Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah – Joy is a Power

The month of Tishrei is rich with festivals and special moments: Rosh Hashona, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Chol Hamoed: an abundance of festivals. Why do we need another holiday — Simchat Torah? Our sages give a parable: It is like a king who made a feast for a week and invited all the citizens in his land. Once it was over, he told his beloved friend: “We fulfilled our obligation to the citizens. Now let us, just me and you, sit together and have a simple repast from whatever we find to celebrate our friendship.”

Similarly, during the the seven days of Sukkot, we brought down abundance and blessing to the entire world (which is why they sacrificed 70 cows corresponding to the 70 nations in the Temple during Sukkot). Now, on the eighth day, G-d told His beloved, the Jewish people: “Now let us have a little meal just between Me and you.”

The Midrash adds that G-d tells the Jews, “It is difficult now that you are going” and therefore He gave us another festival day when we can express our happiness with each other. Simchat Torah is unique and there is no parallel to it anywhere in the world.

We are acquainted with festivals celebrated by other nations. There are holidays connected to rain, sun, the seasons, and success of crops, the birth of a founder, but there is no festival that celebrates receiving a book. Where else will you find crowds of people rejoicing and dancing until they are exhausted, only because of the fact that they have a “Book”? 

Us Jews rejoice because we have this Book, and this joy encompasses the entire people. We rejoice because in the merit of this Book, we are what we are. Our joy on Simchat Torah shows us how much our soul absorbed the lessons of the other festivals during the month of  Tishrei.
All the spiritual wealth we received must be baked in the oven of joy. First we picked up the spiritual abundance for the nitty-gritty day-to-day throughout the year and now have to add the crowning touch of joy.  Fear of heaven — with joy. Repentance — with joy. Prayers — with joy.  Fulfilling commandments — with joy. This is the stamp that Simchat Torah leaves on the Tishrei festivals, and with this special aura, we bid the holiday season farewell and begin a new year of life and service of G-d. 

Another thing that is emphasized in this holiday — the inner unity of all parts of the Jewish people. During the year there is a difference between one Jew and another. This one is a Torah scholar and this one is an ignoramus. This one is particular in fulfilling commandments and this one barely keeps some traditions. But on Simchat Torah, all unite.

Everyone dances with the Torah scroll without there being any difference between one Jew and another. Everyone is equally joyous and dances together and expresses their deep connection to the Torah together. This connection unites all parts of the people.

Rejoicing is our secret weapon against the different challenges that confront us. Even joy in the face of the enemy. Through joy, we will make the partitions fall.

And through joy, we will overcome the waves of cynicism and biases that sweep over us. Through joy, we will stand up to our enemies’ intrigues from within and without. Not for nothing was it said about joy that it breaks through fences and boundaries. It’s impossible to withstand Jews who are shining with true joy and it’s worthwhile remembering that happiness is also a gift from heaven.

To be truly joyous, we need G-d’s blessing to open up for us His gate of happiness. Now is the time. On Simchat Torah, the wellsprings of joy open up and whoever wants is invited to draw bucketfuls and barrelfuls of joy for the entire year. This day of Simchat Torah contains an abundance of blessings and joy.

The great chassidic leaders said that all those things that we can achieve on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur through weeping and a broken heart, we can achieve on Simchat Torah through joy and dancing.

They also said that these moments of Simchat Torah are very precious and in each one of them one can acquire treasures. So let us equip ourselves with joy and through its power let us go out united and full of hope for the challenges awaiting us. 

May we merit soon to dance with joy with our righteous Moshiach at the genuine and complete Redemption.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button