Don’t Drop the Torah!




Sun Oct 9 

11:30 am – 1:30 pm PT

An Online Multimedia Event for Simhath Torah, Teaching the Lively Songs and Ancient Customs from Iraq

The ancient Iraqi Jewish community has many distinct traditions for the holiday of Simhath Torah – such as singing lively call-and-response songs, ululating, throwing candies, and snapping loudly with the two index fingers together. (It’s quite different, and much louder, than the Western way!) Unlike the Central/Eastern European Jewish community, which has a tradition of drinking and dancing around with the Torah, the Iraqi community does neither – and actually prohibits dancing with the Torah, out of respect for its sacredness and caution about dropping it. Ticket price for this two-hour event includes free gifts, exclusive access, and a 15% storewide discount on KHAZZOOM – all to deepen your Jewish multicultural knowledge and celebration, before and after the program. 

What You’ll Experience

In this egalitarian, all-inclusive, multimedia class – which you can participate in fully, without prior knowledge of Hebrew, Judaism, or Middle East culture – you’ll experience the following:

  • Learn energetic Simhath Torah songs from Iraq.
  • Learn basic Middle Eastern drum rhythms.
  • Learn to ululate.
  • Learn the Iraqi pronunciation of Hebrew, which preserves the original, distinct sounds between the letters
  • Learn about the Iraqi Torah – which predated and is distinct from the Ashkenazi Torah.
  • Enjoy captivating personal stories from Simhath Torah in the Iraqi Jewish community – including the story of a feminist uprising in the women’s section, during one fine Simhath Torah service.

What You’ll Get

The fee for this workshop includes this bundle of gifts:

  • Free digital copy of Ancestral Ways II: Iraqi Simhath Torah Songs, an acappella album filled with the classic Iraqi call-and-response songs taught in this class – developed for your continued learning after the class. This album is available exclusively to class participants and KHAZZOOM patrons, and will not be released to the general public.
  • Free customized song book, with English transliterations in the authentic Iraqi pronunciations – a companion to the album, featuring the songs we learn in the class, for your continued learning after the event.
  • Free digital copy of Iraqis in Pajamas debut album, which includes the full band performance of “Conformity,” incorporating the classic Simhath Torah song, “Eli Eli Lama.”
  • Free digital copy of The Flying Camel: Essays on Identity by Women of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish Heritage, the first anthology by Jewish women of color
  • 15% storewide discount off all products in the KHAZZOOM online store.
  • KHAZZOOM program participant code for access to Ancestral Ways: Iraqi High Holiday Hits – a double-album album  featuring 20 tracks of 10 classic Iraqi High Holiday prayers, first sung a cappella style, in the original version, then sung improvisationally with crystal singing bowls – for use in meditation, yoga, sacred sance practice and so on. This album is not available to the general public