Sh'mini Atzeret - Simchat Torah
Deuteronomy 33:1–34:12, Genesis 1:1–2:3
When Is Sh'mini Atzeret - Simchat Torah Read?
On Simchat Torah, the day on which we literally celebrate the Torah, we read the very end of Deuteronomy and the very beginning of Genesis. In the final verses of Torah, we read Moses’ blessing of the Israelites, offered before the prophet dies. Moses then ascends Mount Nebo, from which he sees the Promised Land and takes his final breath. God buries Moses and we are told there will never be another prophet like him. From this passage, we immediately begin our new cycle of Torah reading with the story of creation from the beginning of Genesis. And we create a new year of studying Torah. While each year we return to the same verses, it is we who are different. With each passing year, we grow and change, celebrate and mourn. And it is as if we are reading these sacred words for the very first time.