Temple Judea celebrates Simchat Torah 2018

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At head of table left to right: Student Cantor Mariel Guarerra Ashkenazi and Rabbi Todd Chizner reading from the unscrolled Torah. (Photo courtesy of Nancy Fadem)

The Jewish holiday, Simchat Torah, was celebrated recently at Temple Judea of Manhasset. This holiday is a special one, filled with meaning and significance for Jews around the world.

The very translation of the name, Simchat Torah, means “The Joy of Torah” indicating the joy, reverence and wisdom of this amazing and holy text.

This celebration centers on the ceremony of reading the last words of the last book of the Torah, Deuteronomy, and then immediately reading the first words of the first book, Genesis, symbolizing the never-ending nature of the Torah.  

The Torah was unscrolled to the first book, Genesis, from the first words, B’Rasheet. “In the beginning…”  to the last words of Deuteronomy, the fifth and last book of the Torah. Rabbi Chizner captured the symbolism perfectly by chanting the last words of Deuteronomy and then Student Cantor Mariel Guarrera-Ashkenazy immediately read the first words of Genesis.

The Rabbi pointed out the Torah’s beauty and complexity and he answered questions from the assembled congregants. To be up close and personal with the holy Torah was truly a moment to treasure and rejoice.

The evening concluded with each person taking home some sweets, reminding us that our greatest sweetness in life is learning. 

Temple Judea welcomes new members. The temple is located at 333 Searingtown Road in Manhasset, and can be contacted by email at temple-judea.com and by phone at 516-621-049

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