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What do we celebrate on Simchat Torah?

Wednesday, 7 October, 2020 - 2:40 am

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On Pesach, we left from Egypt. On Shavuot, G-d gave us the Ten commandments. But no particular event took place on Simchat Torah. So what do we celebrate?

The Midrash gives us a parable. There was a king who organized a 7-day feast for his children, who lived scattered across the country. When the week came to an end and the time came for them to leave, the king said: “Your separation is difficult. Please stay with me one more day.” The king of the story is G-d, Who after the seven days of Sukkot requests from His people one more festive day, Simchat Torah.

But… how does one extra day help? If the children stay for another day, will the separation on the next day be easier? Also, why does the king speak about “your” separation. He should have said “our” separation.

In Hebrew, the word “separation” (preda) is the same as the word “division”. As we explained last week, Sukkot symbolizes the unity of the Jewish people.

Yet the seven days of Sukkot passed, and G-d sees that the unity is still not perfect. Yes, we are all together, but not truly united. There is a risk that after the end of Sukkot, we will return to the previous situation... This is why G-d speaks about your separation (preda), meaning your division (among the Jewish people). G-d wants us to perfect our unity so it can last for the entire upcoming year.

On Simchat Torah, we all dance together with the Torah. The Torah is closed and covered, and there is no apparent difference between us. One may know more, one even more, but all dance equally together with the Torah. All reveal the deep connection we have in our soul with the Torah and our Creator. Now, all the children can go back to their homes, without this separation causing division.

Let us unite around the Torah. The current situation will maybe not allow us to celebrate in the synagogue with the Sefer Torah, but each one of us has a Jewish book or leaflet in our homes. Let us take it in our hands and dance with it and our family. We will unite spiritually with the thousands of Jews around the world who will do the same.

May this deep unity stay with us for the whole upcoming year and in its merit, may Mashiach come speedily!

Shabbat Shalom & Chag Sameach!

Hanna

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