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Simchat Torah: Celebrating God’s Word

October 12, 2017
Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah means “joy of the Torah” in Hebrew. This Jewish holiday celebrates the completion of the annual Torah reading cycle.

The Torah contains the first five books of the Holy Scriptures and is Judaism’s most revered text. In it, we discover the God of Creation and learn the history of Israel. We receive His Law and find the first prophetic promise of mankind’s redemption.

Each year, Messianic Jews along with the Jewish community read through the Torah in weekly segments called the parasha (para-ah-SHAH). The yearly schedule of readings ends on the morning of Simchat Torah and begins again that evening.

In a morning service, worshippers read the final parasha of the cycle and celebrate this holy gift from God – His holy Word. Participants rejoice with festive dancing and singing while the Torah scroll is carried around the synagogue or public square by as many people as possible, each in turn.

Messianic Jews identify Simchat Torah as a time to rejoice also in God’s Word given through the remainder of the Tenach (Old Covenant Scriptures), New Covenant writings, and in Yeshua (Jesus) Himself, who is called the Word of God (Revelation 19:13).

Scripture is alive with the breath of God. It is “inspired” (2 Timothy 3:16), meaning “God-breathed.”

Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Word of God is active, performing His work in us “piercing right through to a separation of the soul and spirit” and is “able to judge thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

The Word of God cleanses us (Ephesians 5:26) and is a vital tool in transforming us by renewing our minds with truth (Romans 12:2).

God’s Word is where He reveals Himself to us. It displays His holiness, majesty and power. It exposes our sin and separation from God and proclaims His plan of redemption through Messiah Yeshua. In the Scriptures, we meet God’s love and compassion, His message of deliverance, and find encouragement and hope for each new day.

As Messianic Jews join the Jewish community in celebrating the joy of the Torah, we hope you will take time to celebrate the amazing gift of God’s Word. In many parts of the world, Believers are not able to hold the Word of God in their hands to read it for themselves. We are blessed and privileged when we have this treasure available to us. For many of us, it as close as our nightstand or desk. May we recognize its value and renew our dedication to feasting on God’s Word.

Get the "Teachings of the Torah" 

Study the Torah the first five books of the Bible through the eyes of a first-century disciple. “Teachings of the Torah” invites you into the questions, stories, and interpretations that prove the Bible is a living book.

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