Simchas Torah-Laws & Customs

Simchas Torah

1. The name Simchas Torah:[1]

It is customary to refer to the last day of Yom Tov as Simchas Torah.[2] This is due to the rejoicing and festive alcoholic meals that is made in honor of the completion of the Torah.



It is a Mitzvah to rejoice on Simchas Torah, in all ways possible.[3] It is the custom of the Jewish people – and hence it is Torah – to rejoice on Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah even more than at Simchas Beis HaShoevah, and more than on a usual Yom-Tov.[4]


Not to belittle any custom:[5]

One is not to nullify any custom which has traditionally been done for the sake of expressing joy on Simchas Torah.


Joy of a Mitzvah and not of frivolity and aggression:[6]

The Mitzvah to rejoice on Simchas Torah is to have a true joy of a Mitzvah and not the frivolous joy that some express. Those who use aggression to express their “joy” and hence push and hit people, are not fulfilling this Mitzvah of rejoicing and cause others to distance themselves from the true rejoicing of the Mitzvah.


Its joy surpasses that of the rest of Sukkos: [7]

The joy of the Simchas Torah is a celebration of the G-dly revelation caused through the fulfillment of a custom of Jewry. The entire concept of Hakafos is a custom of the prophets, and is not written of in the written Torah and was not received through oral tradition, but was rather accustomed by the prophets. This is the celebration of the connection of the Jewish people and the Torah. It is the celebration of the Torah itself, above the oral and written aspects of the Torah. Therefore, the joy of Simchas Torah far surpasses that of the Simchas Beis Hashoeiva, and all Jews are able to participate in this joy.


Draws down the Makifim of Aba:[8]

The Hakafos draw down the encompassing light of Chochmah of Atzilus, and is even higher than the effect of the Nissuch Hamayim during Sukkos.


Dancing draws down all the blessings: [9]

The Rebbe Rayatz stated in the name of his father, the Rebbe Rashab,  that the forty-eight hours of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah should be dearly cherished, for at each moment one can draw bucketsful and barrelsful of treasures both material and spiritual, and this is accomplished through dancing.

2. Eating and sleeping in the Sukkah on Simchas Torah:[10]

On Simchas Torah, one does not eat or sleep in the Sukkah. Furthermore, it is even forbidden to eat/sleep in the Sukkah on Simchas Torah unless one makes some form of recognition that shows that the Sukkah no longer maintains its holiness and Mitzvah.[11] For example, in Eretz Yisrael where Erev Simchas Torah is Hoshana Raba, one is to remove a 4×4 Tefach area of Sechach from the roofing to show that he is not intending to saty in it for the sake of the Mitzvah.[12] In the Diapsora where Erev Simchas Torah is Shemini Atzeres, and one is thus unable to remove the Sechach due to Muktzah, one is required to enter into it pots and pans and the like to show that the Sukkah is invalid and its Mitzvah has completed.[13] The above is only required on Simchas Torah, however, after Simchas Torah there is no need to make any recognition of the Sukka’s invalidation and one may continue to eat and sleep in it if he chooses, [so long as he does not intend to do so for the Mitzvah[14]].[15] [The above is only required if one plans to eat or sleep in the Sukkah on Simchas Torah, otherwise there is no need for any of these recognitions to be done.]

Removing furniture from the Sukkah: One may remove the furniture from the Sukkah starting from midday of Erev Simchas Torah in order to set up his home for the holiday. This applies likewise in the Diaspora, that after the Shemini Atzeres day meal one is to remove the furniture back into the home.[16] [This implies that one is to specifically remove the furniture from his Sukah before Simchas Torah, even if he does not need to use it at home, and so was the custom of some Gedolei Yisrael to remove the chairs and tables from the Sukkah to show that its Mitzvah has culminated.[17]]


If one removed the furniture from the Sukkah, may he eat a meal in it even though the other forms of recognition were not done?

This matter requires further analysis.[18]


May one eat and drink in the Sukkah on Erev Sukkos?


Shehechiyanu by candle lighting:[19]

The blessing of Shehechiyanu is recited during candle lighting of Simchas Torah.[20]

3. The Maariv Davening:

The Maariv prayer includes the regular Yom Tov Maariv and Shemoneh Esrei which is then followed by Kaddish Shaleim. In Chabad Shul’s the custom is to now hold a Farbrengen. This is then followed by Ata Hareisa three times, Hakafos, and Aleinu.

