Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Simcah Torah - Full Circle for Oldest Son

Oldest Son prepares to read in Hebrew from Exodus. As his parent, I was one of the Torah scroll holders.
Tonight we celebrated Simcah Torah. This Jewish holiday marks the end of the annual cycle of weekly Torah readings. Each year we start with Genesis and tonight we read the last Torah portion of Deuteronomy.

Every Simcah Torah, our Temple chooses to honor children who have started Religious School, 5 and 6 year olds,  as well as the 13 year olds who have had their B'nai Mitzvah during the past Jewish year. I looked upon the sweet faces of those eager, excited young children receiving their blessing. I thought of my own Oldest Son eight years ago who was proudly receiving his own mini-Torah to mark the occasion.
Oldest Son looks out on the gathering crowd consisting of many energetic youngsters. 
On this night, the Torah was rolled out from end to end - what a sight! Oldest Son and 29 other teenagers lined up all along the scroll with their yads, a Torah pointer. Each boy and girl reads in Hebrew (no transliterations) from the portion of the Torah from their B'nai Mitzvah date. Wrapped in his Tallit, Oldest Son read from Exodus reflecting his Torah portion from December 31, 2012.

And the last official ritual of Oldest Son's Bar Mitzvah experience is complete. A Mommy tear drops.

Then, there was music and dancing and food and smiles. Simcah Torah literally means "Rejoicing in the Torah."
Youngest Son dances around the Torah with the Rabbi and his friends - see the band?
Youngest Son replies to me when I announce it is time to leave "Wait Mommy, I want to hold the Torah!"

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