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Simchat Torah

Joy of the Torah

Description

Simchat Torah celebrates the Torah, which in it’s most literal definition is the first five books of the Bible. Simchat Torah marks the end and restart of the annual Torah Portion (or Parasha) reading cycle.

Date

Begins at sunset October 17, 2022
Ends at sunset October 18, 2022

About Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah – Rekindling Joy

The Bible. Do we really know the treasure we hold in our hands? Do we truly grasp the priceless gift that rests on our nightstands, sits on our end tables, or resides in the depths of our phones? It’s the very Word of God and filled with God Himself.

Jewish people celebrate God’s Word with a special holiday called Simchat Torah, which means “Joy of the Torah.” In its strictest sense, the word Torah refers to the first five books of the Bible in which God recorded the origin of the world, the Jewish people and the laws He gave us to follow. The word means “instruction,” and in the broader Jewish understanding, the Torah includes all of the Old Covenant Scriptures. Likewise, as Messianic Jews and Gentile Believers in Jesus, some consider the term as pertaining to all of God’s Word, including the New Testament Scriptures.

Simchat Torah is a time of much rejoicing in Jewish synagogues. Members of the congregation leap and shout as we dance in procession behind someone carrying the Torah scroll around the room. We circle the reading table, and worshippers take turns throughout the service to allow as many people as possible to carry the scroll before the readings begin.

The weekly reading cycle that covers the Torah, Genesis through Deuteronomy, in one year concludes on Simchat Torah. Readers recite the last portion of the reading year from Deuteronomy, and immediately afterward is a reading of Genesis chapter 1. This demonstrates that our need for God’s Word is never-ending.

God’s words in the Bible are truth and life. We in Western countries have had the Bible available to us our entire lives. Many Believers possess multiple copies in several versions. The Bible is on the internet, and print copies are offered free in many places. That kind of access can lead to diminished appreciation. We can take it for granted. If we don’t read it today, it will be there for us tomorrow. If we lose our Bible, we can readily replace it with another.

But watch a few videos of Bible deliveries to Believers who live in countries where it is forbidden or in remote villages that haven’t had a Bible translated into their language until that moment, and you’ll see a vivid reminder of how precious the Bible is. With uncontrolled tears, they receive their first Bible. It doesn’t belong to the church or the pastor who teaches them from it. It’s theirs. They gaze at it in their hands, speechless. They beam at it, overwhelmed with joy. Their very own Bible to read whenever they want! They clutch it to their chests, releasing it to kiss the cover. And then, they open the Word of God and are immediately drawn in, absorbed in what God has to say to them through His words in their heart language.

Simchat Torah is a holiday to embrace with refreshed joy what we may have come to take for granted. It is a day dedicated to rekindling our sense of awe over the enormous gift of possessing God’s Word. For by it, we know who He is. We see His love for us and are assured that He can meet our every need. We recognize His majesty and purity, and we see the hope of our future as those who believe in the Messiah Jesus.

Let’s each take time to meditate on the wonder of God’s Word this Simchat Torah, spending time in the Bible and genuinely celebrating the immeasurable gift that it is. May your day be filled with true “joy of the Torah,” and may you cherish it’s worth more each day.

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