4. Increasing lights in Shul:[21]

One should increase the amount of lights in the Shul in honor of the Sifrei Torah that are removed. [In previous times this was accomplished by lighting more candles. Nowadays, one is to arrange before Yom Tov for there to be more lights than usual in the Shul. Regarding placing a candle in the Aron-See Halacha ???!]

5. The Simchas Torah meal:

Festive meals:[22] It is customary to hold festive meals [at night and by day[23]] with alcohol [i.e. Seudas Mishteh] in honor of the completion of the Torah. [The holding of these festivities and festive meals is very important, as it shows our joy of the Torah and elevates its honor. Those who have nullified the accustomed tradition of holding these feasts are doing a grave sin, as they have festive meals for other occasions, but for the Torah they feel no need. This is a great belittlement of the Torah.[24]]

Having a meal before Maariv of Simchas Torah:[25] One is not to establish drinking of alcohol prior to Marriv of Simchas Torah.[26]

Kiddush:[27] On the night of Simchas Torah it is customary for all to say Kiddush.

Shehechiyanu:[28] The blessing of Shehechiyanu is recited [during Kiddush or candle lighting] of Simchas Torah.[29]

Not to dip the bread in honey:[30] On Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah one does not dip the bread of Hamotzi in honey.

Drinking wine and alcohol:[31] It is an obligation for men to drink [a Revius of[32]] wine on Yom Tov due to the Mitzvah of Simcha and to establish the meal over wine due to the Mitzvah of Oneg. This means that he is to drink wine in middle of the meal. [It is customary amongst Yidden in general and Chassidim in particular to drink alcohol on Simchas Torah in order to enter one into the joyous spirit.[33]

6. Dancing:[34]

Although generally it is forbidden to dance on Shabbos and Yom Tov, on Simchas Torah it is permitted to dance while singing praise for the Torah, as this is in honor of the Torah.

7. Hakafos:[35]

It is customary in these communities [i.e. Ashkenaz] to remove all the Sifrei Torah in the Heichal by both night, by Maariv, and day, by Shacharis, and sing song and praise. Each place is to do like their custom. The custom is to encircle the Bima in the Shul, just as is done with the Lulav [during Hoshanos]. All this is done as a sign of joy. [One dances Hakofos on both days and nights with extreme joy. The Rebbe Rashab said that one draws down abundance of physical and spiritual blessing through the joy of dancing by Hakafos.]

How many Hakafos are done?[36] Some communities are accustomed to performing three Hakafos. Other perform seven Hakafos like on Hoshana Raba.[37] Practically, each place is to do in accordance to their custom. [The Chabad custom is to do seven full Hakafos during the night dancing while at the daytime of Simchas Torah three-and-a-half circuits are made, though the text for the Hakkafos is read in its entirety.[38]]

How many Torah scrolls are removed from the Ark: The custom is to remove all the scrolls from the Ark both by night and day as stated above.

Brich Shmei: Some are accustomed to reciting Brich Shmei when the Aron is opened for Hakafos.

Auctioning the verses of Ata Haressa:[39] On the eve of Simchas Torah it is the custom in the Rebbe’s minyan to ‘sell’ [i.e., to ‘auction’ the privilege of leading the congregation in the responsive reading of] the verses of the passage that begins atah horeisa, and to honor the Rebbe Shlita with reading aloud the first and last verses and occasionally other verses too. The proceeds promised on the eve of Simchas Torah benefit the Tomchei Temimim Yeshivah, while the proceeds promised by day benefit Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch and Machne Israel.

Reading the Torah at night:[40] On the night of Simchas Torah, it is customary to read the portion of Nedarim from the Torah Scroll. Each community is to follow their custom in this matter. [Practically, it is not the Chabad custom to read the Torah publicly on the night of Simchas Torah.[41]]

Joining the Hakafos of other Shuls:[42] Even after completing the Hakafos in one Shul, if one arrives to another Shul who has yet to complete the dancing, he is to join them in the dancing and rejoicing.


