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Simchat Torah is the culmination of a month filled with uplifting experiences.
We have stood in awe before the King of the Universe; we have been forgiven and cleansed by His mercy, and we have experienced the joy of uniting with G-dliness through His beautiful commandments.
Now, we rejoice with His Torah.
We take the sacred scrolls in our arms and dance together, scholar and novice alike. The scroll remains in its cover during the dancing, for this is not a time for study.
The joy of Simchat Torah is far greater than any delight we may derive from intellectual understanding. Here again, we emphasize that sublime level of the Jewish soul where we are all one.
On the evening of Simchat Torah, (and, as the Chabad Custom, in many communities, on the previous evening of Shemini Atzeret, we make seven "hakafot" (circlings) around the bimah, singing and dancing with the Torah scrolls.
On the morning of Simchat Torah, the final portion of the Torah is read, completing the annual cycle. Then we immediately start reading the beginning. Thus, we continue to nourish ourselves from the infinite wisdom of G-d's Torah - the eternal force that has bound and sustained us for over 3,300 years.
Simchat Torah begins with candle lighting on Friday evening at 6:12 PM. Light the holiday candles on Motzai Shabbat (from a pre-existing flame) after 7:09 PM. The holiday ends Sunday night at 7:07 PM.
Shabbat Shalom & Chag Sameach!