Simhat Torah/Shmini Atzeret/Bereishit: Celebrating creation

22.10.2011                      24.Tischrei. 5772                       Bereschit

Judentum:

Simhat Torah/Shmini Atzeret/Bereishit: Celebrating creation

‘Moses commanded us a law, an inheritance of the congregation of Jacob’(Deuteronomy 33:4).

Our nation is just concluding an intensive festival period which encompasses a rollercoaster of emotions. We have moved from the intense soul-searching of Rosh Hashana to the heartfelt prayers for forgiveness of Yom Kippur.
We have built and will dwell for seven days in makeshift houses reminiscent of the booths in the desert as well as of the “fallen succa of King David,” the Holy Temple. We will punctuate our prayer for rain with joyous and sometimes even raucous dancing around the Torah, whose reading we conclude just at Festival’s end. After a full month of festivities, we will enter our first post-festival Shabbat, on which we shall read of the creation of the world.
I believe there is a conceptual scheme that connects all these seemingly disparate elements. I also believe many observant Jews miss the theological thread that magnificently unites this particular holiday period because the religious establishment does not sufficiently stress the real message that Judaism is trying to teach….