In a normal year, I would use this article on the Friday before Simchat Torah to encourage everyone to go to synagogue. I would tell you to bring your children. I would tell you that it is one of my two favorite holidays to celebrate with the community and how much fun it is.
If this were a normal year, I would spend today in the kitchen preparing for tonight’s Shabbat/Yom Tov dinner to be enjoyed with my extended family crowded into my sukkah. Tomorrow night, I would be dancing in shul with my community and our Torah. Sunday morning, I’d be back in shul for more celebration.
Of course, it’s not a normal year. I will not be cooking today because I still have no power from Wednesday’s storm. I have no extended family visiting because of COVID concerns. I no longer have a kosher sukkah, again, because of the storm (so, peanut butter and jelly on challah by candlelight at the dining room table with the immediate family). We will not be encouraging hordes of people to congregate in the synagogues. (Although, I will encourage everyone to check out what the synagogues are doing to celebrate.)
No, not a normal year.
Update: As we are about to go to print, my power just went on.
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