Simchat Torah around the world in 2019

Simchat Torah around the world in 2019
  How long until Simchat Torah?
This holiday next takes place in 30 days.
  Dates of Simchat Torah around the world
2021 IsraelSep 29
Israel Wed, Sep 29National Holiday
2020 IsraelOct 11
Israel Sun, Oct 11National Holiday
2019 IsraelOct 22
Israel Tue, Oct 22National Holiday
2018 IsraelOct 2
Israel Tue, Oct 2National Holiday
2017 IsraelOct 12
Israel Thu, Oct 12National Holiday
  Summary
Marks the end of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle.

When is Simchat Torah?

Following closely after Sukkot, Simchat Torah is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the end of the annual cycle of Torah readings, and marks the beginning of a new annual cycle. It is celebrated on the 22nd day of the month of Tishrei.

Outside of Israel, it will be observed as a Jewish holiday on the 23rd of Tisheri.

History of Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah is Hebrew and means "rejoicing with the Torah".

During the morning, extracts from Deuteronomy and Genesis are read in the synagogue. Many communities may also have a Torah reading on the evening before Simchat Torah. During the services in the synagogue, the ark is opened, and the Torah scrolls are removed from the ark and paraded around the synagogue. Singing children follow the procession with candles and banners.

Originally Simchat Torah was simply the second day of Shemini Atzeret. Its significance as a separate celebration was not acknowledged until later.

In some southern parts of Europe the custom developed to remove the Torah scrolls from the ark, and to sing a separate hymn for each one. In northern Europe, it became common for those who had made readings to gave donations to the synagogue. By the start of the sixteenth century many Rabbis had allowed dancing in the synagogue during the festival.

In more modern times, Simchat Torah has become a celebration to assert a Jewish identity in public. In the Soviet Union, thousands of Jews would celebrate the festival in the streets. Dancing in the street with the Torah has also become part of the ritual in various Jewish communities across the United States.

The celebration of Simchat Torah has endured among many Jews who have shown declining interest in other aspects of Jewish observance.

In 1996, the Israel Postal Authority issued a postage stamp to honour the holiday.

*Like other Jewish holidays, Simchat Torah will begin at sundown on the previous day.

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