Weekly Message from Rabbi A. M. Sufrin MBE
This Shabbat is known as Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukkos, as it sits in the middle of Sukkos.
Sukkot, the only festival called in the Torah as “Z’man Simchoteinu” – “The time of our rejoicing”. Related to the Temple celebrations of the drawing of the waters, we sing dance, eat of course and say Lechaim in the Sukkah, whilst ensuring too that we do the special Mitzvah of the “four kinds”.
This leads us into the joyous days of Shmini Atzeret & Simchat Torah – The Eights day & the rejoicing over the Torah.
At last a Mitzvah that we can all do and all on the same level. All we need to do is get to Shul and dance with the Sefer Torah. The Torah scroll remains closed, alluding to the fact that it belongs to us all. The Mitzvah today is to dance and nothing else. Be happy and dance, like you’ve never danced before. This is true joy.
The Torah is our life, it’s a living tree. We our children and grandchildren and each generation moving forward ensures it is alive and continuing to grow. This is the celebration of the feet NOT the head, and hence there are no different levels or ranks. Just like the sukkah as we enter into it we become unified and as one, so too, as we dance with the Sefer Torah as it is dressed in its “mantle” – covering, we are all equal and all able to celebrate and join in – Yes by dancing.
At Chabad we have Hakafot – dancing on three occasions, Shmini Atzeret - Sunday night, Monday night the 24th and Simchat Torah day, followed by our full lunch and celebration with our Chatanim – Graham Nygate & Simon Myers, together with our Eishet Chayil June Shalome to whom we wish Mazal Tov. No celebration is complete with our children. Mazal to our Junior Chatan Torah Zalman Muller & Junior Eishet Chayil Tzippie Myers.
So let’s get ready, get those dancing shoes oj and join us for the party dancing to remember.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameiach.