Messiah is the Author and the Goal of the Torah.
Simchat Torah is a celebration of the Torah (Instruction [Five books of Moses]). It occurs at the convergence point where the yearly Torah cycle both reaches its goal and with unbroken continuity, begins again.
The service begins with the regular Torah liturgy followed by the aliyah (Going up) of the Chatan Torah (Groom of the Torah). This person is selected for the privilege of reading the last portion (Parashat V’zot Ha-Berachah D’varim [words]/Deut. 33:1-34:12) of the Torah (Instruction) for the end of the yearly Torah cycle.
At the completion of the reading of the last Torah portion, “Parashat V’zot Ha-Berachah” (And this is the Blessing), the following is shouted by the community:
“Chazak! Chazak! V’nitchazeik”
[Be strong! Be strong! And may we be strengthened]
The Torah scroll is then rolled out and back to the beginning, and the Chatan Bereishit (Groom of the beginning) reads the first portion of the Torah (Bereishit Genesis 1:1-6:8) to begin the next yearly Torah cycle. This Torah portion is named, “Bereishit” (Beginning).
Messiah Yeshua, the Author and Goal of the Torah
Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) is the Chatan Torah [Groom of the Torah] (He is the Author and the essence [D’var] of the Torah and fills the Torah with purpose, making the Word [D’var] of God echad [Complex unity]). Yeshua is also the goal of the Torah (Romans 10:4), and the Chatan Bereishit [Groom of the Beginning] (John 1:1); within time and space, He is the Alpha and Omega, eternal, the Aleph and Tav, the beginning and the goal, and at the same time, He is without beginning or end because He transcends time and space, having existed before the beginning and continuing to exist beyond the conclusion of time and space.
Yeshua is the perfect Jew, having faultlessly kept the Torah. He is the only Jew ever to have achieved this. He is also God with us, “Immanuel” according to the prophet (Yishaiyahu/Isaiah 7:14). Contrary to the misteaching of some of the fathers of the Christian faith, Yeshua did not end the Torah in the sense that an end is the finish or conclusion of a matter, rather Yeshua is the end in the sense that He is the goal of the Torah (“End” is used in the same sense as its usage in the saying, “a means to an end [goal]). In fact, as I have already stated, Yeshua is both the Author and the Goal (End) of the Torah.
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah (Instruction) or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fill.”
Yochanan/John 1:1-5, 14
“In the beginning was the Word (HB. D’var, GK. Logos, AR. Memra), and the Word was with Elohim (God), and the Word was Elohim (God). He was in the beginning with Elohim (God). All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot comprehend or overcome it… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt (In the Sukkah of human form, housing the glory of the Father, as was the role of the Mishkhan in the desert) among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
For the celebration of the combined holiday of Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah, it is traditional to throw candy and make honeyed foods for the children to remind them that God’s word is sweet like honey from the honey cone (Tehilim/Psalm 119:102-103).
What the Bible says about The Word
“I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words (emrah: from emer, answers) to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
“For the word (HB. D’var, GK. Logos, AR. Memra) of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of nefesh (soul) and ruach (spirit), of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the lev (inner being, heart).”
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your Word (D’var). With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word (emrah: from emer, answers) I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.”
“Your Word (D’var) is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
“But He (Yeshua) answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD (HB. kol motza: everything that goes forth GK. Rhema: utterance, speech) THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD [Deut. 8:3]’”
© 2018 Yaakov Brown
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Founder of the Beth Melekh International Messiah Following Jewish Community,