Brain Bush’s Blog

Simhat Torah

  • By : Brian Bush
  • October 23, 2008
  • 2:26 pm

Hi Everyone!

As Pete and Chuck were talking about it – you may be interested in the holiday that comes right after Sukkot – Simhat Torah.

So let me tell you what it means… literally it means “The Eighth Day of Assembly” in Hebrew). Its observance is mandated by Leviticus 23:36.

Now even though it follows the seven-day Sukkot festival and is often
considered part of Sukkot, it is, in fact, a separate holiday.

Remember we spoke of the special bouquet used in the Jews morning prayers during Sukkot? It is no longer used and the obligation to sit in the wooden sukka is no longer
Required either.

The day's prayer services include the memorial prayers for the deceased, as well as the prayer for plentiful rainfall during the coming winter (which is something we truly need).

The holiday itself centers around its special scriptural readings. You see, the yearly cycle of Torah (the first five books of the Bible, i.e. Genesis to Deuteronomy, is read on each
Sabbath during the year – section by section. So this holiday is the concluding of one years reading of the Torah and then the beginning of it all over again.

This event is often accompanied by dancing and singing in religious neighborhoods.

Thus is the holiday of Simhat Torah – which actually can be translated “Rejoicing of the Torah” in Hebrew.

Hope this gives you a little insight into the uniqueness of the day – and living here in Israel.

Brian

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