Talk in the Sukkah this 5783/2022 found it way back to the viral “Yerushalayim” (Jerusalem) Song by MBC – Miami Boys Choir, that exploded all over TikTok. As we posted earlier, shared on Yom-Kippur, that while this song popularized Jerusalem in an engaging way, it really isn’t about Jerusalem as much as the verse this song is based on, uses Jerusalem’s mountains as a metaphor for G-d’s eternal embrace of the Jewish people.
Approaching Simchas Torah – a similar message is fitting:
Many think that Simchas Torah celebrates Torah – as in the Torah we read and study. Not exactly, especially from a Chabad/Rebbe point of view. Too much to share here in full detail, but the idea is that more than knowledge and information, we’re celebrating connection and belonging. The verse and song “Torah, Torah…” highlights Torah as an inheritance and heritage, regardless of how much a person knows or doesn’t, studies or doesn’t study. The Friediker Rebbe emphasizes that on Simchas Torah we dance with closed Torahs, not open books. This holiday doesn’t celebrate the books as much as it celebrates the People of the Book. And we dance in circles, because there’s no front or book, no top or bottom, we’re all in this together, no one ahead or behind. Like the Miami Jerusalem song that went viral on TikTok, it’s really a testament to the Jewish people and their eternal unshakeable bond with G-d, His Torah, our heritage and connection. It’s not a holiday for scholars, this holiday celebrates every Jew! And that’s why Rebbe takes issue with the explanation about “celebrating at a brother’s wedding”… see that link for a bit on that)….
Much more could be said about this, there’s so much in Rebbe’s Torah and teaching about this vision and perspective….
and Jordan R. piped up in the Sukkah and said that it reminded him of a Rebbe teaching (in fact, from the Rebbe’s very first farbrengen as Rebbe) about “The Three Knots” (its quoted in that link).
Can go into this much more, but as a rabbi, it is especially heartwarming and validating when students remember meaningful ideas and connect one to the other, and internalize them in real-life ways and perspectives…