Thinking about the happiness by the Torah reading

When the Jew ceases to see beyond the black ink on parchment of the Torah scrolls, when the Jew no longer feels a living covenant and an eternal bond with the infinite; when the Jew finds only curious legends, quaint stories and archaic laws, and dissects the Torah as though it were the frozen cadaver of some Ice-Age creature; then God is lost in translation, and the Jew is lost in a sea of oakwood pews. {Rabbi Tzvi Freeman}

After the days of feast, bringing us to a new academic and religious year, bringing us back to read the Holy Scriptures from the Bereshith (or Genesis) to Devarim (or Deuteronomy), we are made to think again of the weakness of man.

When on Simchat Torah Jews take out all the Torah scrolls in their places of worship and dance with them, you may wonder if this is normal. In many places, they dance with them through the streets.  Danger of it being the scrolls to be looked at as something to praise and worship. It brings heathen worship very close by.

“Shtibelekh” in Katamon, Jerusalem

For many the shtiebel becomes a “house of worship,” the chazan becomes a cantor, Yom Tov davening becomes “The Festival Service,” and they just sit there watching, obeying commands to rise and be seated, sitting quietly through the rabbi’s sermon. It can well be that at such times the Torah become mutual strangers and the synagogue becomes a place where they meet God as one might meet one’s ex once a year over a coffee.

A Jew, like any lover of the Elohim, must be on fire. Torah is an all-consuming flame and the Jew is its red-hot coal. Cool down the coals and the flame disappears back to the place where all fire hides. All madness is lost, love gives way to reason, and the marriage is on the rocks. 

Therefore we must make sure our love for the Dvar HaElohim is grounded deep in us. Having good seed in a fertile ground, deep in our sincere heart.

Our love for the Most High and His set apart Word should be so intense, that our fire heats others and lets them come to us from the cold to the warmth of our brotherhood. Carrying God’s Word deep in us we are united with the Most High. Both I, you, and my and your God being one. And the Torah is the marriage that binds us and has bound us for the journeys of 3,300 years. It is our birthright, this Torah, and as long as we can dance the birthright dance, the Torah will remember us. 

We need to change the way we pray, the way we teach our children, and the way we meet with our Beloved Above. We need to make the entire year a wild and joyous year of Simchat Torah. We need to dance our way to the liberation of our souls. But we need to be careful how we do that!


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