The first time I ever wore a tallit, and the first time I held--or even touched--a sefer Torah was on Simchat Torah, four or five years ago. I had danced, awkwardly and self-consciously, a little bit during the previous Simchat Torah. But I never went near the scroll, the holiest of objects, because I didn't think I had the right. I hadn't been a very good Jew, hadn't really cared about any of this stuff for years, and had only the vaguest idea about what was going on. Standing close to a Torah, let alone waving it in the air for all to see, didn't seem like an honor worthy of someone so ignorant.
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