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Simchat Torah sends regards

Friday, 10 July, 2020 - 7:15 am

 It is somewhat refreshing when the week’s parasha deals with the holidays or mentions them. This way, a Jew can be in the middle of Tammuz and, with Rashi’s help, return to Simchat Torah.

It is more than just refreshing, I learn from this that the Torah is always relevant, and if the daily Chumash reading reminds you of Simchat Torah, take from this something into your day, your life.

“It is hard for me when you leave,” is an expression that I assume many of the readers are familiar with in connection with Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. Rashi in his commentary on the verses that discuss the offerings brought on Shmini Atzeret defines the last holiday of Tishrei as a day on which after we have been close, holiday following holiday from Rosh Hashana till the end of Succot, Hashem asks us, Bnei Yisrael: “Stay with me one more day because it is hard for me when you leave.”

So how is this connected with the middle of Tammuz?

I think there is a very important message here. We are in the period of Bein Hametzarim (also known as the Three Weeks), days that emphasize our exile from our land and home, days in which we feel the pain of the destruction of the Temple even more than usual. And here, in the midst of these days, Rashi reminds us that Hashem is waiting for us, looking forward to seeing us, and that actually He is in constant distress from our being away from Him.

And what does a child who is far from home need more than the knowledge that back home people are waiting for him and missing him?


Mashiach now!


Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski

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