12 votes
Accepted

Why do we do hosha'nos and hakafos counterclockwise?

Mishna Berura 660:1:3 says that when the Sefer Torah is on the Bimah those on the Mizrach (eastern wall) turn around to face the Torah their right side is now facing Tzafon (north) therfore they start ...
8 votes
Accepted

Why are we repeating the Torah portion this week?

If the first day of Rosh Hashanah falls out on Monday or Tuesday (as it did this year): Nitzavim alone is read on the Shabbos before Rosh Hashanah. Vayeilech is read between Rosh Hashanah and Yom ...
  • 33.5k
7 votes

Proper Hagba Procedure: Text Facing Table?

As indicated by msh210, it is a common custom on Simchas Torah to turn the Sefer Torah outwards when doing Hagbah after reading V'zos habrachah (the very end of the Pentateuch), and some do it for B'...
  • 6,544
7 votes

Can women in niddah dance and hold a sefer Torah on Simkhat Torah?

There is a Rambam (Laws of Sefer Torah 10:8 based on Berakhot 22a) which explicitly permits niddot to touch a sefer Torah Any impure person, even [a woman in] a niddah state or a gentile, may ...
  • 43.9k
6 votes

Why do we throw kids in the air on Simchas Torah?

My local orthodox rabbi told us that on Simchas Torah, Korach jumps and yells "Moshe emes v'Toraso emes" in admission that he was wrong to rebel against Moshe Rabbeinu. In celebration of Korach's ...
  • 5,119
5 votes
Accepted

Why is dancing allowed on Simchas Torah?

from Halachipedia: Tosfot (Beitzah 30a s.v. Tenan) writes that the gezerah of Chazal only applied then when they were experts in fixing musical instruments but it wouldn’t apply to us since we’re not ...
  • 17.3k
5 votes
Accepted

Seeking info on a Simchas Tora song

This song was on Pirchei volume 2 - Aleicha Hashem is the tape title. Here is a link where you can request to hear the song. This tape was produced by Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum Zatzal in 5731/1971. The ...
5 votes
Accepted

Why does Chabad do hakafot erev Shemini Atzeret

The Baal HaTanya writes in his siddur: מנהג ותיקין הוא לעשות יום שמיני עצרת גם כן כמו בשמחת תורה It is a custom of the ancients(?) to do on Shmini Atzeres like on Simchas on Torah ... And then going ...
  • 31.4k
4 votes
Accepted

Why is V'Zot Habracha read on Simchat Torah instead of on Shabbat?

It looks like the original reading of V'Zot Habracha fluctuated in time based on the 3-year Torah reading cycle. As the Bavli custom of finishing the Torah every year took hold, the reading of the ...
  • 43.9k
4 votes
Accepted

Burning "pulver" on Simchas Torah?

See here that פּולווער is gunpowder and here and here that it was common in some communities to light firecrackers on Simchat Torah.
  • 7,450
4 votes

What are Hakafos Shniyos?

It's another 7 hakafot, but this time with live music. At the ones i've been to, they do the standard hakafah opening verses (with Hashem's name -- it's just reciting psukim, at least in the Sfardi ...
  • 22.8k
4 votes
Accepted

Is there a problem with extra aliyot on Simchat Torah?

Your question is addressed by the Remo in סימן תרסט - סדר יום שמחת תורה, though he doesn't explain the rationale behind it. וְנָהֲגוּ עוֹד לְהַרְבּוֹת הַקְּרוּאִים לַסֵּפֶר תּוֹרָה, וְקוֹרִים ...
4 votes

Should we allow women to dance with a Torah on Simchas Torah?

R. Nachum Rabinovitch (Siach Nachum, no. 40) addresses this question. Assuming that the congregation and the rabbi do not object, he says there is no halakhic problem with this, as long as the sefer ...
  • 13.9k
4 votes

Why is dancing allowed on Simchas Torah?

Yalqut Yosef states (in Se'if 5) that Simhhat Torah was not part of the Rabbinic decree (of not clapping/dancing) to safeguard against fixing tools. He states that, out of honor for the Torah, HaZa"L ...
  • 7,373
4 votes

Why Does the Torah Cycle start/end on Simchat Torah?

