Pearls of Rashi: Simchas Torah

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This coming Shabbos and Sunday, we will celebrate the holiday of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah. At that time, we will conclude the yearly cycle of reading (and studying) the Torah[1]. The final Torah reading is the Parshah V’zos Haberochoh.

In this portion, we read that[2] “The Torah which Moshe commanded us is the inheritance of the Congregation of Yaakov (the Jewish Nation).” Rashi cites the word “Torah,” and explains that “the Torah which Moshe commanded us is an inheritance of the Jewish people; we have taken hold of it, and we will not forsake it.”

Rashi is very particular with the words he uses. We need to understand why he writes that we have “taken hold of the Torah?” It would seem to be more appropriate to say that we study, or that we listen to the Torah.  There is something else that we need to understand. After saying that the Torah is an inheritance of the Jews, he then says that we have taken hold of it. There must be some connection between the fact that Torah is our inheritance, and the fact that we take hold of it. Just how are the two related to each other?

One possible explanation is, that the Hebrew word for holding on to (אחזנוה), is also related to the word אחוזה, which means an estate. This means that the word which Rashi uses also connotes the concept of an inheritance. The Torah is the inheritance of each Jew without exception. An estate which one inherits always belongs to him. In the same manner, every Jew without exception always retains ownership of the Torah.

Even when a Jew is in exile among the nations, the Torah is still his. It is our estate; the Torah is the constant property of every Jew, despite the circumstances in which he finds himself.

Sukkos, Shemini Atzeres, and Simchas Torah are all called the “Time of Our Rejoicing.” Hashem should help that our joy should be complete, in the simple sense of the word. We should all have the best year ever, in all spiritual and physical matters. This will certainly help bring about the ultimate blessing of Moshiach Now!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Volume 29, Page 229

מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש

חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס

[1] Upon the completion of the Torah, we immediately read the beginning of the Torah. This is because no one ever finishes learning Torah. Torah is Hashem’s will and wisdom. Just as He is infinite, so too is the Torah.

[2]. Parshas V’zos Haberochoh, Devorim 33:4.

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