Simchat Torah

 

Each week we publicly read a few chapters from the Torah, beginning with Genesis Ch. 1 and finishing with Deuteronomy Ch. 34. On Simchat Torah, which means "Rejoicing in the Torah," we read the last Torah portion, and then proceed immediately to the first chapter of Genesis, reminding us that the Torah is a never-ending circle.

 

This completion is a time of great celebration. Jews march around their synagogue carrying their Torah scrolls while participating in plenty of high-spirited singing and dancing! As many people as possible are given the honor of reciting a blessing over the Torah reading. Additionally, as many people as possible are also given the honor of carrying a Torah scroll during these processions. Children often follow the procession around the synagogue, sometimes carrying small toy Torahs. In many synagogues, Consecration ceremonies, which mark the beginning of a child’s Jewish education, are held at this time.