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Yom Chamishi, 2 Shevat 5778

Simchat Torah (Rejoicing in the Law) celebrates the completion of the annual reading of the Torah.  This joyous festival provides opportunities for Jews to affirm the centrality of Torah in their lives, as well as to demonstrate their commitment to lifelong study.  As part of the celebration, the Torah scrolls are taken from the ark and carried or danced around the synagogue seven times. During the Torah service, the concluding section of the fifth book of the Torah, D’varim (Deuteronomy), is read, and immediately following, the opening section of Genesis, or B'reishit as it is called in Hebrew, is read. This practice represents the cyclical nature of the relationship between the Jewish people and the reading of the Torah.

Read more about the history and customs of Simchat Torah.


At Bet Aviv we celebrate Simchat Toraht at a Saturday morning service.  During the service we take the Torah from the ark and different congregants each carry the Torah around the sanctuary once for a total of seven times. Some in the audience join the hakafah and those in their seats wave Israeli flags while we all sing lively songs.  We encourage members to bring their grandchildren to participate in the celebration and have stuffed Torahs for them to carry as well. Following the service, we continue the celebration with a delicious Shabbat lunch.