After posting last year about a negative experience at an unnamed large Reform synagogue on Simchat Torah, it's only fair that I acknowledge that this experience isn't typical of all large Reform synagogues in NYC. I went to Central Synagogue on Friday night (since they were doing "Simchat Torah" that night, unlike other places that either observe two days of yom tov, or usually observe one day but have no spine at this time of year), and had no difficulty getting in. They looked through my bag, which is understandable, but didn't ask me what I was doing there, ask me whether I was a member, ask for ID (which I didn't have on me anyway), or anything else. Kudos to Central Synagogue. I didn't hear the end and beginning of the Torah there, since I had to get back to the 'hood to celebrate with the future chatan and kallah, but that's my own issue, not theirs.
Otherwise I did the usual, doing yom tov stuff on yom tov, and then celebrating afterwards with the Torah even though it wasn't yom tov. Really, if the community wants to get together and celebrate Torah ("chavurat tzedek eidah zo ha-me'usharah, zekeinim un'arim yachad bechol shurah, kevutzim poh hayom lesimchat torah"), even though it's not yom tov, who am I to argue? They're not hurting anyone. As someone said last night, this was one rocking melaveh malkah. And there is precedent for having a big party after the conclusion of yom tov.
Since today was Sunday, I didn't have to work, so I heard the end and beginning of the Torah at the dar. Just for fun, at one of the many Torah reading stations, we revived an ancient practice and did two aliyot with line-by-line translation into Aramaic! It would have been a whole round of Vezot Haberachah (or should I say, Veda Virketa), but we quickly realized that Onkelos was too verbose. The problem is that no one understands what Vezot Haberachah is talking about, so Onkelos wasn't merely translating, but taking twice as many words to explain what (he thought) it meant.
Question for the armchair posekim of the blogosphere: Everyone who wanted an aliyah this morning got one. Since I (very openly) observe one day of yom tov, would it have been appropriate for me to take one? Why or why not? To keep you unbiased, I won't say what I actually did.