REFLECTIONS ON SIMCHAT TORAH
During the Yom Tov festivities I was asked two excellent questions. One was why we utilize the Yomim Noroim melody for Simchat Torah night. I responded that it is not for sake of levity, but in fact, just the opposite. It was instituted to remind us that Simchat Torah is considered by Chassidim as a day to change the decree of one’s fate and to achieve atonement through joy rather than fear. And, according to Rabbi Elie Munk (World of Prayer) as quoted by my teacher, Chazzan Macy Nulman, to remind us that “unbridled boisterousness is regarded quite unseemly...”. It was to remind us to temper our unrestricted emotions on this day. Unfortunately, we seem to have forgotten this part of the equation – perhaps, I must admit, for the good. However, we must be careful not to make the Maariv into a “joke”.