As the name reveals, Simchat Torah is a time to celebrate God’s Word. On Simchat Torah, Jewish communities celebrate the gift of the Torah and its role in religious life with joyful acknowledgement and meaningful rituals. On this holiday we celebrate the completion of the yearly cycle. In many congregations, one deviation from an otherwise ordinary holiday morning service is the performance of the Priestly Blessing as part of the Shacharit service, before the celebrations connected with the Torah reading begin, rather than as part of the Musaf service that follows. Elie Wiesel related the difficulties and meaning of Simhat Torah in times of terrible adversity: The Gaon of Vilna said that ve-samachta be-chagekha (You shall rejoice in your festival; Deuteronomy 16:14) is the most difficult commandment in the Torah. In northern European countries, those who had finished the reading of Deuteronomy made donations to the synagogue, after which the wealthier members of the community would give a dinner for friends and acquaintances. Simchat Torah is a component of the Biblical Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret ("Eighth Day of Assembly"), which follows immediately after the festival of Sukkot in the month of Tishrei (occurring in mid-September to early October on the Gregorian calendar). ve-samachta be-chagekha was one commandment that was impossible to observe—yet they observed it. Others hold a series of separate minyanim for the Torah reading. It is a special honor to receive the last aliyah of the Book of Deuteronomy; the person receiving that aliyah is called the Hatan Torah (the groom of the Torah) (or Kallat Torah (the bride of the Torah) in synagogues that allow women to receive an aliyah). The scrolls are carried around the sanctuary in seven circles called hakafot. Simchat Torah or Simhat Torah (Hebrew: שִׂמְחַת תּוֹרָה, lit., "Rejoicing with/of the Torah", Ashkenazi: Simchas Torah) is a Jewish holiday that celebrates and marks the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle. The Torah is the wisdom of G-d as is comes down from the loftiest heights and descends into our material world. Read about Simchat Torah around the world in 2020. Many communities in Israel have Hakafot Shniyot ("Second Hakafot") on the evening following the holiday, which is the same day as Simchat Torah evening in the diaspora. The holiday is best known for the celebration of Simchat Torah (שִׂמְחֵת תּוֹרָה), "Rejoicing of the Torah", when Jews finish the annual cycle of reading the whole Torah out loud in synagogue. Most Conservative congregations still perform it. In the Talmud (Meg. The haftarah (reading from the prophets) is the first section of the Book of Joshua. The part read is usually 33:1–34:12, but may vary by synagogue custom, although Deuteronomy is never read to the end in the evening. Das Lesen der Tora am Festtag Simchat Tora ist eine sehr große Ehre. Final, This page was last edited on 7 January 2021, at 00:42. Simchat Torah is a day-long festival. Since the Bible prohibits Kohanim (descendants of Aaron) from performing the priestly blessing while intoxicated, and there is concern that Kohanim may imbibe alcoholic beverages during the Simhat Torah festivities, the blessing was moved to before the time when alcohol would be served. (In many synagogues, hakafot are conducted also on the eve of Shemini Atzeret.) In a minority of Orthodox congregations women receive aliyot in single-gender tefillah groups (prayer groups consisting only of women, who pray together), and only men are called to the Torah in front of the whole congregation. The custom was started by the former Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, Rabbi Yedidya Frankel.. Each week in synagogue we publicly read a few chapters from the Torah, starting with Genesis Ch. In Orthodox and Conservative communities outside Israel, Shemini Atzeret is a two-day holiday and the Simchat Torah festivities are observed on the second day. In the 17th century, Rebecca bat Meir Tiktiner of Prague composed a poem about Simhat Torah. The vigour of the dancing and degree of festive merriment varies with congregational temperament. Simchat Torah, which comes at the end of Sukkot and is technically its eighth day, marks the end of the yearly cycle of Torah reading, and beginning of a new one. In the 16th century, the practice of taking out the scrolls and filing solemnly around the bimah on the night of the 23rd of Tishri became customary; and on the same evening, after the procession, a number of passages from the Torah were read. Simchat Torah celebrates and marks the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, as well as the beginning of a new cycle.  