Simchat Torah 2023



By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron

The central themes of this painting are both the joy of the festival and the union of Israel hinted by the number
twelve seen here, meant to allude to the twelve tribes, found here in unison. The number twelve is seen in the

twelve leaves within the wings of the angel facing upwards, in the twelve crowns seen next to the dancing talis-
enwrapped hasid. Indeed, under this hasid, we see multi-colored figures, apparently standing for the multi-faceted

People of Israel, united arround the righteous person, hinted to by this hasid. This hasid is carrying two tablets,
apparently hinting to the Two Tablets of the Torah, received after Yom Kipppur. These two tablets have the letter
yod within each one of them, a matter that evokes the hasidic teaching that says that Hashem’s Name is custumarily
written by two yods, which represents the Holy Presence that rests when two “yidden,” I.e two yods, are united
together, The fact that these yods are seen within the the Two Tablets, seems to hint to how this unity is crucial for
the recpetance of the Torah in general. This matter is hinted by our Sages’ teaching that Israel received the Torah at
Sinai only after they were united as “one man with one heart.” Aside from the connection to Yom Kippur, when we
received the second tablets, there is also another connection to Yom Kippur by the seven angels coming from above
to below, while there is another angel facing from below to above, This matter seems to evoke the drops sprinkled
by the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur, when seven drops were sprinkled from above to below and one drop from
below to above. Of course, the number seven, the special Jewish number seen in many of Rw Nachshon’s paintings,
reappears here in the form of seven purple leaves under the wings here. Just as Yom Kippur culminates the days of
awe in the month of Tishrei so too Simhat Torah culminates the days of joy of these days. Both have the theme of
the receptance of the Torah, a matter that may express how we can continue on the light of these holy days into the
year – through the light and joy of the Torah. It is this joy of the Torah which binds all our People together, as each
Jew has their special portion in the Torah. This is also hinted in the custom to give an aliyah to every Jew in the
synagogue on Simhat Torah. This is also a theme of Hebron which also stands for unity-hibur, and for Torah, as the
Zohar says “Hebron – this is a Torah scholar for one who is occupied with Torah is called a haber.”

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