It was an emotional moment. I paused to soak it in and savour the experience as I looked with wonder at the last column of parchment that marked the conclusion of the reading of the entire five Books of Moses, the Torah.
Standing next to me was my dear friend, Hagai Golan, who had been crowned ‘Chatan Torah’; the groom to his bride the Torah. He would be honoured with the final Aliyah, completing the annual cycle of reading the Torah.
What a unique people we are! How much dedication and love over how many generations did it take for us in Cape Town to reach this climax?
By now Joseph has shown Hagai the starting line for his Aliyah, and the groom kisses his Tallis which marked the spot- showing a love & reverence for the Torah. Everyone stands, a large Tallis (Chuppah?) is spread over the groom by the bachurim of Yeshiva of CT & the concluding verses are read by our talented & dedicated baal koreh,Joseph Cohen.
“Chazak chazak venitchazek”! Be strong & let us be strengthened together. It’s finished! A year’s effort, week in and week out, has come to its conclusion. And a spontaneous song of “Simon Tov & Mazel Tov” bursts forth from the crowd. But none us as joyful as the Chatan, the groom shining under his canopy of a Tallis held aloft by Torah students from Israel.
And then the most wondrous thing of all: the rebirth of the Torah & another groom! Chatan Bereisheet Stuart Hendler, a dear friend who never misses shul on Shabbos, is being called up; the Torah is set to begin again, from the beginning.
Sometimes I wonder: if we Jews paused for a moment, would history hold its breath? Would time stop & wait? I think not, therefore we can’t ever afford to pause; the Torah never ends.
Mazel Tov to our chatanim and their families: Hagai & Tanya Golan & Stuart and Andi Hendler. May the joy of Torah that you experienced on Simchat Torah carry you through your year ahead.
And Mazel Tov to Stuart Hendler, who we discovered just turned 50 last week! Much blessing and nachas in the decade ahead.
Speaking of 50th’s…Mazel Tov to Eleanor Miller and Nicki Brivik on their 50th Birthdays as well! Congratulations and huge blessing for the decade ahead. Mit glick un nachas!
Speaking of birthdays, Mazel Tov to Norma Marshall on her 80th Birthday! Kenehora! Much nachas and blessing.
Mazel Tov to Harry & Shooshy Buchinsky on the marriage of their grandson, Dr Gabriel Glaun to Dr Mica Esquenazi. We wish you a safe trip to Texas and a nachas-filled trip.
Mazel Tov to Leon & Minette Munitz on their grandson, Rayi Makori’s Bar Mitzvah in London. Much nachas!
A warm welcome to Chief Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein who will be our guest in shul tonight. Which reminds me that the Shabbos Project is a few weeks away on November 15 & 16. Let’s keep it together!
To celebrate the Shabbos Project, Marais Rd Shul is hosting a grand Cholent cook-off competition, with Merle Rubin! To enter a team or book your spots at the Shul lunch on November 16, call the shul office or email Kerry at firstname.lastname@example.org
Condolences to Arnold, Michael & Heide Levin on the passing of their mother, Rita Levin, and to Rita Gordon on the loss of her big sister, Ray Cohen. May HaShem Grant you comfort and strength.
It’s Shabbat mevarchim and the First Ladies Tehillim Circle of the year with Rebbetzin Sara. 6pm at the shul Hall & will include another popular shiur.
It’s a new year…Shabbat shalom & happy reading!