Simchat Torah

A Prayer for Simchat Torah

By: 
Rabbi David Wirtschafter

“Rejoicing in the Torah” doesn’t require us to find joy in every verse.

It doesn’t mean that we concur with every choice made by the people in it.

It doesn’t demand that we defend the indefensible or excuse the inexcusable.

It doesn’t imply that we should be happy about passages that break our hearts.

Rejoicing in the Torah is found in the freedom to study it when, where, and with whom we wish.

We experience happiness with it when we wrestle with its conflicts and struggle with its challenges.

It becomes a source of gladness when even its most disturbing passages increase our desire to do good.

“It is a tree of life” when we treat all life with care, a “light to the eyes” when we look where we are going, a “path of peace” when it inspires us to work for a better world.

As we restart the process of reading it, let our renewed study bring newfound hope, meaning, and joy.     
​May this be our blessing and let us say:

Amen. 

Rabbi David Wirtschafter is the rabbi of Temple Adath Israel in Lexington, KY.

Shabbat Morning Worship Services: Blessings for Reading the Torah

Common Prayers for Shabbat Morning
Havu Godel l’Eloheinu ut’nu chavod laTorah.

Havu Godel l’Eloheinu
ut’nu chavod laTorah.

Let us declare the greatness of our God and give honor to the Torah.

Blessing before the reading of the Torah

The person who is called to the Torah (Oleh/Olah) says:

Bar'chu et Adonai ham’vorach.

Bless Adonai who is blessed.

Congregation responds:

Baruch Adonai ham’vorach l’olam va-ed.

Blessed is Adonai who is blessed now and forever.

The Oleh/Olah then says:

Baruch Adonai ham’vorach l’olam va-ed.
Baruch atah, Adonai
Eloheinu, Melech haolam,
asher bachar banu mikol haamim,
v’natan lanu et Torato.
Baruch atah, Adonai, notein haTorah.

Blessed is Adonai who is blessed now and forever.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, who has chosen us from
among the peoples, and given us the Torah. Blessed are You, Adonai, who gives the Torah.

Blessing after reading Torah

When the reading concludes, the Oleh/Olah says:

Baruch atah, Adonai
Eloheinu, Melech haolam,
asher natan lanu Torat emet,
v’chayei olam nata b’tocheinu.
Baruch atah, Adonai, notein haTorah.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe,
who has given us a Torah of truth, implanting within us eternal life.
Blessed are You, Adonai, who gives the Torah.

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