in their holiday clothing and the whole town dances up a storm.
Tonight after the holiday of Simchat Torah ended and we said good-bye to the beloved Sukkah, the band started playing. In Efrat, folks gathered at the Ohel Shimon and Esther synagogue to hear Mordechai Baumol Yitzhar and his band rock the town. The music was jumpy and so was the crowd.
It was a wonderful energized send off for the holidays, and now it's back to work! Acharei hachagim has officially begun.
You can see a video of the hakafot on www.voices-magazine.com .