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Joy of Divinity!

Thursday, 8 October, 2020 - 11:00 pm

Sukkos is my favorite holiday. I enjoy sitting in the Sukkah with friends and family, singing, Farbrenging and devouring Chavie’s incredible cuisine, as we celebrate the agricultural holiday that vividly reminds us of G-d’s love and protection. I looked at my Lulav and Etrog this morning, Hoshana Raba, and smiled, as it looked fairly beaten, but for a good reason: Seventy-five Jews made a blessing on it this holiday (see pics from Sushi in the Sukkah). Yet, the quintessential joy of this season comes to life on Simchat Torah. As a child I was honored to dance and sing with the Rebbe of blessed memory at his Shul and experience pure joy. I was thinking back to those days and pondering the name itself “Simchat Torah”, the “Joy of Torah” and the importance of actually celebrating the Torah as a gift, not a burden.

In a beautiful letter to his grandson, Reb Chaim Volozhiner (1749-1821), the renowned Talmudist and Ethicist, writes “I encourage you to learn with great excitement and passion; for the material studied an entire day sluggishly can be learned through several hours of studying energetically”. Sitting down to learn Torah is a good start, but if we are in love, not only with the wisdom of Judaism, but with Almighty G-d, the Author of the Torah, then we learn these eternal words with zest and enthusiasm. We dance with the Torah two days each year, but the dance, or at least the joy, should be a daily exercise for our soul.

You may be saying “Oh I wish I could’ve studied Torah as a youngster, but now it’s too late”. Yet, like Rabbi Akivah, a noble shepherd who started his Torah journey at age forty, it is never too late to bring the life of Torah into your life. Starting Sunday (October 11th, 2020) we will commence the new cycle of Torah study with Bereishis, the first portion in Genesis. One portion each week, divided into seven for each day of the week, and at the end of the one-year cycle you’ve studied the Five Books of Moses in its entirety. You can study it online, order Chayenu or buy a Chumash, but the bottom line is: it’s 2020 and the Torah is at your fingertips, don’t let it slip away.

How I love Your Torah! All day it is my conversation!

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Mashiach speedily. May G-d protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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