Q&A on Hakafos

When was the custom of Hakafos initiated?[43]

The custom of Hakafos was initiated by the prophets. It is not considered even a Rabbinical injunction, but rather a mere custom. [The intent of the above is not that the prophets instituted Hakafos, but that the custom of rejoicing with the Sefer Torah was derived from David Hamelech, who was a prophet, and removed the ark from its place and danced and sang in front of it. However, the actual custom of dancing in circles on Simchas Torah is a custom initiated by the Jewish people in later generations, unbeknownst to us the exact period.[44] Alternatively, this custom was initiated by Moshe Rabbeinu, and he himself danced on Simchas Torah with the Sefer Torah.[45]


May an Avel dance during Hakafos?[46]  

Some Poskim[47] rule it is forbidden for an Avel [within Shloshim, or within the first 12 months of mourning for a parent] to participate in the Hakafos on Simchas Torah. Other Poskim[48] rule it is permitted for him to participate, Practically, the Chabad custom is that a mourner is not to participate in the Hakafos alone, but rather with an escort.[49] [He is to take hold of the Sefer Torah and have another person hold his arm while encircling the Bima.[50] Alternatively, another person takes hold of the Sefer Torah, and the Avel holds onto the Eitz Chaim while encircling.[51]] According to all he may watch the Hakafos from the side. If he was offered to join the Hakafos, some[52] write that he may not refuse due to the prohibition of showing public Aveilus.

Hakafos Sheniyos: A mourner may not participate in Hakafos Sheniyos in the event that music is playing. If no music is playing, he may participate with an escort, as stated above.


May Hakafos be done without a Minyan?



May one who was offered the Sefer Torah during Hakafos refuse it?[53]



May women come into the men’s Shul to watch the Hakafos?[54]

Many are accustomed to allowing the women to come into the mens Shul to watch the Hakafos.


May one sit during Hakafos?

In general, it is forbidden to sit when the Sefer Torah is taken out of the Aron until it is settled on the Bima. However, many are accustomed to being lenient and sit.[55] Practically, those who sit have upon whom to rely especially if they feel weak, however those who are meticulous remain standing throughout the time, unless they are holding a Sefer Torah.[56]


Q&A on Sifrei Torah

Is one to remove also the Pasul Sifreiy Torah to dance for Hakafos?

The custom is to dance also with the Pasul Sifreiy Torah, and they are not considered Muktzah in this regard.[57] Nevertheless one may not deliberately leave a Pasul Sefer Torah in the Aron for this purpose, and hence a Sefer Torah which cannot be fixed is to be placed in Geniza.[58] This is opposed to the general custom which allows leaving Pasul Sifrei Torah to use for Hakafos.[59]


May one bring Sifrei Torah from other Shul’s for the sake of performing Hakafos?[60]

One is not to bring Sifrei Torah from one Shul to another even if they do not have any Sifrei Torah, unless one fulfills the conditions required for moving a Sefer Torah throughout the year.[61] However, some Poskim are lenient to permit doing so on Simchas Torah.


Placing a candle in the Aron:

Some are accustomed to place a candle in the Aron after removing the Sifrei Torah for Hakafos.[62] Some Poskim[63], however, negate this custom, as it is forbidden to enter anything into an Aron other than Sifrei Torah.


8. Resolve to spread Torah during Kerias Shema Al Hamita:[64]

It is known to all that during the reading of Shema Yisrael said in Kerias Shema Sheal Hamita of Simchas Torah, one needs to accept upon himself the resolution of dedication towards spreading Torah knowledge in a way of Mesirus Nefesh of the body, soul, and spirit. This is to be his entire essence.

9. Marital relations:

One is to avoid marital relations on Simchas Torah.[65]

Night of Mikveh:[66] If the night of Mikveh falls on Simchas Torah, one is to have marital relations. [One who refrains from doing so is considered as if he is performing a Mitzvah as a result of an Aveira.[67]]

Strong desire:[68] Those who feel a strong desire which may prove difficult to withhold are better to have intercourse than to come to doing a sin.

10. Shacharis:

A. General order:

The order of Shacharis follows a regular Yom Tov Davening until after Halel. Kaddish Shaleim is recited after Halel. This is then followed by a Kiddush Farbrengen, which is then followed by Ata Hareisa.

Birchas Kohanim:[69] On Simchas Torah it is customary for the Kohanim to recite Birchas Kohanim by Shacharis in place of Musaf.[70] [The Birchas Kohanim by Shachris is done with the acccustomed niggun sang by the Birchas Koahnim of Musaf of all Holidays.]

B. The day Hakafos:

During the day of Simchas Torah the custom is to only perform 3.5 circles around the Bima as opposed to seven.[71] Nevertheless all seven liturgy of Hakafos is read. Thus one reads a single Hakafa for every half circle of the Bimah, for a total of seven half circles corresponding to the reading of the seven Hakafos. All 3.5 circles of Hakafos are performed consecutively without dancing in between or placing Sefer Torah back in Aron or even announcing “Ad Kan Hakafa…”. After the conclusion of the 3.5 circles the congregation dances. At the conclusion the Sefer Torah is returned to the Aron without saying anything.


