Simchat Torah – Why be Happy?

Simchat Torah

Why be Happy

Simchat Torah is one of the happiest celebrations all year long. Why should a person who does not spend much of his time studying Torah celebrate? I see that the happiest people are often those who never open a Torah book.

All Jews have been effected by the Torah. In all the years that I have followed the news I have not heard about a single Israeli soldier raping an Arab women. In many countries rape is used to oppress the enemy.

In Israel the army never had a task to simply intimidate the Arabs, just to make them afraid. I once read in the paper about the exploits of a particular police force and army. The officers are ordered to intimidate the lower class people. They Beat them with a baton and if the officer is really uptight he can use a crow bar.

I believe that Jewish culture has been so affected by the Torah that we all have much higher standards.

We regularly say the Pasuk:

It is a tree of life to those who cling to it.

The Torah has inculcated us with beautiful morals.

Unfortunately, many do not recognize that the greatness of the Jews comes from the Torah. Some think that morals come from studying philosophy or other subjects in college. Today we should recognize that all of the Jewish morals come from the Torah and not from other sources. We are special because we follow the Torah. We would be much more special if we would completely follow the Torah.

There is nice Pasuk from Yishayahu. It says:

Whoever is thirsty should drink water and whoever does not have money should go to eat without money or price, they should drink wine and milk.

This Pasuk is really an allegory: the fine food, wine and milk really refers to studying the Torah. Ibn Ezra and others say that this pasuk refers to people who pay a lot of money to learn wisdom from gentiles. The prophet tells them instead to come hear Torah wisdom for free from the prophet himself.

It is nothing new that people spend a lot of money on secular education and totally ignore the wisdom in the Torah. The Jews of those days preferred to go to study from some sorcerer with a red stick through his nose instead of hearing the humanistic words of the prophets.

It is the Torah which gives us our high morals not a university. Our lives should be based on Torah values and not on inferior philosophies.

On Simchat Torah we should be ecstatically happy and dance in the streets for the great present which G-d gave us.