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Chabad Rocks Jerusalem's Great Synagogue on Sukkot

Thousands danced in the courtyard of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue to celebrate Simchat Beit HaSho'eva with Chabad on Sukkot.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 10/17/2011, 7:03 PM

Thousands danced at Jerusalem Great Synagogue on Sukkot
Thousands danced at Jerusalem Great Synagogue on Sukkot
Chabad of Rechavia

You could hear the music pounding at least three blocks away, insistent, leibedik, pulling passersby towards the synagogue as if with silver laughter.

Thousands spent half the night Sunday evening dancing in the courtyard of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue at a Simchat Beit HaSho'eva celebration, organized by Chabad of Rechavia.

Simchat Beit HaSho'eva, celebrated during the interim days of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, commemorates the Water Drawing Ceremony that was performed in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem on the night before sacrifices were offered. The water was drawn from the Shiloach spring, with great celebration, singing and dancing, in a ritual called “the joy of the drawing” – Simchat Beit HaSho'eva.”

The site, located close to the new Chabad-Lubavitch center in the “Windmill of Rechavia” was a perfect hotspot, centrally located on King George Street near major Jewish organizations, government leaders' residences and shopping havens.

To top it off, Chabad-Lubavitch emissary Rabbi Yisroel Goldberg hired veteran jazz rockers Yossi and Avi Piamenta and their band to set the streets and the souls of the crowd on fire.

In addition to the thousands of people dancing in the courtyard, those who were taking a break from the festivities were able to peruse works by New York artist Itshak Holtz displayed in a special exhibit on the first floor of the synagogue.

Holtz, whose oil paintings focus on Jewish subjects, told Arutz Sheva during the celebration that he and his wife made aliyah from Manhattan about a year and a half ago.