Tuesday, October 2
Simchat Torah: joyous "Hakafot Shnyiot" dancing at Jerusalem's Liberty Bell park. (Dave Bender)
A sweet meditation from Chabad:
"Once a year, Jews around the world gather in their synagogues and joyously celebrate, dance and sing. The holiday is a celebration of the Torah -- as is indicated by its name, Simchat Torah. The timing of this holiday is often questioned: why celebrate our connection to the Torah more than four months after the date when it was given: Shavuot? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to do the hakafot [dancing with Torah scrolls - ed.] on the day when we actually received the Torah?
"The answer given is that our celebration on Shavuot is somewhat muted because the First Tablets were eventually destroyed. Simchat Torah, however, is a celebration of the Second Tablets, which Moses brought down from Heaven when G‑d granted forgiveness for the sin of the Golden Calf on Yom Kippur.
"Simchat Torah is the culmination of the three-part Biblical holiday season. With each holiday, the joy steadily increases. After Passover and Shavuot we have Sukkot, a holiday dubbed "the Season of our Joy" -- and then we are treated to the unbridled joy of Simchat Torah which eclipses even the joy of Sukkot. And the reason for this great joy? We are celebrating our 'second chance.'"
Read the rest.