A few words about the feast of Simchat Torah

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty.” (Jeremiah 15:16).

Simchat Torah is a time to enjoy the Word of God. It comes after reflection on Rosh Hashanah, repentance on Yom Kippur, and thanksgiving on Sukkot. Simchat Torah means “rejoicing in the Law.” This is exactly what Jews do on this holiday!

You won’t find Simchat Torah in the Bible, but it is a traditional Jewish holiday that marks the completion of the Torah reading cycle. The Torah or Law (the first five books of the Bible) is conventionally divided into 52 small parts (chapters) – according to the number of weeks in the year. Every Saturday, Jews read the weekly portion of the Torah and thus go through the full cycle of reading the Pentateuch throughout the year. The weekly portion of Simchat Torah includes the last part of Deuteronomy and the first part of Genesis. Simchat Torah not only marks the end of a cycle, but also marks the beginning of a new cycle of reading and studying the Word of God.

Songs and merriment fill the synagogue as people take turns carrying Torah scrolls around the sanctuary, displaying them with respect and pride to the congregation. Children join the procession, waving flags and dancing with smiles and laughter. As scrolls pass by, many congregants kiss their fingertips before reaching out and touching the ornate Torah cases. Everyone present sings together songs of gratitude and reverence for the wonderful Word of God.

Unfortunately, too many of them have never read the Scriptures themselves. For some, ornate cases are all they will ever see of God’s Word. For them, the joy of this holiday lies only in catching the wave and joining the whirlpool of general rejoicing.

Could we, Jews and non-Jews who believe in Jesus, also be in danger of singing and celebrating the feast of the Word of God, while actually moving further and further away from it?

God promised the Jewish people that He would write His law on their hearts (Jeremiah 31:31). He kept this promise through the Holy Spirit by making His Word alive in our hearts through Messiah Yeshua, who is the Word of God incarnate! Even so, we become so easily addicted to the “goodies” that the world offers us that our appetite for God’s Word becomes dulled and we begin to take it for granted.

Simchat Torah can remind us that we can never get enough of God’s Word, that we always have the opportunity to gain more by reading and meditating on it over and over again. This holiday can also remind us of the need to compare our inner reflections with the outward manifestations of joy that we demonstrate in worship services when we sing of our love for God and His Word.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying singing, music, and outward expressions of holiday cheer, as long as we remember that true joy—lasting joy—results from a steady diet of God’s Word in our lives. If we open our ears, our hearts (and our spiritual stomachs), God will use His Word to lead us into a deeper and deeper relationship with Him. As we delight in the Word of God in Yeshua the Messiah, our hearts will truly be filled with joy and our lips will proclaim His praise!

by Ruth Rosen / evreizaiisusa.org

Source: https://ieshua.org/paru-slov-o-prazdnike-simhat-tora.htm


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