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Celebrate Simchas Torah — Shabbat Service and Torah Discussion — Parasha Bereisheit

  • The Chatham Synagogue 1536 County Route 28 Chatham Center, NY 12184 United States (map)

Simchas Torah literally means "Rejoicing with/of the Torah", and is a holiday that celebrates and marks the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle. Simchat Torah is a component of the Biblical Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret ("Eighth Day of Assembly"), which follows immediately after the festival of Sukkot.

The main celebrations of Simchat Torah take place in the synagogue during evening and morning services. In Orthodox as well as many Conservative congregations, this is the only time of year on which the Torah scrolls are taken out of the ark and read at night. In the morning, the last parashah of Deuteronomy and the first parashah of Genesis are read in the synagogue. On each occasion, when the ark is opened, the worshippers leave their seats to dance and sing with the Torah scrolls in a joyous celebration that can last for several hours. The morning service is also uniquely characterized by the calling up of each member of the congregation for an aliyah. There is also a special aliyah for all the children (under 13 for boys and 12 for girls).

The Shabbat service begins at 9:30 am.
The Torah discussion begins at approximately 10:30 am.

Shabbat services typically end around noon with a kiddush.