In some congregations, the Kohanim deliver their blessing as usual during the Musaf service of Simhat Torah. Although each hakafa need only encompass one circuit around the synagogue, the dancing and singing with the Torah often continues much longer, and may overflow from the synagogue onto the streets. Der Feiertag fällt auf das Ende des Sukkot-Festes. During the morning service, the last portion of Deuteronomy is read, and in the evening, the new cycle of yearly Torah readings begins with the first portion of Genesis. 31b) it is called Shemini Atzeret. In Israel and among Diaspora communities that only celebrate one day of holidays, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are celebrated as a combined festival. Simchat Torah, the day after Sukkot is the celebration of the conclusion of the annual cycle of torah readings at which point we immediately start the cycle again with the reading of Bereshis, Genesis.. Get all our Simchat Torah recipe ideas here. Though only seven circles are required, the dancing and celebrating usually goes on much longer. Children are often given flags, candies and other treats. Like Easter, it's a movable feast - which is observed on the 22nd-23rd day of Tishrei. Simchat Torah was also celebrated in a similar way in Melilla. Outside Israel, Simchat Torah is actually the second day of a longer holiday. The morning service, like that of other Jewish holidays, includes a special holiday Amidah, the saying of Hallel, and a holiday Mussaf service. The Darchei Moshe (OC 669:3) cites a responsum from R' Joseph Colon (#26) who found a Geonic responsa mentioning the custom of dancing on Simhat Torah, thus dating the current practice of dancing on Simhat Torah to the 1st century CE. After the hakafot and the dancing, three scrolls of the Torah are read. On each occasion, when the ark is opened, the worshippers leave their seats to dance and sing with the Torah scrolls in a joyous celebration that can last for several hours. To save time, some congregations call people up in groups. The Simhat Torah festivities begin with the evening service. In many congregations, a large talit is spread out over the heads of all the children as the blessing over the Torah is pronounced, and for the congregation to bless the children by reciting (in Hebrew) a verse from Jacob's blessing to Ephraim and Manasseh, Genesis 48:16. Simchat Torah is celebrated by taking all the Torah scrolls out of the ark in synagogue and spending the evening dancing, singing, and rejoicing. There is also a special aliyah for all the children. Simchat Torah means "Rejoicing in the Torah." Congregations may also sing other, popular songs during the dancing.  Dancing in the street with the Torah has become part of the holiday's ritual in various Jewish congregations in the United States as well. The occasion centers around the conclusion of the annual cycle of weekly Torah readings, and the beginning of the next cycle. Literally translated as “Joy of the Torah,” Simchat Torah is a day to rejoice and celebrate the Torah, which is the central body of Jewish Holy Scripture. It is an act that causes the Jew to inherently and naturally observe the Jewish faith. See this link for exact times. What is important in these six decades since I first enjoyed Simchat Torah is that the wonderful ruach-spirit of the holiday has returned to Jews in the USA and everywhere. Reform congregations, even outside Israel, may do likewise. Den Vorleser des letzten Tora-Teils nennt man Chatan Tora, das heißt Bräutigam der Tora. And just as the head benefits from the mobility of the feet, so does the Torah become exalted by the commitment of the Jew.. Rabbinic tradition teaches that Shemini Atzeret is the day when the world is judged for water, or rainfall, in the upcoming year. On the first evening of Simchat Torah, Jews take all the Torah scrolls out of the ark in their synagogue. Likewise, it is a special honor to receive the first aliyah of the Book of Genesis; that person is called Hatan B'reishit (the groom of Genesis) (or Kallat B'reishit (the bride of Genesis)). [dubious – discuss], In the 9th century, some European Jewish communities assigned a special reading from the Prophets to be read on this day. This practice