Simchas Torah Gems - 5770
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Below is a brief synopsis of Simchas Torah Gems.
- Our society no longer uses the horse and buggy. We now have the fastest, coolest cars on the road. Some can go from zero to over a hundred miles an hour in six seconds. But in the most surprising way, we’ve not made progress. Why? The answer to this question can be found by looking into the heart of Simchat Torah, a holiday which calls on us to dance with the Torah, and make a L’chayim to Jewish life.
- Conduct a simple, fascinating and fun exercise with your congregants that will powerfully and humorously illustrate their conflicting and foggy sense of direction. Then contrast this with the timeless eternity of Torah, ‘true north’ for our people.
- Moshe Rabbenu’s greatest sin actually makes great music. Jews all over the read about it in the Torah but Chabad celebrates it by singing about it with gusto! What are we all thinking?
- It was the day before Chanukah, and a woman awoke and told her husband, “Last night I dreamt that you gave me a magnificent diamond necklace for Chanukah. What do you think it means?” Find out what she found out that night! Friends, we all have dreams. What is Judaism’s dream? It is as we sing tonight: "Ki mitzion tetze Torah….” But how do we change the world? The problems out there are so vast. With six billion people on earth, you might ask: How can I, one person, make a difference? A moving parable shows us how.
- Simchat Torah comes in early autumn, when the leaves begin falling off the trees. As the winds shift, you can hear the leaves rustling together as they create a symphony of natural music. This sound reminds me of what the great 13th century sage Ramban, once said about the Torah, our eternal tree of life, and how the Jewish people endure—we’ll discuss his wisdom.
- Take a lesson from a most unkosher source —the humble lobster— that we can apply to our own spiritual growth. This lesson is most important to this year, 5770-Ufaratzta. Find out why.
- We all know how the Shpoler Zaide dancing in a bear costume saved the day for one Jew in old Russia. Chassidim love this story not because we will be fortunate to be taught by Eliyahu but because it tells us the secret of how we too can liberate ourselves from our own psychological prison, so that our inner “Cossack” falls--and our neshama dances on!
- “V'Yaakov Holach L'darko!” Hit the road Jack. As Simchat Torah ends, we call on all “Jacks” and “Jackies” to hit the road. There is a charming story about a man approaching a synagogue one morning; as he opens the front door, the worshippers are filing out. He asks the first person he meets a simple question. The striking answer he receives can still inspire us to go forth and make a difference in our lives…find out what it is…. Friends, over the last month we’ve prayed together. Let us now hit the road together, let us build a vibrant community together, let us study together, let us dance through the year together, with the joy, wisdom and learnings of Torah in our hearts…