A HOLIDAY IN ITS OWN RIGHT, THIS FOLLOW-UP TO SUKKOT INVITES US TO AN INTIMATE AND RESTFUL MOMENT WITH G-D AND THEN TO REJOICE IN TORAH.
By Rabbi Feivish Mordechai Dalfin
Shmini Atzeret is the eighth day of Sukkot. On this day, the Torah says “Atzeret tiyeh lachem,” it should be “Atzeret” for you. What is Atzeret? Atzeret means to hold back from work. In a deeper sense it means to internalize the energy. After the powerful holidays of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot, we must allow the holy blessings we accumulated to penetrate into our souls and bodies.
Moshe Rabanu says towards the end of the Torah, “Simu Livavchem” take to heart!
One may listen to a fascinating lecture from a great scholar, and forget the inspiration very quickly. Every day we read the Shema Yisroel, which reinforces this message of taking to heart the powerful feelings for the Almighty.
On this happy day we celebrate Simchat Torah, in Israel. In the diaspora, we designate the following day for Simchat Torah. Our rejoicing with the Torah lifts us up to the highest love of G-d. We all want to be happy in life. This holiday provides us with joy for the entire year.
We dance and sing as we hold the Torah scrolls tightly to our hearts. The Torah is dancing and singing with us. Our Rabbis tell us, the Torah is our strength and life security. We must cherish the infinite wisdom and eternal blessings we benefit from it. When one lifts up the Torah scroll, he must know that Hashem is expecting a commitment to study Torah every day and to live a Torah life. It is very important to give every person a chance to honor the Torah on this holiday.
Every Jew has a letter in the Torah, which is their life connection to G-d. It is customary to purchase a letter in a Torah being written for the merit of the Jewish nation. The Rebbe explained that we must unite all the children in the world, by purchasing a letter for every child. If the children have their own allowance, it should come from their money. The cost is one dollar. Only one letter is necessary. This will strengthen the imbalance and turbulence globally, and deliver us the greatest blessings from Hashem. In the Shul of the Tzemach Tzedek in the old city of Jerusalem, there are five Torahs which were written for the merit of every Jewish child under Bar and Bat Mitzvah age. Currently there is a sixth Torah being written. For additional information please visit chabad.org for this important Mitzvah.