"I vote posuk!" one woman shouted. And so it was. They'll pay me whatever whenever, with any overage going straight to the shul.
After the last letters were filled in, with everyone who bought something standing next to the scribe as he filled in a letter and getting their pictures taken, we turned on the boom boxes and, with the sefer torah under a chuppah, paraded out of the synagogue and into the streets. We'd cleared the route with the police, and walked down residential streets. People came out of their houses to watch, and some to join in the parade, including two of the ladies from my group.
When we got back to the shul, the other sefrei torah came out to meet the new one, and we danced in the courtyard. I made a point of taking Lenore's hands (Lenore and her husband Jack were the sponsors) and dancing with her in the center of the circle of women - she's the "kallah" (bride), after all. And then we brought it in.
Things got a tad confused because all the tables for the lunch had been set, bunched up in the women's section. And some of the women and children decided it was a buffet (It looked nothing like a buffet) and started to eat. Which means they took plates from place settings, and, well, it wasn't nice. I can see feeding hungry kids, but adults couldn't wait five minutes until we finished reading some psalms and set the tables up?
Anyway, that part was over, the caterers, with help from shul people, set up the tables and chairs, and it happened that the seats we grabbed at random were at the same table as our rabbi and rebbitzen, which was a pleasure. We did save seats for other people (using my purse, my knitting bag and my waist pouch), but after awhile, we gave up. Food was lovely - smoked fish, salads, cream cheese plus a hot station with eggs, pancakes and french toast. And the speeches were lovely, with our rabbi being eloquent about poetry and song.
It was a completely joyous occasion, and a marvelous way to start out the holiday season.