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Why celebrate the Torah twice -- on Shavuot and Simchat Torah?


Library » Holidays » Shavuot » About | Subscribe | What is RSS?


Mrs. Shaffer: can I help you?:)

Adina: What_s the difference between the reasons for celebrating the Torah on Shavuot and Simchat Torah?

Mrs. Shaffer: ok

Mrs. Shaffer: so here's the thing:

Mrs. Shaffer: there's this ancient parable.....a king and queen, living happily together but without having had any children...and they prayed for their happiness to be complete....

Mrs. Shaffer: they consult some mystic, and he promises them a daughter under one conditon - she may never be seen by any man until the day of her wedding

Mrs. Shaffer: so of course the couple agree, and a year later a sweet little girl is born to them

Mrs. Shaffer: in the meantime, the king had prepared some distant palace and staffed it with the best of humankind, all women

Mrs. Shaffer: and the queen and infant repair to the palace where there is no chance that any man will ever set eyes on her

Mrs. Shaffer: and she grows to be lovely and sweet natured and cultured and educated....the arts, the sciences, the ways of the world....all taught to her by the best money could buy in female tutors....

Mrs. Shaffer: you with me so far?

Adina: So far

Mrs. Shaffer: ok... so....

Mrs. Shaffer: the day comes when it's time to find for her a husband, and the king lets it be known throughout his lands that he will receive prospective husbands

Mrs. Shaffer: and of course all the noblemen and princes of the land come to ask her hand in marriage....her gracious qualities have in reputation spread far and wide

Mrs. Shaffer: each prospective suitor comes to the king...the king explains that he may not see his prospective bride until the day of hte wedding...and each one of them sadly declines, saying he must see whom he's marrying....

Mrs. Shaffer: and so it goes....the suitor population dwindles to nothing

Mrs. Shaffer: one day a young lad...a farmer's son....a peasant... comes to the king and asks for his daughter's hand

Mrs. Shaffer: the king is surprised...but says to this lad: you know, of course, you may not set eyes on her until the day of the wedding?

Mrs. Shaffer: and the lad answers: Your royal highness, my have been a just king, a noble king, a kind king....and you have earned my complete respect and trust

Mrs. Shaffer: if you tell me your daughter is gracious and lovely, I believe you.....and I wish to marry her

Mrs. Shaffer: so....they were great fanfare and celebration....

Mrs. Shaffer: ok....and here comes the answer to your question....:)

Mrs. Shaffer: six months pass....the new husband comes to his faterh=in-law, the king and says:

Mrs. Shaffer: My dear, royal Dad: I married your daughter because I believed what you said to me about her...and we celebrated our marriage in great joy

Mrs. Shaffer: but now, today, at this time....I have been living with her for all these months

Mrs. Shaffer: and now, having come to know her....I can finally fully apprecieate her goodness and I am overjoyed with life with her

Mrs. Shaffer: so now I come and ask that you make for us another celebration...a great celebrate our marriage

Mrs. Shaffer: the end.

Mrs. Shaffer: and they are today...happily ever aftering

Mrs. Shaffer: :)

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.


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Holidays » Simchat Torah
Best of AskMoses » Holidays

Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Simchat Torah
An extremely joyous one-day autumn festival following the holiday of Sukkot. In Israel it is the eighth day of Sukkot, outside of Israel it is celebrated the next day, the day after Shmini Atzeret. Every Sabbath we read a portion of the Torah. On this holiday we celebrate the completion of the yearly cycle.
Early summer festival marking the day when the Jews received the Torah at Mount Sinai in the year 2448 (1312 BCE).