hearkens back to an old custom for the kiddush sponsored by the Hatan Torah (see below) to be held during the Simhat Torah service itself where hard liquor (along with other refreshments) may be served. These two occasions are also observed as two separate days among many Jewish com… Traditionally, Simchat Torah is celebrated immediately after Sukkot. In some congregations, the Torah scrolls are carried out into the streets and the dancing may continue far into the evening. Simchat Torah falls at the end of Sukkot. The name Simhat Torah was not used until a relatively late time. On the Hebrew calendar, the seven-day holiday of Sukkot in the autumn (late mid-September to late mid-October) is immediately followed by the holiday of Shemini Atzeret. Another custom is to call all the children (in Orthodox congregations boys only) to a special aliyah called Kol HaNe'arim ("all the children"). In the morning, the last parashah of Deuteronomy and the first parashah of Genesis are read in the synagogue. We on Simchat Torah finish the reading of the Torah and we begin again a new cycle of the weekly Torah portions. How is Simchat Torah celebrated? In Israel, Shemini Atzeret is celebrated concurrently with Simchat Torah. Only during the war did I understand. Women and older girls often have their own dancing circles sometimes with the Torah scrolls, or look on from the other side of a mechitza (partition), in accordance with the value of tzniut (modesty). 1 and working our way around to Deuteronomy 34. In many congregations it is customary to call all eligible members of the congregation for an aliyah to the Torah on Simhat Torah. , OC אורח חיים תרסט see Mishnah Berurah volume 6 page 272, Maharil, cited in OC Darchei Moshe 669:3), Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Video: Second Round – Post Sukkot Hakafot in Urban Israel", Day to Mark the Departure and Expulsion of Jews from the Arab Countries and Iran, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Simchat_Torah&oldid=998781011, Articles lacking in-text citations from October 2017, Articles with disputed statements from October 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Translation: "Rejoicing with/of the Torah", The culmination of Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret. God loves us so much He gave us His Word! Simchat Torah is the holyday where we finish reading the Torah and start again from the beginning. It is celebrated on the 22nd day of the month of Tishrei. In Orthodox synagogues, the dancing is mainly carried out by men and boys; children (even young girls) may also dance with their fathers.  The Jews of the Soviet Union, in particular, would celebrate the festival en masse in the streets of Moscow. Simchat Torah is directly related to another holiday . In Orthodox as well as many Conservative congregations, this is the only time of year on which the Torah scrolls are taken out of the ark and read at night. It is a joyous time to celebrate the end and the beginning. Outside of Israel, it is celebrated on the 23rd day of Tishrei. Simchat Torah is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the end of the annual cycle of Torah readings, and marks the beginning of a new annual cycle. Though it is a component of Sukkot, people are no longer obligated to eat and sleep in the sukkah, and in fact it is forbidden to do so. That is why each year, it seems like Sukkot concludes in a dizzying, indistinguishable blur of festivities. In Orthodox and Conservative synagogues, the hakafot are accompanied by traditional chants, including biblical and liturgical verses and songs about the Torah, the goodness of God, Messianic yearnings, and prayers for the restoration of the House of David and the Temple in Jerusalem. The passage describes the prescribed offerings performed for the holiday. Enmeshed in the Jewish Fall Festivals, is the holiday Simchat Torah. When the ark is opened to take out the Torah for the Torah reading, all the scrolls are again removed from the ark and the congregation again starts the seven hakafot just like in the evening. Die Vorleser haben an diesem Tag sogar besondere Namen. The last parashah of the Torah, V'Zot HaBerachah, at the end of Deuteronomy (33:1–34:12), is read from the first scroll, followed immediately by the first chapter (and part of the second) of the Book of Genesis (1:1–2:3), which is read from the second scroll. Outside of Israel it is celebrarted on the day after Shmini