The culmination of the Days of Awe and Zíman Simchasainu is a day of incredible joy and merriment, but what exactly are we celebrating? The obvious answer is that on Simchas Torah we celebrate the completion of the annual cycle of Torah reading. We started with Bereishis a year ago, and we have finally come to a close with the reading of VíZos HaBracha. We honor that accomplishment.
The Chidushei HaRim (founder of the Gerrer Chasidic Dynasty) offers a different perspective of the rejoicing on this distinctive day. He would tell his students that on Simchas Torah we do not look back at the past, but instead, we dance for the future. The year of 5776, with its cycle of Torah reading and study, has gone. Did we utilize the opportunities it presented for spiritual growth and inspiration? For the answers to, and issues raised by these questions, we have already traversed the landscape of the Yomim Noraim. These are not our concerns on Simchas Torah. On this day we rejoice with the Torah by looking forward to the meaningful relationship that we will develop with it in 5777. According to the Chidushei HaRim this is the reason why we celebrate on Simchas Torah: we are excited and overjoyed by the potential and promise of the new year.
Letís make the most of it: we look forward to your participation in our shiurim & new Night Seder program, and for your personal learning, you can search online among the numerous daily Torah opportunities, choose one that interests you, and make Torah a part of every day of 5777. Have a great Shabbos and a Chag Sameach.