1. Simchas Torah represents the ultimate expression of happiness. In general, the holidays are described as “festivals for rejoicing.” In particular, Sukkos is referred to as “the season of our rejoicing.” After seven days of celebrating this holiday, we must rise to a new level of happiness on Shemini Atzeres.1

This is particular appropriate in the present year which is a year when, “I will show you wonders,” an increase over 5750, which was “a year of miracles.” This implies that although in the previous year, we already went beyond our limits, an even higher level of transcendence is possible this year. This has been revealed in Eretz Yisrael where we have seen great miracles. Events that at the outset looked foreboding have provided great benefit for the Jewish people.

There is a possibility that G‑d “performs great wonders alone,” i.e., as our Sages explain, miracles occur, but “the person to whom the miracle occurs does not appreciate it.” The miracles of the present time, however, have been openly revealed. Accordingly, they should be associated with complete happiness.

This happiness should be enhanced by the fact that these miracles have been enclothed in the natural order and, indeed, associated with the conduct of gentile nations. This reflects the contrast between the miracles of Chanukah and Purim. The miracle of Chanukah was purely spiritual in nature, while the miracle of Purim was enclothed in the material nature of the world. For this reason, the happiness of Purim is greater, reaching the level of Ad d’lo yoda, beyond our understanding.

Our happiness should also be increased due to the fact that several hours of Simchas Torah have already passed and we have already recited Kerias Shema.2 This happiness should be shared by children as well,3 girls as well as boys. Indeed, children through their happiness can teach adults, even elders with grey beards. We see that a young girl was brought from the women’s section to the Simchas Torah farbrengen and her singing and dancing had an influence on many.

May this be a year of happiness, particularly so, since we are proceeding from Simchas Beis HaShoeivah which was celebrated in a manner which “made the street dance,” here in Crown Heights (a name associated with kingship4 ), the neighborhood where “G‑d commanded blessing to be,” and in other places to which this happiness was spread.

May this happiness lead to the ultimate redemption when we will proceed to Jerusalem, to the Beis HaMikdash, and even to5 the Holy of Holies.6 May this lead to the ultimate happiness when G‑d will “make a dance for the righteous” when Mashiach comes. Indeed, Israel — the entire Jewish people — will dance together with G‑d.

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2. It is customary to explain the verses of Atah Horaisa. Just as the verses of Malchiyos, Zichronos, and Shofros bring proof from the Torah regarding the service of Rosh HaShanah, the verses of Atah Horaisa bring proof from the Torah regarding the celebrations of Simchas Torah.

It is Chabad custom to recite these verses three times. Furthermore, there are three occasions when these verses are recited — Shemini Atzeres night, Simchas Torah night, and Simchas Torah day. This reflects the unique nature of this year which involves three different three day continuums of holiness.7

Atah Horaisa means “You,” G‑d’s essence, have revealed Yourself so that we will know You. G‑d’s essence which is by nature above revelation, indeed, above all of G‑d’s names, is revealed. As the Alter Rebbe writes in Torah Or, “G‑d’s name is frequently mentioned by all;” i.e., all, even young children appreciate G‑d’s essence.

The verse continues, “The L‑rd is G‑d (Y‑H‑V‑H is E‑lohim).” E‑lohim refers to the G‑dliness manifest in nature, Y‑H‑V‑H, G‑d’s essential name. “Y‑H‑V‑H is E‑lohim” means that the name Y‑H‑V‑H is revealed in the creation stemming from the name E‑lohim.

This leads to “There is none else aside from Him.” This reflects a deeper union than the verse, “There is nothing else.” The latter verse reflects that there is no existence at all but G‑d. However, by adding the words “aside from You,” our verse implies that “with G‑d,” there can be existence, i.e., that G‑d’s essence can be revealed within our material reality.

This leads to the next verse of Atah Horaisa which concludes, ki l’olam chasdo, which in addition to the simple meaning, “His kindness is everlasting,” can be interpreted, “His kindness [is extended] to the world.” G‑d’s infinite and unbounded kindness is reflected in the world and is perceived by human intellect. Although our intellects are limited,8 we can appreciate that, “There is none like You among the supernal beings, my L‑rd, nor any deeds like Yours” (the following verse in the Atah Horaisa). We can appreciate G‑d’s creative power in the creations.

The Atah Horaisa continues, “May the glory of the L‑rd be forever (also, allowing for the meaning, “to the world”); may the L‑rd find delight in His works.” This relates to the happiness of “the season of our rejoicing,” that G‑d also rejoices, as it were.

The Atah Horaisa continues, “May the name of the L‑rd be blessed forever and ever.” The Hebrew word mevorach interpreted as “blessed,” also has the connotation, “extended.”

The above applies to the world at large. In particular, there is a special influence for the Jewish people, as implied by the verse, (the following verse in the Atah Horaisa), “May the L‑rd, our G‑d, be with us as He was with our fathers....” G‑d is together with every Jew regardless of his level of service of G‑d and he has the promise, “He will not forsake us or abandon us.”9

This represents the situation of a Jew in exile. The Atah Horaisa continues, however, “Say: Help us, G‑d of our salvation, gather us and deliver us from among the nations...” reflecting the ultimate ingathering of exiles that will take place in the Messianic age.

This leads to the next verse of Atah Horaisa, “The L‑rd is King; the L‑rd was King, the L‑rd will be King forever and ever,” the revelation of G‑d’s Kingship in the world. This leads to the next verse of Atah Horaisa, “The L‑rd will give strength to His people, the L‑rd will bless His people with peace.” G‑d grants His people the strength to receive all the blessings of the Messianic age. This comes through peace, “the receptacle for blessing.”

Furthermore, as implied by the next verse of Atah Horaisa which states, “May our words find favor before the Master of all things,” this is accomplished by our own efforts. Wherever a Jew goes, the ark which contains the Torah in which G‑d invested Himself accompanies him. Thus, as the next verses of Atah Horaisa state, “Whenever the ark set out...” and “Ascend... You and the ark of Your might.”

This leads to the next verse of Atah Horaisa, “May Your priests be garbed with righteousness...” This implies that G‑d’s righteousness is drawn down according to the limits of the world. This reflects the difference between a garment which is appropriate to a person’s measure and a house which is not.

This leads to the next verse of Atah Horaisa, “For the sake of David, Your servant, do not turn away [the pleas of] Your anointed.” “David, the King of Israel, is living and enduring.” This is relevant to every Jew because the existence of the entire people is their king.

This leads to the next verse of Atah Horaisa, “It will be said on that day: Behold, this is our G‑d.” “On that day,” refers to the Messianic age. May this be revealed today and thus, every Jew will point to G‑d and say, “This is our G‑d.” This is reflected in G‑d’s deliverance in His granting us health and sustenance and, we will “rejoice and delight in His deliverance.” This implies, not the “rejoicing in trembling” that characterizes the service of Rosh HaShanah, but open and revealed happiness.

Through the Jews’ service, as the next verse of Atah Horaisa states, “Your Kingship is a kingship over all worlds, and Your dominion is throughout all generations.” “Kingship” implies that the Jews have been able to effect a willful acceptance of G‑d’s will. Even when that has not been done, “Your dominion is in all generations,” even those whose spiritual level is low.

This leads to the time when as the next verse of Atah Horaisa states, “For from Zion shall go forth the Torah; and the word of L‑rd from Jerusalem,” when every Jew will rejoice, dancing together with G‑d’s essence, “Israel and their king alone,” singing a Simchas Torah niggun like this one:

[The Rebbe Shlita began his father’s hakkafos niggun, standing and dancing in his place.]