Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Simhat Torah!

Moadim l'simha--happy holidays! There are two Jewish ideals that are realized in the holiday of Simchat Torah which begins today, October 9 (according to the Reform and Israel calendar).
1. The joy of Torah. There is nothing more joyous than studying Torah. On Simchat Torah we celebrate the fact that we are privileged to begin again the Torah reading cycle. Simchat Torah is analogous to rebooting your computer. Even if you haven't finished all of your work, even if you haven't finished reading every story, even if you haven't finished studying every word, every once in a while you have to start all over again at the beginning.
2. You really can't dance by yourself. You need your friends. You need the swirl of others. You need your community. Celebrating by yourself is impossible. The community adds to your happiness. This is the Jewish contention. We understand this truth best when we are surrounded by others at our own simchas. This contention is truly realized when our happiness is bound to what lies at the center of our Jewish lives: Torah. Hence Simchas Torah.
On Simchat Torah, community and Torah are combined into one great song and dance.
For my YouTube video about Simchat Torah and for evidence of this truth click here. This evening's Simchat Torah/Shabbat celebration will be accompanied by a Klezmer ensemble and concert with Michael Winograd.
If you are looking to learn more about Klezmer read this article on MyJewishLearning.com.

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