Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Simchat Torah: The End Leads To The Beginning

Jewish Holidays


Dancing With The Torah
Photo Credit: Reuters
SourceIBTimes


The Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah ( שִׂמְחַת תּוֹרָה, “rejoicing with the Torah”), is the only time that all of the Torah scrolls are removed from the ark, and as the Chabad-Lubavitch site puts it, “The joyous climax of Simchat Torah is the dancing of hakafot (lit. ‘circles’), during which we dance and sing with the Torah scrolls.” Dancing with the Torahs, as in keeping with this joyous event, is common in most synagogues around the world—as these two photos show, including the one above in stylized form that shows the energy of the hakafot.

In Judaism, all endings have new beginnings. At the morning’s synagogue service, the last parshah reading, Vezot Haberakhah, at the end of Deuteronomy (33:1-34:12), will be immediately followed by the beginning of the Torah reading cycle, the first parshah reading, Bereishit, in the Book of Genesis (1:1-2:3). Most people prefer beginnings.

Tuesday night, after sunset (7:32 p.m. EDT here in Toronto), ends the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah and the holiday period initiated by Rosh HaShanah a little more three weeks ago.

Dancing With The Torah
Photo Credit: Reuters
SourceIBTimes