The first Simchat Torah celebrated in Israel since the proclamation of statehood was marked by enthusiastic gatherings throughout the country. Recent Israeli victories in the Negev enhanced the festivities of the traditionally gay “Rejoining of the Law” holiday.
Large crowds of old and young, carrying Scrolls of the Law and holiday banners, danced in Tel Aviv’s main streets. Onlookers joined in the singing of religious and patriotic songs.
At the height of the festivities, a throng marched to Premier David Ben Gurion’s residence, where Henry Morgenthau Jr., general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal who last night returned here from a visit to Jerusalem’s front lines, was visiting. Both Ben Gurion and Morgenthau came outside and, with Torahs in their arms, joined the crowds in the Simchat Torah dances.
The Israeli Premier later told the celebrants that the government is planning to construct synagogues throughout Israel. He said this was particularly important in view of the large numbers of future immigrants who will need facilities for religious worship. Mr. Morgenthau, after concluding his dance to the cheers of the spectators, could he seen wiping tears from his eyes.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.