20 October 2017 / 30 Tishrei 5778
The story is told about Sam who approaches a synagogue one morning only to find all the worshippers filing out. Disappointed to have arrived so late, he asks the first person he met, “Is the service all done?” The answer was: “No, no, not at all! The service is all read; however, now we start the doing”.
The Chabad custom is to announce in Shule after Simchas Torah, the biblical verse, “V’Yaakov holach l’darko” – “Jacob went on his way”, or to use the once popular English expression, “Hit the Road, Jack”.
To give clarity to this custom by way of a parable: In days of old when people lived on the land far away from the large towns and villages, once a year they travelled into the cities in order to purchase supplies that would pull them throughout the forthcoming year. The same may be said of the month of Tishrei, which has a plethora of Yom Tovim and a time when most of us come to Shule for stocking up on spiritual inspiration for the coming year.
The first Shabbos of the year, Shabbos Bereishis, marks the time when we “re-enter” our regular lives. The announcement of “Jacob went on his way”, means that with the end of the inspirational time in Shule and the New Year beginning, we must take this stock of inspiration received on the Yom Tovim. Then more importantly we must take this inspiration with us on “our way”, into the rest of the year, giving us the impetus to achieve higher spiritual goals.
This call is addressed to all Jacks and Jackie’s, to hit the road! To go out into the “real world“, to our secular day-to-day lives and infuse them with the inspiration that we gained during these holidays, to live this year with more Jewish content.
Simchas Torah at Central was truly an amazing day with Services, activities and programs for Adults and Children alike. Over a hundred Children came to see the Acrobat Show, dance with the Torah and receive their lolly bags. Yasha Koah Rabbi Schneier and Miriam Lange! The Simchas Torah Deli, pulled Beef in a pita was a great hit, with thanks to Matt and his team from Glick’s and Carlo & Roz De Bortoli for their sponsorship of this Day. Once again we decided to have an all-inclusive Hakofos in the Farber – Liberman Hall to enable greater participation of the women and girls; this certainly proved to be a great success. Simchas Torah was truly an amazing day at Central.
Rabbi and Sheyna Riesenberg