To study Torah from a closed book
Amechaye Even Israel
On Simchat Torah, the holiday that connects the end of the annual cycle of reading the Torah and the beginning of the new cycle, we are hardly engaged at all in studying and reading the Torah. The tradition focuses on joy, and on dancing with sealed and closed Torah scrolls. The phrase chosen to mark the festive occasion teaches us about the special nature of the connection of our nation – “the people of the book” – to our Book of Books, a connection that is not only intellectual and rational.
Amechaye Even-Israel is editor in chief and director of projects at the Steinsaltz Center, a teacher and lecturer on Hassidism. He is married to Hava and father of nine children.