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Essays on the significance of the joyous holiday of Simchat Torah, and its modern-day relevance.

Insights & Essays

Insights & Essays

Timely Messages & Thoughts

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Is Simchat Torah off the map?
The sequence of festivals makes sense only once you look beneath the surface. For Simchat Torah, very deeply.
On the absurdity of Simchat Torah
Books are for reading. For understanding. For discussing. Dancing? Really? Does anybody do this?
For seven days of Sukkot, Jews walk around in circles, carrying an assortment of green and yellow flora. Then, on Simchat Torah, they dance in circles carrying Hebrew scrolls, working up to a frenzy.
At times G‑d assumes a posture of justice, and at times He assumes a only posture of kindness.
Why a circle dance? Why move in such a way that you don’t get any further than when you started?
The Tahaluchah Experience
It’s Yom Tov, and scores of Chabad chassidim are leaving the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn on foot—some walking as far as Queens and Upper Manhattan! No, it’s not some fitness craze. It’s Tahaluchah.
I was wondering, what’s the connection between stuffed cabbage and Simchat Torah? Or is it just something my mom did?
One holiday or two? Do we eat in the Sukkah? What are we celebrating?
On Yom Kippur, G‑d forgives us. A week and a half later, it is time to celebrate the atonement we've attained, time to rejoice with "the second tablets."
As in a marriage, when the wedding-party is over, the couple's true intimate life begins. Shemini Atzeret is described as the "time of intimacy with the Divine." At this time, we ask for rain - the symbol of intimacy between heaven and earth.
"I love my wife," said Berl. "That's why I do everything she asks me to do. She says, 'Berl, please take out the garbage,' and right away, I take out the garbage." We all agreed that Berl loves his wife.
Why do we celebrate our relationship with the Torah on Simchat Torah, and not on Shavuot, the day we received the Torah?
The breaking of the Tablets? I thought we were past that? That was the beginning of the journey, 94 days ago. This was supposed to be its culmination! Are we turning the clock back?
Why celebrate our connection to the Torah more than four months after the date when it was given?
The source for our happiness on Simchat Torah, the center of attention, is of course the Torah. Yet, throughout the entire Hakkafos celebrations, the Torah is never opened...
Do you work in order to holiday, or do you holiday in order to work?
When we lift our feet, committing ourselves to one more good deed, our minds, and the Torah we are holding, are also able to dance...
Please take a few moments to mentally fill out this form. Please think neatly and clearly, so that your answers are thinkable and organized.
Before we roll back the Torah to Bereishit, let us reflect for a moment on Moses' final words: "Fortunate are you, O Israel…"
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