Simchat Torah


“And on the eighth day, you shall assemble and no manner of work shall you do (Numbers 29:35)”


The Joyful Celebration of the Torah


The Torah adds one additional day (the 8th day of Assembly) in which the Jewish people are to gather once more and rejoice after the celebration of Sukkot draws to a close.  Our tradition, in its infinite wisdom, made this day a celebration of the Torah.

Simchat Torah marks both the completion and beginning of the annual reading of the Torah. It is pure joy as we affirm the Torah as a tree of life and commit ourselves to its never-ending study. Torah scrolls are taken from the ark and carried or danced around the synagogue seven times. During the Torah service in the evening, we chant the last few verses Dvarim (Deuteronomy) is read, and immediately following, we read the opening verses of Bereshit (Genesis).

We continuously seek new ways in which to celebrate our sacred times and Simchat Torah is no exception.  In recent years, we have taken the adults (those 13 years and older) and form a huge circle in the synagogue.  We unwind the Torah, each person in the circle holds a small section of the Torah at the top and at the bottom.  The Torah, in all its magnificent glory, can be seen in its entirety.  Our children sit or stand in the center, surrounded by the Torah. Together, alongside our Rabbi, we take a walking tour of the story of our people as described in the Bible.  We join in song and celebration as our fall holiday cycle draws to a close.

More can be found about Simchat Torah at:

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