Anyone who has been in charge of leading Simchat Torah hakafot knows how difficult it is to coordinate songs on the spur of the moment while keeping up the energy. This year I was tasked with creating a song sheet for my synagogue’s Simchat Torah hakafot and while I appreciated the need, I found this particular task somewhat tedious due to word processing and formatting quirks. Since I had some help in terms of song suggestions, I’d like to pay it forward as a public service by sharing my song sheet in Word and Open Document formats.1 This way you’re free to copy, edit, and update as you see fit, though I highly recommend keeping the finished song sheet to at most 2 pages which can be printed as one double-sided sheet.
To explain my song choices, my three main concerns were 1. what has traditionally played best in my congregation 2. helping the coherency by organizing songs into themed hakafot and 3. Picking fewer songs per hakafa in order to have stronger sustained ruach for a shorter time rather than having it peter out towards the end (i.e. leave them wanting more). Your mileage may vary.
Enjoy and Chag Sameach!
- I actually did most of the work in Libre Office which I found to be far more useful for advanced Hebrew typesetting than Word. Plus I still have geek friends who run Linux :-)