Atzeret, the 9th day since the inception of Sukkot. Those Jews who, in the course of their journey to the end of hope, managed to dance on Simhat Torah, those Jews who studied Talmud by heart while carrying stones on their back, those Jews who went on whispering Zemirot shel Shabbat (Hymns of Sabbath) while performing hard labor . I could never understand this puzzling remark. On the Hebrew calendar, the seven-day holiday of Sukkot in the autumn (late mid-September to late mid-October) is immediately followed by the holiday of Shemini Atzeret. The first day is referred to as "Shemini Atzeret" and the second day as "Simchat Torah", although both days are officially Shemini Atzeret according to Halakha, and this is reflected in the liturgy. Simchat Torah is actually the second day of the Sh’mini Atzeret festival and is a Yom Tov. In Israel, Simchat Torah is celebrated on the 22nd day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, directly after Sukkot. (In some congregations in Israel, the Kohanim deliver their blessing at both Shacharit and Musaf services.). In 2020, Simchat Torah (which comes on the heels Shemini Atzeret) begins at nightfall on Oct. 10 and ends the following night. The first day is referred to as "Shemini Atzeret" and the second day as "Simchat Torah", although both days are officially Shemini Atzeret according to Halakha, and this is refle… In Israel Simchat Torah is celebrated on Shmini Atzeret, the 8th day since the inception of Sukkot. Learn all about the holiday below. In Orthodox and Conservative Jewish synagogues, each circuit is announced by a few melodious invocations imploring God to Hoshiah Na ("Save us") and ending with the refrain, Aneinu B'yom Koreinu ("[God] answer us on the day we call"). It is celebrated by taking all the Torah … This is thought as an act of submission to the will of God as expressed in the dictates of the Torah. Although Sukkot itself is celebrated from the 15 th of Tishrei until the 21 st of Tishrei, on the 22 nd of the month, we celebrate the holiday known as Shemini Atzeret. All the synagogue's Torah scrolls are removed from the ark and are carried around the sanctuary in a series of seven hakafot (circuits). In Conservative and progressive congregations, men and women dance together. In Chabad Hasidic thought, the traditional dancing with the Torah allows the Jew to act as the "feet" of the Torah, taking the Torah where it wishes to go, as feet transport the head. . the synagogue used this occasion as a fund-raiser. On October 14, 1973, more than 100,000 Jews took part in a post–Simhat Torah rally in New York city on behalf of refuseniks and Soviet Jewry. On Simchat Torah we complete the yearly cycle of Torah readings, and celebrate by dancing with the Torah. Simchat Torah is celebrated after the ending of one cycle and beginning... three hasidic jews - simchat torah stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images The Feast of the Rejoicing of the Torah at the Synagogue in Leghorn, Italy, 1850. An Simchat Tora werden das Ende und auch gleich wieder der Anfang der Tora vorgelesen. . Hakafot on the night of Shmini Atzeret is a custom in some communites, including Chabad. Because Shemini Atzeret is to Succot as 'Atzeret' (the talmudic name for Shavuot) is to Pesach: On Pesach, Israel saw G-d's miracles and fifty days later entered the Contract of the Torah. Outside Israel, Simchat Torah is celebrated on the second day of the holiday. This Crash Course in Jewish Holidays presents them as two separate days. Its name means ‘Happiness (or rejoicing) of the Torah’. The main celebrations of Simchat Torah take place in the synagogue during evening and morning services. Simchat Torah markiert Ende und Anfang des jährlichen Tora-Zyklus. During Simchat Torah (שמחת תורה) the last Torah portion (from Deuteronomy) is read as well as the first verses of the first portion (from Genesis), thereby indicating that Talmud Torah - the study of Torah - never ends.The idea that Torah study is cyclical finds expression in the ritual of dancing around and around the Torah, known as hakkafot (הקפות). During this time, rabbis ceremoniously remove the Torah scrolls from their ark, carry them through the congregation, and read specific passages to close out the old cycle and welcome the new. For each of the Hakafot a single member of the community held the Torah and circled the Teba, while the rest of the congregants singed songs in Hebrew and Ladino in honor of the