Simchat Torah

Amongst the many beautiful customs of the holiday of Simchat Torah, there are two that I would like to emphasize at this time.

The first is that of every Jewish man being called up to the Torah (an “aliya”). (Through him, his entire family is given an aliya.) Although this involves much time and one might think that it would be improper to delay the prayers of the entire congregation, for this reason, this practice is followed. Why? Because it is the genuine desire of each member of the community that every person present to receive an aliya.

In other words, every Jew is connected, every Jew wants to share in another Jew’s simcha – rejoicing, no Jew really minds being “put out” a little for the good and well-being of his fellow Jew. And all of this can be seen through the custom of each Jew receiving an aliya on Simchat Torah.

Another custom of the holiday is that of dancing with the Torah. A beautiful vignette is told about the Baal Shem Tov during the dancing on Simchat Torah one year. In a state of ecstasy, the Baal Shem Tov called out, “Israel, you holy people. What is the cause of your great joy? It is our holy Torah! Do the other nations ever rejoice while holding their sacred books? And what kind of parties do they throw in the time of their rejoicing? And we, the Jewish people, where do you find us in the season of our rejoicing? Inside the synagogues. And why are we dancing and singing? In honour of the holy Torah. When are we united, as one person with one heart? On Simchat Torah! Therefore, I say to you, Israel, my holy people! This day is a triple joy – the joy of the Torah, the joy of the Jewish people, and the joy of the Holy One Blessed Be He.”

United as one, with a triple joy, may we dance and sing and march to the Redemption with Moshiach NOW!!!