On Simchas Torah one is to read the Chumash and Rashi of Vezos Habracha from that days Aliyah until the conclusion of the Parsha. One is likewise to read the Chumash and Rashi of Bireishis, from Rishon until that days Aliyah. Nevertheless one is not heaven forbid to diminish from the rejoicing of Simchas Torah in order to read the section of Bireishis and one is rather only to do so on his free time when he is in any event not involved in the rejoicing of Simchas Torah. [Thus one who is unable to complete the learning of Bireishis on Simchas Torah due to the rejoicing is to complete it then next day on Issru Chag.[73]


C. The Torah reading:

Ata Hareisa, Vayehi Binsoa and the thirteen Midos are recited prior to Kerias Hatorah, as is done on all Holidays. [See Chapter ?? Halacha ?? for full details!]

The reading and Torah scrolls:[74] Three Torah scrolls are removed from the ark. From the first Torah scroll one reads from Vezos Habrach until the end of the Torah. From the second Torah scroll one reads from Bereishis until the words “Asher Bara Elokim Lasos.” From the third Torah scroll, the same Maftir as yesterday is read, from “Ubayom Hashemini Atzeres.” For the Haftorah one reads from Yehoshua “Vayhei Acharei Mos Moshe.” If the congregation only has two Torah scrolls then Vezos Habracha is read from the first scroll, Bereishis is read from the second scroll, and the first Sefer Torah is returned and used for the reading of Maftir.[75] [This however only applies if the first scroll is rolled to the third Parsha prior to its Hagba. If however the first scroll was not rolled to the third Parsha prior to its Hagba, then it is better to read the third Parsha from the second scroll.[76]]

Each man gets an Aliyah:[77] It is customary to increase in calling up people for Aliyos on Simchas Torah. [Practically, the custom is for every male to receive an Aliyah.[78]] To facilitate this, the Parsha is repeated times [until Meona Elokim Kedem[79]]. There is no prohibition against doing so. [Alternatively, many people may be called up for the same Aliyah, and so is the Chabad custom, as explained in the Q&A!]

Kol Hanearim:[80] It is a worldly custom that on Simchas Torah all the male children receive an Aliyah to the Torah.[81] This Aliyah is customarily known as Kol Hanearim.[82] [It is customary for many children to go up together.[83] It is customary to spread a Tallis over the heads of the children during this Aliyah.[84]] It is likewise customary to recite the Parsha of Hamalach Hagoel [after the conclusion of the reading].[85] [Practically, the Chabad custom is not to spread a Tallis over the heads of the children during the Aliyah of Kol Hanearim. Likewise, it is not customary to read the verses of Hamalach Hagoel.[86] One is to have at least one adult above Bar Mitzvah called up together with the children for this Aliyah.[87] The adult is to say the blessings out load and have all the children listen and be Yotzei rather than have all the children say the blessing themselves.[88] Nontheless, some are accustomed to have all the children recite the blessings themselves.[89] The Chabad custom is to have the adult Olah recite the blessing on behalf of all the children who cannot say it themselves.[90] Some are accustomed to bring their son with them for their personal Aliya rather than have the child go up for Kol Hanearim.[91]]

Chasan Torah/Bereishis: It is customary for the Chasan Torah and Chasan Bereishis to donate towards the Shul and arrange for a communal feast to  be held.[92] It is customamry to call up even a child for Chasan Torah, and it is not necessary to give the Aliyah specially to a Torah scholar, even though there are opinions[93] who require this to be done.[94] [It is not not the Chabad custom to spread a Tallis as a canopy over the heads of the Chasan Torah or Chasan Bereishis when they are called to the public reading of the Torah].[95]  

Reciting Chazak Chazak Venischazek:[96] The person who is called to the reading of the concluding passage of the Torah is to say the words chazak chazak venischazeik together with the rest of the congregation. The same applies at the conclusion of the other [four] Books of the Chumash.

Sisu Vesimcha: The prayer of Sisu Vesimcha is recited after the Maftir and Haftorah, prior to Yizkor.



