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November 28, 2020 – 9:40 pm | 36 views

Let me say this right up front: Were you ever kissed, is not a question you expect to hear from a rabbi in a devar Torah. But I do mean the question sincerely, were you ever kissed? I’m not asking if you were ever kissed by your parents, grandparents, children, …

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Articles in Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah: Why We Rejoice

October 7, 2020 – 2:41 pm | 221 views
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On Simchat Torah, we rejoice and dance endless horas around the bimah. Why do we rejoice and why do we dance the hora in particular?
The obvious answer is that we rejoice because we read the concluding chapter of the Torah on this day. Concluding a book of the Torah is …

Simchat Torah: No Break

October 20, 2019 – 12:31 pm | 489 views
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On Simchat Torah we read the last passage of the Torah, but we don’t stop for even a moment when we finish reading the Torah. Instead, we turn around and start over immediately from the first verse. There are many celebrations on Simchat Torah, but they come before we read …

Simchat Torah: Pure Joy

October 2, 2018 – 10:04 pm | 687 views
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For ten days we prayed, self examined, and repented. This introspection reached its zenith on Yom Kippur, when we set ourselves and our comforts aside and focused solely on G-d. We didn’t eat or drink, we rejected creature comforts, and spent the day wrapped up in supplication.
At this point G-d …

Re’e: The Missing Festival

August 4, 2018 – 11:47 pm | 996 views
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The festival of Sukkot falls on the fifteenth of Tishrei, two weeks into the new Jewish year. Accordingly, the Torah tells us, in Exodus 34:22, to celebrate Sukkot at the turn of the year. However, there is a discrepancy. Eleven chapters earlier, Exodus 23:16 told us to celebrate Sukkot at …

Sukkot: The Prevailing Custom

October 23, 2016 – 12:50 am | 1,806 views
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A Custom Product
My earliest memories of the last day of Sukkot is of the market place set up in front of the large Synagogue of the Lubavitcher Rebbe in Brooklyn, New York. All night long, the sidewalk at 770 Eastern Parkway was a teeming marketplace of willow sales.
“Five dollars a …

Simchat Torah: Festival Of Transformation

October 12, 2014 – 12:28 pm | 1,494 views
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The Million Dollar Question
Everyone wonders about this. Why do we rejoice with the Torah at the end of the High Holiday season if the Torah was given in the late spring, on Shavuot? Should we not dance and rejoice over the Torah on the day it was given?
The obvious answer …

Simchat Torah: On Foot

October 5, 2012 – 8:55 pm | 2,794 views
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The Odd Celebration
Simchat Torah is a festive holiday. We carry the Torah scroll around the Bimah (Torah reading table) and dance the night away. The reason for this great joy is the completion of our annual cycle of Torah reading.[1] Every Shabbat we chant a portion from the Torah and …

Simchat Torah: The Dancing Souls

October 8, 2009 – 2:53 am | One Comment | 2,712 views
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Saved By The Dance
It was a cold autumn day; the skies covered with the perpetual cloud of ash that hovered daily over Auschwitz. A group of fifty young Yeshiva students were herded into the gas chambers, ostensibly for a cold shower. This was well enough into the history of Auschwitz …