Messianic Overtones
in Judaism

A Study of Rites and Rituals in Types and Shadows

Simchas Torah

After Succoth is a one-day observance, Simchas Torah.  In the synagogue service, the Rabbi and the Cantor open the sacred closet on the bema (platform) and remove the Holy scolls from it.  They are the 2 scrolls of the Torah, the first 5 books of the Old Testament, rolled inwardly, face-to-face.  They are covered with an ornate jacket, slipped over the 2 scrolls, embroidered in various styles, but usually dressed in royal purple velvet and gold satin fringes.  These colors symbolize the purple of royalty of our Almighty God, King of Kings and gold for His Divinity.  The scrolls are handled with great care, for the Jews reverence the Scriptures as a living part of God, His Word, which contain the law.  In the days of the original Tabernacle in the wilderness, the ark contained the two tablets of the Law, written by the finger of God, and given to Moses. The book of the Law, written by the hand of Moses, dictated by the Lord Himself, was placed beside the ark. The ark was taken several times by Israel's adversaries, and to this day has never been found, or its contents recovered.

After taking the scrolls out of the closet, the Rabbi and the Cantor, followed by other worshippers, carry their precious cargo cradling it in their arms and close to their hearts.  The scrolls vary in size, but most are rather large, between 2 to 4 feet in length, and heavy to carry.  They walk up and down the aisles, close to the pews, so people can get close enough to the scrolls to touch them as they pass by.  During this time of the Word walking amongst the people, they are singing words, praises and Psalms.


When I was a kid, I tried to get as close to the end of the pew as I could, in hopes that I could touch what I thought, was a "part of God."  I wanted to know what God felt like, but I could never get close enough.  Adults pushed in, and would reach over the head of a young kid, and I always wound up getting pushed back!  I never did get the opportunity to touch the velvet part of God...but years later, when I received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, I felt something better than velvet!  It was the joy and love of God, and the peace of a guilt free heart!  I am so thankful that we have the Word of God still walking amongst us, not just one day a year, but also every day, so we can always touch and feel His Presence in our midst.