Simchat Torah- Total Joy
Hoshana Rabba is Wednesday. The Challah is dipped in honey.
Tavshlilin Wednesday A Challah is to be taken together with a
cooked piece of food, such as an egg or piece of meat or fish,
saying, “Baruch Ata Adonay Elohaynu Melech Haolam Asher
Kid’shanu B’mitzvotav V’tzivanu Al Mizvat Eruv- Through this it
shall be permitted for us to bake, cook, store, light candles,
and do all that is necessary to prepare on Yom Tov for Shabbat
together with all Jews within this city.” The Challah and food
are eaten on Shabbat.
City Candle Lighting Wednesday 5:50 Shehechiyanu is said at
candle lighting and in Kiddush Wednesday and Thursday nights.
Wednesday night and Thursday day we eat in the Sukkah without a
Candle Lighting Thursday Night after 6:50 from an
Friday Night Candle lighting 5:50 from an existing flame.
Shabbat ends 6:47
candle lighting times around the world
Shalom and Bracha!
This Wednesday night, in honor of Shemini Atzeret, and Thursday
night, for Simchat Torah, we take out the Torah scrolls and
dance with them. Seemingly, both the holiday and the custom seem
out of place! The Torah was given on Shavuot, Several months
ago. Why make Simchat Torah now? We conclude the reading of the
entire Torah and begin again on Simchat Torah. But why don’t we
do that on Shavuot? Furthermore, why do we rejoice by dancing
with the Torah? Torah is made for studying. Why don’t we rejoice
by studying all night?
After the Torah was given, Moshe shattered the first Tablets.
Thereafter, he beseeched Hashem to forgive the Jewish people for
having made the golden calf. On Yom Kippur, Hashem fully forgave
the Jewish people and Moshe brought down the second Tablets.
Together with the second Tablets, he was given a much deeper
insight into the Torah. Since the second tablets are the tablets
that remained, we celebrated Simchat Torah and conclude the
cycle of reading the Torah in connection with the date of their
being given. Yom Kippur rightfully should be celebrated as
Simchat Torah, but since it is a day of fasting and atonement,
we celebrate Simchat Torah shortly thereafter.
As aforementioned, together with the second tablets we received
a new depth in Torah. Seemingly, to demonstrate forgiveness, it
would have sufficed to merely replace the previous Tablets. Why
then were we granted new depths? When a person does a sin, and
thereafter does Teshuvah to the extent that Hashem forgives him,
his bond with Hashem becomes stronger than before. The bond of
the soul to Hashem is compared to a rope. When a rope tears and
is tied back together, the knot is much thicker than the
original rope. Similarly, When the Jewish people repented after
the sin of the golden calf, the bond with Hashem was
strengthened. Therefore, new depths in the Torah were revealed,
symbolizing the deeper bond.
In our connection to Hashem through Torah, there are different levels. Our
minds are connected to the Will of Hashem via studying the
Torah. On a deeper plane, our very essence is bound to Hashem
through the essence of Torah. This is the bond we celebrate
Simchat Torah. Therefore we take the Torah in its entirety,
while it is covered, and rejoice with it. We rejoice with our
whole being, which is expressed through dancing. As we dance,
all of us are equal, because every Jew’s essence is one with the
essence of Torah.
During the Yom Kippur war, the Rebbe raised the question how can
we rejoice when our brothers are in danger? He explained that
since we are in the time the Torah requires us to rejoice, our
rejoicing brings Hashem’s protection to the Jews in Israel. Joy
is always a vessel for blessing, whether it be protection from
evil or sustenance and well being. This is especially true in
troubled times, when joy is an expression of faith that all will
Whatever we sought to accomplish through prayer on Rosh Hashanah
can be accomplished through dancing and rejoicing on Simchat
Torah. May we go from the joy of Simchat Torah to the
celebration of Moshiach’s coming!!
Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom,
Breishit- Hidden Meanings
Mevarchim Cheshvan-Rosh Chodesh is next Friday and Shabbat
The Molad is Thursday October 27th 5:52 and 15
Shalom and Bracha!
This Shabbat we bless the month of Cheshvan and read the portion
of Breishit, the narrative of creation. Being that this is the
first regular Shabbat of the year, and the portion is the
beginning of the Torah and the story of creation, the way we
conduct ourselves this Shabbat sets the tone for the entire
year. As we enter this Shabbat immediately following two days of
rejoicing with the Torah, we have a special potential for a
joyous and festive year.
Concerning the creation of Chava (Eve), we find two seemingly
contrary statements in Rashi. By understanding them more
clearly, we can gain a deeper perspective both in the world at
large and the Mitzvot (commandments) of Hashem.
Explaining the verse (2;18) “Hashem said it is not good that
Adam is alone, I shall create a partner to assist him”, Rashi
comments that were Adam to be unique in the earthly sphere just
as Hashem is unique in the heavenly sphere, there would be
confusion and Adam would be viewed as a deity. Two verses later,
commenting on the verse “Adam gave names to all of the animals,
the birds, and living creatures, but found no mate for Adam”
Rashi explains that When Hashem brought the animals in front of
Adam, he bought them in pairs. Adam questioned Hashem “All
creatures have mates and I have no mate?” Immediately, Hashem
Seemingly, there is a contradiction. At first it seems that
Adam’s being alone could cause confusion in the creation, and
that was the reason for her creation. Then it seems that
Adam’s loneliness was the cause. In truth, both are correct. G-d’s
will was that Chava should be created for the perfection of the
creation. He waited, however, until Adam would appreciate the
need for a wife a pray for her creation.
This gives us an insight to the entire creation. Everything
which occurs is part of a wider divine plan. Even those thing
which we understand their purpose, have a deeper purpose in the
grand scheme of the universe. Similarly, those commandments of
the Torah which seem to have an understanding in human logic,
although the understanding is true, there is a deeper meaning
(or many) in Hashem’s plan of the universe.
second verse of the creation is “The earth was chaos and void
and darkness covered the depths and the Spirit of G-d (Ruach
Elokim) hovered over the waters.” The Midrash explains that the
Spirit of G-d was the spirit of Moshiach. The spirit of Moshiach
preceded creation because every aspect of the creation is meant
to contribute to his coming. Therefore, although many things in
the world seem contrary to the Spirit of Moshiach, they in fact
can be used to reveal Moshiach in the world. This is understood
by the Ruach hovering over the darkness and chaos. May we see
that the current darkness is only a preparation for the time
when the knowledge of Hashem will fill the earth as water fills
Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov,
Dedicated in merit of Mazal Bat Rachel for a full and speedy
Project of Chabad of Great Neck
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