Is there a ritual that marks the completion of reading one of the books of the Torah?

Answered by
Rabbi Victor S. Appell

During a worship service, each time the reading of a book of the Torah is completed, the congregation rises and says, “chazak chazak v’nitchazek – be strong, be strong, and we will be strengthened.” According to Rabbi David Saperstein, the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom (and former director of the Religious Action Center), “This seems to suggest that our personal strengths are inextricably bound with those of the community: as we individually strengthen ourselves, the collective is subsequently fortified. The command may be in the singular, but the result is in the plural.