Simchat Torah

The Simchat Torah festivities begin with the evening service (on a second night is outside of Israel). All the synagogue's Torah scrolls are removed from the ark (Aron) and are carried around the sanctuary in a series of seven Hakafot (circuits). Although each circuit needs only to go around one circuit in the synagogue, the dancing and singing with the Torah frequently continues much longer, and may overflow from the synagogue onto the streets.

In Fact, Simchat Torah, according to the Talmud used to be part of Shmini Atseret (Megillah 31), however the Code of Jewish Law states that Simchat Torah is ancient.

The morning service of Simchat Torah, like that of other Jewish holidays, includes a special holiday Amidah, the saying of Hallel, and a holiday Mussaf service. 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 engages in the seven Hakafot once again. We see from this just how great our Torah and our Religion is! All the Rabbi’s forefront a celebration that we have finished another Torah cycle for the year! Torah is the blueprint of the world and its learning’s and teachings are infinite!! Without the Torah the Jewish people would not exist!!

After the Hakafot and the dancing, three scrolls of the Torah are read. The last Parshah of the Torah, V'Zot HaBerachah, at the end of the book of Devarim, is read from the first scroll, followed by Parshat Bereishit, which we also read on Shabbat is read from the second scroll.

It is a special honor to receive the last Aliyah (call up) of the Book of Devarim; the person receiving that aliyah is called the Chatan Torah (the groom of the Torah). In Many congregations they give it to outstanding members of the community.

After parshat Bereishit is read, the Maftir, that’s from parshat Pinchas (Bamidbar 29:35-30:1), is read from a third Torah scroll. The passage describes the prescribed sacrifices (Korbanot) performed for the holiday. The Haftorah for Simchat Torah comes from the first chapter of Joshua (Joshua 1:1-18), a chronological continuation from Parshat V’zot Haberacha, the last parshah in the Torah. The book of Joshua starts the book of Neviim.

Have a great Yom Tov!! Chag Sameach!!