Chords from the piano drifted through the house, filling every corner with the melody that Sarah was playing. Her mother walked by and smiled at her oldest daughter. It was a week before Sarah was to take her Grade 8 piano exam, and she was practicing intensively every evening.

Rina, Sarah's younger sister, lay on the couch nearby, her eyes closed as she listened. She was supposed to be correcting her sister's mistakes, but being unable to read music or play an instrument herself, there was little she could do unless her sister went blatantly wrong. It was pointless trying to explain this to Sarah, who was feeling rather high-strung with all the pre-exam stress, and Rina refusing to listen to the practice sessions would have only made Sarah more upset. Besides, Rina thought to herself, the music is very pleasant and relaxing—much better than math homework...

The night before the exam, the Cohen family sat together for dinner. Sarah was looking very pleased with herself. "This is it!" she exclaimed. "In twenty-four hours, I will be done with piano! Forever!"

Her brother Dan looked up in surprise. "But you have been playing your whole life! Don't you think it's a bit… wasteful?" Sarah shrugged. She had only been thinking about finishing, not about what would happen afterwards.

"Anyway," Rina interjected, "we were just learning in school about the holiday of Simchat Torah, and maybe you should think about what that means for you." Sarah laughed. "My, my, look at all these bossy younger siblings I have. Don't you think I can make my own decisions about my piano playing?!" After a moment, she asked, "What do you mean about Simchat Torah, Rina?"

Rina looked up from her plate, where she had been busy twirling spaghetti around her fork. "Whatever... Mrs. Lieder, our Hebrew teacher, was telling us that even though we conclude the whole Torah on Simchat Torah, we don't stop then, but begin again right away, with Bereshit, the story of creation. That's my favorite part anyway. We're making a project for our classroom wall, and I'll be making the Fourth Day with Leah Green, you know, the creation of the sun, moon, stars, and galaxies. It's going to be really cool. We'll use that shimmery silver paper and Mr. Bentley, the science teacher, will be helping us. Anyway, what she said is when you finish something you just go on and start again—on a new level."

Sarah nodded thoughtfully. "Mmm, maybe you're right. Anyway," she said, pushing a strand of hair out of her face, "your project sounds very neat, and I'm happy to help you a bit, since I'll be having a little extra time after my exam. Not too much, mind you, because I will have to continue practicing my piano..."