One answer is that it is juxtaposed with the giving of the Torah - but the giving of the second Tablets on Yom Kippur, not the first tablets on Shavuos. This is explained at length in several places ...
  • 31.4k
3 votes

Simchas Torah dancing prior to finishing the Torah

See p. 180 in this book. Hakafot on SImchat Torah was a relatively late addition done in the 16th century. One of the reasons mentioned in the source is that it is actually a supplication and ...
  • 69k
3 votes

Simchas torah and drinking

Nitei Gavriel Succos 102:6:9 brings from Pri Tzaddik volume 5 - Rabbi Tzadok HaKohain - 44 that the source of drinking on Simchas Torah is King Solomon and goes on to say it is a Tikun for the ...
3 votes

Why do we change the Haftarah for Simchas Torah?

R. Asher Ben Yechiel cites the Jerusalem Talmud as the source for reading the beginning of Yehoshua as the haftarah: Rosh Megillah 4:10 ביו"ט אחרון של חג קורין כל הבכור ומפטירין ויהי ככלות שלמה ...
  • 48.2k
3 votes

Oldest Source for Simchas Torah Hakafos

According to this site, the Machzor Vitry (12th century) was the earliest source to mention hakafos -albeit in the morning, and the Maharam M'Rutenberg (13th century) was the first to record hakafos ...
  • 12.6k
2 votes

Minhag of bothering the chazzan on Simchas Torah

"What is the source and when did it start?" The questioner makes two "given"s. I propose there is no source. I cannot answer as to when it started (or a better word would be "begin to evolve). As to ...
  • 1,057
2 votes
Accepted

How much of the standard תורה service is done on שמחת תורה?

1. whether, after the nighttime hakafos and before the reading of the Torah, the congregation says "B'rich shmeh"; The לוח דבר בעתו on page 242 (תשע"א) says: Yes. 2. Same question for daytime; The ...
2 votes
Accepted

Simchas Torah Hakofos participation requirement

See Mishna Berura 669 sk 11: ...ולכן יש להתאמץ בזה לרקד ולזמר לכבוד התורה כמו שכתוב גבי דהע"ה מפזז ומכרכר בכל עוז לפני ד' וכ"כ משם האר"י ז"ל והעידו על האר"י ז"ל שאמר שהמעלה העליונה שהשיג באה ...
  • 22.4k
2 votes

Evolution of Simchas Torah Night reading

Strictly speaking the Torah should be read only in the daytime. But since the scrolls have already been removed from the Ark for the processions, some argue that there ought to be a reading so that ...
  • 4,079
2 votes

Why do we do hosha'nos and hakafos counterclockwise?

Everything done in a Beit Kenesset is modeled on the procedures as they were done in the Temple, "HaMikdash", in Jerusalem. That is why a synagogue is known as "Mikdash Me'at", a small Temple (...
  • 12.5k
2 votes

Kriat hatorah simchat torah

Nitei Gavriel writes that when the Chazzan holds the Sefer Torah, the minhag is to add in the word ונורא to אחד אלהינו, just as one does on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. He then quotes sources that ...
  • 6,097
2 votes

Why is Birkas Kohanim Modified on Simchas Torah

I can answer question 1: Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 128:38 rules that a Kohen cannot say Birkas Kohanim after drinking a small amount of wine (either a revi'is neat in one shot or more than a revi'is ...
  • 38.6k
2 votes

Why is Birkas Kohanim Modified on Simchas Torah

The Halacha - in סימן קכח - דיני נשיאת כפים ואיזה דברים הפוסלים בכהן is that a Cohen chugged a Revi'is of wine or drank more than a Revi'is in multiple sips cannot do Birkas Kohanim until he sobers up....
2 votes

Yiddish version of "Tov Li Toras Picha"

טוב לי תורת פיך מאלפי זהב וכסף "The Torah of your mouth is better for me than thousands of gold and silver." (Tehillim 119:72) עס איז בעסער צו לערנען די הייליגע תורה מער ווי אלע גאלד און זילבער (...
2 votes
Accepted

Origins of Hakafoth on Simchas Torah

According to this article found on the RCE's website, written by a certain רב ישראל פינחס טירנואר, the minhag of Hakafot began with the Arizal. The author supplies a supporting quote on page 6 of the ...
  • 4,273
2 votes

Can women in niddah dance and hold a sefer Torah on Simkhat Torah?

Q: Chacham Ovadia Mayaan Omer 3: pg.202 was asked a question coming from outside Eretz Yisroel. The question was can women dance with the sefer Torah? A: Chacham Ovadia answered that they should not ...
  • 39.9k

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