I didn’t think it could be possible, but here we are, once again on erev Chag, and again the nation is in mourning after another barbaric double murder by a Palestinian terrorist thug. And again I feel guilty at blogging about celebration when we are mourning two more beautiful Jewish lives suddenly snuffed out in their prime.
And again, I note that we do not mourn on festivals and Shabbat, and that life goes on. But it is hard…
I will simply repost here what I have written in previous years:
The last and most joyous festival of the Jewish holiday season is almost upon us – Sukkot finishes tonight and Simchat Torah begins.
I shall refer you to a previous post on Simchat Torah if you would like to know more details about the festival – which involves lots of dancing with the Torah scrolls in 7 circuits of the synagogue, giving out sweets to the children, and generally celebrating reading the entire Torah and starting all over again from Bereishit (Genesis).
Following the dancing, we say Tefilat Geshem (the prayer for rain) as Sukkot marks the official end of summer in Israel and the beginning of autumn and the rainy season.
In between the dancing and the prayer for rain we pause the celebrations for the Yizkor, the memorial prayer for the dead. This year Yizkor will taken on an added poignancy in the wake of the Palestinian atrocities which took four lives over the Sukkot.
May this Simchat Torah herald in a year of celebrations and only good news.
Chag Same’ach everyone.