Rabbi Berzansky - Simchas Torah
Getting “a Little” Carried Away
I f we take a step back and take another look at the dancing of Simchas Torah, we will see that it takes place right in the middle of davening. While taking out the Sefer Torah from the Aron haKodesh to read, we get “a little” carried away and start to dance with the Torah instead of reading it. That dancing is actually an expression of a Jew’s uncontrollable joy that manages to rise to the surface. Our joy stems from two things: the fact that we have the Torah, and that Hashem gave it to us. To receive a lavish gift can make a person’s heart sing, but to receive a lavish gift from a great and esteemed individual is even more reason to be ecstatic. We, the Jewish people, have both. The best gift in the world from the best Giver in the world, and that is the reason for our joy. R. Simcha Ziskind Brody writes that the chag of Shavuos is really the time to appreciate Hashem’s gift to us, and that Simchas Torah is the time to appreciate the Giver of that gift, Hashem.
We are blessed to have a relationship with Him and to constantly receive His love. Imagine the Queen of England personally gave you a gift. Even if it was an extremely modest gift, you would still find joy knowing that the Queen gave it to you. You might even boast about it to your friends, saying, “Look at what the Queen of England gave me!” All the more so for us: knowing that Hashem, the Master of the Universe, gave us something as precious as the Torah, which the Medrash calls “Hashem’s only daughter,” is definitely cause for celebration. One of the reasons why Simchas Torah was established at the end of Tishrei was because it needed to come after a month of d’veykus. After a month of teshuvah, a Rosh Hashanah together with the spiritual cleansing of Yom Kippur, and the living within Hashem’s embrace during the whole Succos, we can really begin to feel how fortunate it is to be a Jew. That feeling brings us to such uncontrollable joy that we start to dance with the Torah even in the middle of a davening