Simchat Torah

The Daily Halacha Moment - Simchat Torah 📙 🎶


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן ‎העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

What are some customs of Simchat Torah?


Answer:

On the night of Simchat Torah, after praying Arvit, it is customary to sing, dance, and circle the bimah seven times with sifrei Torah in honor of completing the Torah. [1]


Even though dancing and clapping are generally forbidden on Shabbat and Yom Tov, one may dance and clap on Simchat Torah, even when it is on Shabbat, since Simchat Torah is an exception to the general rule. [2]


One may not play music on Simchat Torah. Similarly, one may not shake the rimonim on the sefer Torah to hear them jingle. [3]


During the hakafot, if one is too tired to stand, for example, if he is ill or elderly, then he may sit between hakafot. However, if he is able, he should stand during the hakafot and while the sifrei Torah are being put away. [4]


Sources:

[1]. Rama 669:1. See also Chazon Ovadia, Sukkot, p. 464, which cites the Rambam in Hilchot Lulav 8:15, who writes that one should not refrain from dancing and feeling joy on Simchat Torah, even if dancing is seemingly below one’s stature. See also Lev David §32 and Moed LeChol Chai 25:40, which discuss the importance of being happy on Simchat Torah. Shalmei Tzibbur, p. 294b even says that one who is especially careful to be joyous on Simchat Torah will be blessed that his offspring will become great Torah scholars.

[2]. Rama 669:1; Mishnah Berurah §5; Shaar HaTziyun §5; Yabia Omer, vol. 7, 56:6; Chazon Ovadia, Sukkot, pages 456–457. See also Ben Ish Chai, Vezot Haberachah 1:18, which states that when clapping, one should clap his right hand over his left hand.

[3]. Mishnah Berurah 339:8; Mishpetei Uziel 1:13; Yechaveh Daat 3:49; Chazon Ovadia, _Sukkot_, p. 458.

[4]. Aruch HaShulchan 282:5; BaTzel HaChochmah 5:139; Halichot Shlomo, Sukkot 12:9, p. 243; Chazon Ovadia, Sukkot, p. 465; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 40:2.

See Laws Of The Holidays - Nacson.


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