October 5, 2010
Simchat Torah’s Heart Tug
There’s no shortage of reasons that Simchat Torah might be one of your least favorite days in shul. It’s another long morning in a season of long mornings. Dancing might not be your thing. The kids running around with joyous abandon might get on your nerves. I have known similar feelings over the years. Yet, there is something about Simchat Torah that tugs at my heart, and sends my soul flying. I find that it’s worth every second of the hangin’ around shul all day.
Even though I know it’s coming, and I’ve experienced it so many times before, I find the moment when we start B’raishit to be just thrilling. Chills-running-down-my-spine thrilling. The words – so familiar, so simple, so austere – are unexpectedly moving when I hear them in the context of this craziest of days in shul. The reading, along with the pomp, ceremony and song that accompany it, feels like an affirmation of something primal and deep.
I think, when it comes down to it, that B’raishit is actually our raucous, primal
We read B’raishit – again, anew – as the holy days of Tishrai reach their end, placing the coda on the year now past. Tomorrow we begin. With hope. With faith. With a niggun. Every cycle will end. But every end will be followed by a beginning.