After Ma'ariv, all the Torah Scrolls are removed from the ark and seven circles are made around the bimah with them. The congregation dances before the Torah scrolls with intense joy, praying that G‑d remember the merit of the "seven faithful shepherds," the ushpizin,and that the supplications of the people pierce the seven heavens to ascend before the Throne of Glory. The same practice is followed after Shacharit in the morning. In many Sephardic communities, it is also customary to follow this practice at Minchah and Ma'ariv at the conclusion of the day.

Some have the tradition of placing a lit candle - symbolizing the light of the Torah - into the ark after the Torah scrolls have been removed, so that the aron not be devoid of light.

In many communities it is customary to read the Torah on the evening of Shemini Atzeret[or on Simchat Torah outside the Land of Israel] - the only time of the year when the Torah is read at night. There are various customs as to the portion to be read.

The Torah reading at Shacharit is the last portion in the Torah: v'Zot haBerachah (Devarim 33:1-34:12). It is customary that every male congregant is called up to the Torah on this day. Hence, the portion is read a number of times. The reading is concluded with calling up three people for aliyot which are unique to this day. An adult is called for Kol ha-Ne'arim [all the children] and reads the next to the last part of the portion. Customarily, all of the children in the synagogue stand by his together with him. After the concluding berachah, all of the adults recite the prayer of ha-Malach ha-Go'el.

For the concluding aliyah of the portion, the Rabbi or most distinguished person in the congregation is called. The one called up is referred to as the chatan Torah [the bridegroom of the Torah]. When he concludes the reading of the last words of the Torah, the entire congregation proclaims aloud: "Chazak, chazak, v'nitchazek - Be strong, be strong, and may we be strengthened!" - the traditional praise recited at the conclusion of the reading of each of the Five Books of the Torah.

Afterwards, another person is called up for the reading of the first portion of Bereshit. The person given this honor is referred to as the chatan Bereshit [the bridegroom of the beginning of the Torah].

The Torah reading concludes with the calling up of the maftir sometimes referred to as the chatan maftir - who reads the portion from the portion of Pinchas which speaks about the additional offering brought on this day.

It is customary for the chatan Torah to invite the entire congregation to a festive Kiddush to celebrate Simchat Torah.