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Sukkot, the Jewish festival of booths (a harvest holiday of thanksgiving), begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei.
As the sun sets on the seventh day of Sukkot , we transition immediately into the jubilant celebration of Simchat Torah . There is no time to spare; we’ve got to get this Torah party started! Simchat Torah means “rejoicing in Torah,” and this holiday is a true celebration of Torah, and all that it represents. We dance, we sing, and we make merry, long into the night
Since 1970, the United States has celebrated Earth Day every April. By contrast, ancient Jewish celebrations throughout the year remind us of our responsibility to safeguard the fragile planet God has entrusted to our care. Almost all of our Jewish observances reflect environmental concerns.
Tu BiShvat, the precursor to Earth Day, should make us alert to our air, water, animals, and foliage – and all that we’re doing to destroy them.
The way we celebrate Tu BiShvat has changed over the years – a case-in-point of how Jewish life and observance has been transformed in our day, due in no small part thanks to the successes of the State of Israel.
One of most wonderful aspects of Simchat Torah is celebrating the joy of children and families dancing and singing with our Torah scrolls. Watch and listen to songs about our Torah, learn the creation story, how our Torahs can be handled with joy and care, and what all those books are really about!