Tora, from their seats, looking at the Tora with admiration and affection and kissing it from afar. SHEMINI ATZERET . People who made these donations were called up to the Torah and given a congregational blessing. We celebrated Simchat Torah and now it’s time to celebrate FREE WAFFLES!!! Simchat Torah Festivities Festivities begin at the evening service when the doors of the Ark are opened and all of the community’s Torahs are brought out. I still have my Torah and have celebrated the holiday many times with it. In the 20th century, Simhat Torah came to symbolize the public assertion of Jewish identity. Outside of Israel, Simchat Torah is celebrated on the following day. In the 14th century, the reading of Genesis was added immediately upon the completion of Deuteronomy and the Shulhan Arukh (written about 1565) only mentions this without mentioning the presumably later custom of southern European countries to remove all the Torah scrolls from the ark and to sing a separate hymn for each one. WHAT IS SIMCHAT TORAH. Sukkot is a Jewish holiday which is all about giving thanks for the autumn harvest and commemorating the 40 years Israelis spent wandering the desert after leaving slavery in Egypt. Most people outside Israel use the name Shemini Atzeret for the first day only. Simchat Torah: An extremely joyous one-day autumn festival following the holiday of Sukkot. 2. For Christians, this celebration is a wonderful opportunity to recommit ourselves to God and His eternal Word. 3. , In 1996, the Israel Postal Authority issued a postage stamp to honour the holiday. Today, the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah is drawing to a close. It is a Jewish custom that a new beginning must immediately follow a completion, therefore it is logical to immediately read Gen. 1 after finishing Deuteronomy. It is the day of the year that the Torah readings from the scroll are complete and the scroll is then re-rolled to begin again. What is Simchat Torah? Why is Simchat Torah celebrated in Israel on Shemini Atzeret ? The name "Shmini Atzeret" refers to the eighth day, or the extra day, that brings the seven-day Sukkot period to its state of perfection. Simchat Torah is generally celebrated on the same day as Shemini Atzeret in Israel and among Reform Jewish groups. David Geffen is a former Atlantan and Conservative rabbi who lives in Jerusalem. Conclusion of the annual Torah reading cycle. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Every Sabbath we read a portion of the Torah. Auf diese Weise hat die Toralesung niemals ein Ende. This holiday marks the completion of the annual cycle of weekly Torah readings. All Rights Reserved. After the hakafot, many congregations recite a portion of the last parashah of the Torah, V'Zot HaBerachah ("This is the Blessing ...") in Deuteronomy. Simchat Torah means “rejoicing with the Torah,” and outside of Israel, it is celebrated the day after Shemini Atzeret. When is Simchat Torah? In Poland it was the custom to sell to the members of the congregation, on the 23rd of Tishri, the privilege of executing various functions during the services on Shabbat and Jewish festivals; i.e. To accommodate this the first five aliyot are reread so that everyone has an opportunity to recite the blessing. In Orthodox and Conservative communities outside Israel, Shemini Atzeret is a two-day holiday and the Simchat Torah festivities are observed on the second day. By the end of the 15th century, it was a common though not universal practice for the children to tear down and burn the sukkahs on Simhat Torah.. The highlight of the second day, Simchat Torah (“The Joy of the Torah”), is the hakafot, held on both the eve and the morning of Simchat Torah, in which we march and dance with the Torah scrolls around the reading table in the synagogue. This is a joyous holiday and the Torah is celebrated with great delight. Many Hasidic communities have Hakafot on the eve of the first day of Shemini Atzeret as well. It is an important day for agricultural purposes. The morning service is also uniquely characterized by the calling up of each member of the congregation for an aliyah. So may it ever be. Although the blessing of the children is omitted from the 1985 edition of Conservative Judaism's Siddur Sim Shalom prayer book, it was reinstated in later versions. In Israel, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are celebrated on the same day. 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