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Dancing in the Streets

Question: Why is the holiday of Simchat Torah so happy? AskTheRabbi.org answered: The reading of the Torah is both completed and begun again on Shemini Atzeret (in Israel on the eighth day, and in the Diaspora on the ninth day). This occasion is known as Simchat Torah, the "Joy of the Torah." Jewish sources trace the concept of rejoicing upon finishing the Torah back to the celebration made by King Solomon when God ...

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Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah

Shemini Atzeret The fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Festival of Sukkot, a seven-day period for God.  The first day shall be a sacred holiday when you shall not do any laborious work… The eighth day is a sacred holiday to you… it is a time of assembly when you may do no laborious work. Technically, the festival of Sukkot ends after seven days, as indicated in the verses above. ...

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Simchat Torah

Originally, different customs existed regarding the reading of the Torah on Shabbat.  In Israel, the Torah was read in a three-year cycle, while in Babylon the custom was a yearly cycle.  Eventually, the Babylonian custom became universally accepted, and to this day Jews throughout the world publicly read the entire Five Books of Moses in the course of every year.  The reading of the Torah is both completed and begun ...

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