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Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah


Editor's Note: My Most Memorable Simchat Torah. Ever.

Dear Friend,

On Simchat Torah, I usually put on comfortable shoes for hours of dancing and lively festivities. My most memorable Simchat Torah, though, was spent in a quiet hospital room. In the wee hours of the night, my husband softly sang a holiday tune and danced around the narrow space, our hours-old firstborn son gently cradled in his arms.

Simchat Torah marks the conclusion of the yearly Torah-reading cycle, and immediately afterward, the beginning of the new cycle. At this auspicious time, it seems appropriate to utilize every moment for marathon Torah-study sessions and inspiring classes. Why is it that we spend hours singing and dancing?

The chassidic masters explain that we dance with Torah scrolls rolled tightly closed, for the Torah belongs to every Jew equally, no matter one’s level of scholarship. We dance together as equals, learned scholar and newborn infant alike. The Torah is the priceless heritage of every Jew, and we all celebrate G‑d’s precious gift together.

This year, join a local Simchat Torah celebration, and rejoice in your inheritance. And then take a few minutes to become better acquainted with the Torah, at a local Torah class or (after the holiday) on It’s yours, after all. Embrace it!

Rochel Chein,
Responder for Ask the Rabbi @

P.S.: Do you have a favorite Simchat Torah memory? Please share it by leaving a comment.

Simchat Torah Toolkit
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Sure there are the Torahs and prayers, but there is also dancing, singing, tomfoolery, and snacking in the synagogue.
What Happens on Hoshana Rabbah
G‑d told Abraham: “If atonement was not granted to your children on Rosh Hashanah, I will grant it on Yom Kippur; if atonement was not attained on Yom Kippur, it will be given on Hoshana Rabbah.”
Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah
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The Holiday That Doesn’t Fit

Is Simchat Torah off the map?
In My Creator’s Arms

How can I, a wife and mother of four, who works with many wonderful women and has many wonderful friends, thank G‑d, dare to say that at times, yes, I feel so, so alone?
Your Questions
Why Eat Stuffed Cabbage on Simchat Torah?

I was wondering, what’s the connection between stuffed cabbage and Simchat Torah? Or is it just something my mom did?
How to React When Someone Hurts Your Feelings

Strange things happen when we get hurt . . .
Why Rabbi Meir Danced

The joy of serving G‑d during a tragedy is no match for the joy of the holidays.
5 Ways to Repurpose Those Leftovers!

Easy ways to stretch and repurpose your leftovers into new, delicious dishes that you can serve proudly.
Inside the Sukkah

Jewish News
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Discussion series focuses on those who left the city, those who have moved in, and why.
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Only Surviving Boy Born in Auschwitz, Now 70, Puts on Tefillin for the First Time

Traveling in Hungary, Chabad rabbinical students help a unique Holocaust survivor mark a milestone
If only we could kiss a Torah-scroll with the same love that my master (Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov) kissed the children when he took them to school as a teacher's assistant
— Rabbi DovBer of Mezeritch