Background on Simchat Torah for Parents Researched and written by Sylvia Rouss Simchat Torah immediately follows Sukkot. Throughout the year the Torah scroll is unrolled and read in the synagogue. The reading begins with Genesis and the story of creation and continues with Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and finally, Deuteronomy. On Simchat Torah, the final chapter is read and the Torah scroll is rolled back to the beginning where the cycle of reading can begin again with the first chapter of Genesis. The study of Torah is a continuous cycle that never ends. Simchat Torah is a time to rejoice with the Torah. It is a time to celebrate the final reading of the last chapter and the beginning of the first chapter. At the conclusion of the service the Torah scrolls are carried around the synagogue seven times. Children are encouraged to participate by following the Torah and waving brightly colored flags often topped with apples. People sing and dance during the flag waving parade.
The little Torah was very excited. In a few days, it would celebrate a special holiday, Simhat Torah. It had taken a whole year to read its scroll. On Simhat Torah it would be unrolled as the last part of its scroll was read and then it would be rolled back to the beginning and the first part would be read. The little Torah could hardly wait. It was like waiting for a birthday party!
Finally Simhat Torah arrived. The Little Torah waited as the reader used a silver pointer in the shape of a hand to read the last part of its scroll. The pointer was called a “yad”, the Hebrew word for “hand” and it tickled the Little Torah’s scroll. The Little Torah tried not to giggle even though it knew that Simhat Torah was a time for laughter.
Suddenly the reader was finished and the Little Torah felt itself being rolled back to the beginning as someone else read the first part of its scroll. When the reader finished, a special belt was tied around its scroll and the Little Torah’s cover was slipped back on. The little Torah felt warm in its soft velvety cover. Next its silver necklace was put back in place. Finally, silver crowns were placed over its scroll posts. When the Little Torah was lifted high in the air, it giggled and the bells on its crown made a soft tinkling sound.
“Yippee!” shouted the Little Torah. “I love leading the parade.” It noticed all the children waving their colorful flags. Some people were dancing, some were singing, and some were laughing. Everyone was happy as they marched around the synagogue behind the Little Torah.
At last the Little Torah was brought back to the front of the synagogue. As it was returned to its special place in the ark, the Little Torah smiled because it knew that in just one year, it would again celebrate Simhat Torah!
(Sing to Bingo) by Sylvia Rouss
There is a scroll that we all love,
And Torah is its name-o.
T-O-R-A-H, T-O-R-A-H, T-O-R-A-H,
And Torah is its name-o.
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
(Sing toThree Blind Mice) by Sylvia Rouss
Five books of Moses, Five Books of Moses,
In the Torah, in the Torah.
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus. Numbers, Deuteronomy are the rest.
They are the books we love the best,
Five Books of Moses, Five Books of Moses.
IT’S SIMCHAT TORAH
(Sing to Frere Jacque) by Sylvia Rouss
Hold the Torah, hold the Torah
Sing a joyous song,
As you march along,
It’s Simchat Torah. It’s Simchat Torah.
Wave your flag, wave your flag,
All around, all around.
Wave it up high,
Reach for the sky,
It’s Simchat Torah, it’s Simchat Torah.RECIPES Blender Shakes 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries 2 ½ cups cold milk 3 Tbs. honey Put in blender and blend at high speed for 10 seconds. Makes five ½ cup servings. Apple Crunch 6 medium apples 2 Tbs. lemon juice 1 ½ cup brown sugar 2 cups uncooked oatmeal 1 cup flour ¾ cup margarine Peel and core apples. Cut into thin slices and layer into a greased 9 X 13 baking pan. Sprinkle the lemon juice and 4 Tbs. of brown sugar over the apple slices. Mix the oatmeal, remaining brown sugar, and flour in a bowl. Cut in the margarine and blend with a fork until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over apples. Bake 30 minutes at 350.