Holidays

“Hakafot” (“Circles in the Square”)

June 29, 2006, by

What are Hakafot? On the night preceding Simchat Torah and again the following morning [“they could’ve danced all night!”], Jews all over the world (in Israel, Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are rolled into one) dance joyously with the Torah. Each dance is begun with a circuit of the bimah (the central platform in the […]

Rejoicing With the Torah

June 29, 2006, by

What appears to be the last day of Sukkos, and what in the Diaspora is the “second” day of Shmini Atzeres, is called Simchas Torah, literally “the joy of/over Torah.” On every Shabbos during the year we read a portion of the Torah (The Pentateuch), called a “Parsha.” Simchas Torah is the day we complete […]

Parshat V’zot Habracha

June 29, 2006, by

On Simchas Torah, we read Parshas V’zos ha-Bracha. At first glance, it seems only appropriate that this portion be read, as the very foundation of Simchas Torah is the siyum (completion) of the Torah. However, if we probe a bit further, we will see that V’zos ha-Bracha is quite unusual. V’zos ha-Bracha is a parsha […]

Simchat Torah – Rejoicing with the Torah

June 29, 2006, by

What is Simchat Torah? The holiday of Simchat Torah is a great invention of the Jewish People in their Exile. It celebrates the completion of and the beginning of the “Reading of the Torah.” What do you mean “invention?” Since the Shmini Atzeret-Simchat Torah Holiday has no intrinsic Mitzvot, but is a celebration of the […]

Simchat Torah

June 26, 2006, by

The holiday of Simchat Torah is a great invention of the Jewish People in their Exile. It celebrates the completion of and the beginning of the “Reading of the Torah.” Since the Shmini Atzeret-Simchat Torah Holiday has no intrinsic Mitzvot, but is a celebration of the relationship between G-d and Israel, the Jewish People created […]