By Shea Hecht
After my last Op-Ed article about young Tishrei visitors to Crown Heights, who come and spend the month without a program or supervision, I was deluged with response and feedback.
There were those who reached out to me by e-mail, those who bumped into me in the street and some people who called me by phone. After thanking me for bringing the subject out into the open most people had some variation of the same two questions: A) Did the article help create change? B) What’s going to be with Simchas Bais Hashoeiva? Can we facilitate any change there?
The answer to the first question of did the article create change is unfortunately little – if any. Despite the well-intentioned article and the enthusiastic and positive feedback nothing really changed.
Those parents that were going to take parental responsibility for their children – by seeing to it that their children have proper placement and program – did it; the parents who unfortunately abdicated their parental responsibility in this matter sent their children unattended and unsupervised, anyway.
The answer to the second question regarding Simchas Bais Hashoeiva is as follows: The Rebbe himself instructed, inspired and cheered us on to dance and sing in the streets during the nights of Sukkos to commemorate the Simchas Bais Hashoeiva in Yerushalayim which took place in the streets.
The Mishnah (Sukkah 5-3) says “There was not a courtyard in Jerusalem that was not illuminated by the light of the Beis Hashoeiva.” Every single street and alleyway in the entire city of Yerushalayim was lit up at this time.
Simply understood this was because their celebration was so great they actually lit up the entire city.
I would like to suggest another reason for the city being lit up was because human nature was as human nature is even in the time of the Bais Hamidkdosh.
Those who organized the Simchas Bais Hashoeiva – the Kohanim and Leviim – recognized their responsibility to make sure that no one could hide in their alleyway or get lost in some side street; therefore every street was lit up so that everyone can see who goes where and what’s going on.
Some have said that we should stop the dancing in the streets completely, suggesting that Rshus HaRabim refers to our Shuls … 770 … etc. … but the Rebbe told us specifically to dance in the street.
In other communities around the world dancing was stopped altogether. In my opinion, this too is not the proper approach.
Like the time of the Bais Hamikdosh we have to increase supervision.
I therefore would like to make a suggestion that we move the dancing to the street in front of 770. The women will be able to stand on the plaza and the men will have plenty of dancing space in the service lane.
In that way girls will not enter stores on the men’s side of the street and boys won’t enter stores on the women’s side of the street. The stores will be able to be open and do business as they do during the day.
In addition, those who come join the dancing on Eastern Parkway will be coming for the sole purpose of dancing and Simchas Bais Hashoeiva.
I realize this is not a complete solution. It will, however, be one step in the right direction.
May you all be blessed with a Freilichen Yom Tov.
May we be Zocheh to dance at Simchas Bais Hashoeiva with Moshiach when all the dancing will be with true great holiness.