2nd Night Hakafot in Givat Shmuel
2nd Night Hakafot in Givat Shmuel Yoni Kempinski

When former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau's father in law, Rabbi Yedidia Frankel was chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, he began the custom of repeating Simchat Torah Hakafot [the dancing with the Torahs, ed.] shortly after the Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah holiday ended. They were dubbed Hakafot Shniot, second hakafot.

The original idea was to show solidarity with Diaspora communities which have two days added on at the end of the Sukkot holiday, one day of Shmini Atzeret and one day of  Simchat Torah, while in Israel the two are combined into just one day. The Hakafot Shniot were planned to coincide with Simchat Torah night in the Diaspora.

The many tourists who come to Israel for the Sukkot holiday must keep the two days version according to halakha. Having another round of Hakafot and dancing with the Torah after the havdalah (separation) prayer that ends the holiday, enabled them to celebrate as they did when at home, while allowing Israelis to dance with live music as the holiday is over for them. 

The idea caught on and now, Hakafot Shniot take place all over Israel with live bands, singers and recorded music. 

Arutz Sheva went to the young, national religious urban communities of Petach Tikva and Givat Shmuel to bring you the joy of Hakafot Shniot..

Youth also go to development towns and areas needing complements to their local population in order to encourage people to dance at the Hakafot Shniot. The following photographs are from the National Union Young Leadership's 2nd Hakafot in Natzrat Eilit:

צילום: הלל מאיר

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