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13 Reasons to Be Happy on Simchat Torah
By Mendel Weinberger
The Torah commands every Jew to be joyful on our festivals. This command applies especially to Succot, the harvest festival that follows the serious Days of Awe Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Every night of the intermediate days of the holiday, there is music and dancing in virtually every Jewish community around the world. This expression of joy reaches its peak on the last day of the festival, Shemini Atzeret.
On this day we celebrate Simchat Torah (outside of Israel on the ninth day), in which we dance with the Torah scrolls around the bima accompanied by spirited singing. But let's face it, with the increasing load of bad news for the Jews around lately, it may be a severe challenge to find something to be happy about. So I have made a search of my brain files and have come up with 13 reasons to be joyful on Simchat Torah. Here they are:
- We have one G-d who is available 24/7 to listen to out prayers.
- We have a G-d who, in spite of all of our screw-ups and sins, still loves us and forgives us.
- We have our health.
- We have food on the table.
- We have a country of our own called Israel that we can visit whenever we want and can immigrate there whenever we wish.
- We have a country that despite the idiocy of its leaders and the vicious hatred of its enemies is still standing and even thriving.
- We have a country that is the most successful democracy in the Middle East.
- We have been given the Torah, the greatest wisdom teaching and guide to life in the world.
- We have numerous opportunities to do kindness to another Jew (person) every day.
- We receive numerous acts of kindness from others every day.
- We can breathe.
- We can smile.
- We can dance.
If after reading the above list, you still do not feel happy, then I suggest you buy a bottle of Russian vodka, open it up on Simchat Torah, drink half the bottle, and go to the synagogue. You may not achieve true joy, but you will be too drunk to be depressed and all the children in the synagogue will enjoy watching you make a fool of yourself.
from the October 2006 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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