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Our congregation celebrated Simchat Torah in a different way in 5781 (2020) to keep the observance safe. Check back to learn about opportunities to observe Simchat Torah with Temple Beth Shalom in 2021.


Events in 2020:

Simchat Torah
Friday, Oct. 9, 2020
7:00 p.m., (as part of our Erev Shabbat service)
Although we could not be together in person for dancing with the Torahs this year, we planned an alternative way to join in a Torah hakafah for Simchat Torah on Oct. 9.  We put together a silent video of congregants either passing the Torah or dancing with the Torah for all to enjoy!


Torah Study
Saturday, Oct. 10, 9:00 a.m.

The week’s Torah study focused on several aspects of this celebratory day.  We reviewed the haftorah for Shemini Atzeret which is the conclusion of King Solomon’s opening of the Temple in Jerusalem.  We then studied the final portion of the Torah which is read on Simchat Torah along with the haftorah for Simchat Torah, which is the beginning of the Book of Joshua.  This story of the death of Moses immediately followed by the next chapter in the history of the Jewish people parallels that of the Simchat Torah tradition of reading of the death of Moses followed by the story of Creation.  The Jewish people are re-created by Joshua and the haftorah begins that tale.


Yizkor Service
Saturday, Oct. 10, 10:00 a.m.

Our Yizkor service included not only prayers of remembrance but also reminders of other themes of this day.  The service included prayers for rain, since rain gives life and provides sustenance.  We also included references to Kohelet (Ecclesiastes)  which is traditionally read during this season.

About Simchat Torah

Immediately following Sukkot, we celebrate Sh'mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, a fun-filled day during which we celebrate the completion of the annual reading of the Torah and affirm Torah as one of the pillars on which we build our lives.

As part of the celebration, it is customary for the Torah scrolls to be taken from the ark and carried or danced around the synagogue seven times.

During the Torah service, the concluding section of the fifth book of the Torah, D'varim (Deuteronomy), is read, and immediately following, the opening section of Genesis, or B'reishit as it is called in Hebrew, is read. This practice represents the cyclical nature of the relationship between the Jewish people and the reading of the Torah.



Sun, July 25 2021 16 Av 5781