May many people be called up for the same Aliyah?[97]

The custom is to call up many individuals for a single Aliya, such as many Kohanim for the Aliya of Kohen, and many Levi’im for the Aliyah of Levi. Nonetheless, there are Poskim who question this custom. [The Chabad custom is to call many people for the same Aliyah.[98]]

Should everyone say the blessing?[99] It is best when having more than one person go up for the Aliya to have only one person say the blessing and all the others be Yotzei with him.[100] However, some are accustomed to reciting the blessings themselves even in such a case.[101] Practically, the Chabad custom is for everyone to say the blessing to themselves.[102]


From which Torah scroll is Maftir read from if there are only two scrolls available?

In such a case Maftir is read from the first scroll.


On Simchas Torah may relatives be called up one after the other?[103]

The custom is to be lenient in this matter.


May a Kohen receive Revi’i, Chamishi, if they did not yet get an Aliya?[104]

If there are many Kohanim and Levi’im present, they may be given the 4th or 5th Aliyah after the regular order of Kohen, Lervi and Yisrael. In such a case it is proper to repeat the order of Kohen Levi Yisrael.


May a Kohen or Levi receive Chasan Torah or Chasan Bereishis?[105]



May an Avel prior to Shiva receive an Aliyah during Simchas Torah?

Yes.[106] However some write he is not to be called up as one of the 5 requried Aliyos.[107]


D. Musaf-Birchas Kohanim:

On Simchas Torah it is customary for the Kohanim to recite Birchas Kohanim by Shacharis in place of Musaf. See A!

E. Yizkor

In the Diaspora, Yizkor is recited on Shemini Atzres and not on Simchas Torah. 


[1] Rama 669:1; Tur 669

[2] Rama ibid; Tur ibid; Michaber ibid “Seder Yom Simchas Torah”

[3] Elya Raba 669; M”B 669:6

[4] Sefer Haminhagim p.

[5] Maharik Shoresh 9; M”B 669:5

[6] Elya Raba 669; M”B 669:6

[7] Siddur Im Dach p. 269

[8] Siddur Im Dach p. 269

[9] Sefer Haminhagim p.

[10] Michaber 666:1

[11] The reason: As otherwise it appears that one is adding an extra day to the Mitzvah which transgresses Baal Tosif. [Michaber ibid] Nontheless, in truth one does not tranggress Baal Tosif unless he actively intends to fulfill; the Mitzvah also on the 8th day. [M”A 666:2; Taz 666:1]

Does this law only apply if one does not have room at home: This ruling of the Michaber ibid was written regarding one who does not ahjve anywhere to put the furniture in his Sukkah and is hence forced to eat there. Vetzaruch Iyun if one may simply chose to eat in the Suikkah, upon making a valid recognition, simply for purposes of leisure, even if he has room at home to remove the furniture, or he has a separate set of furniture at home.

[12] The law by a large Sukkah: Kaf Hachaim 666:5

[13] Michaber ibid

[14] See Taz and M”A ibid

[15] Rama ibid

[16] The reason: Although it is forbidden to prepare on the 1st day of Yom Tov on behalf of the 2nd day, the purpose of this removal is not for preparation, but rather to make a recognition that the Mitzvah of Sukkah has culminated. [Kaf Hachaim 666:10; So is also implied from Michaber ibid who omits the words “for the sake of Yom Tov Achron” when discussing the moving of furniture on Shemini Atzeres. See also Rama 667:1 and Kaf Hachaim 667:11]

[17] Piskeiy Teshuvos 666:1, however there he writes that from the letter of the law there is no need, unlike the implication of Michaber ibid

[18] From the Michaber ibid it is implied that it is permitted to do so, as removing the furniture is the first and initial recognition to be done. [See Kaf Hachaim 666:9 who learns from Michaber that the purpose of removing the furniture is to serve as a recognition.

[19] Michaber 669:1

[20] The reason: As Shemini Atzeres is considered a separate festival than Sukkos []

[21] Elya Raba 669; M”B 669:4

[22] Rama 669:1

[23] See M”B 669 in Hakdama that some communities would make a festive meal before Maariv

[24] Bikurei Yaakov 669; M”B 669:5

[25] M”B 669 Hakdama

[26] The reason: As a) It will make him drunk. b) It is forbidden to eat prior to reciting Kerias Shema and c) One is required to make Kiddush when it turns dark. [M”B ibid]

[27] Sefer Hasichos 5704 p. 32; 5697 p. 16; Hamingaim ?; Otzer Minhagie Chabad Tishreiy p. 368

[28] Michaber 669:1

[29] The reason: As Shemini Atzeres is considered a separate festival than Sukkos [] and the second day of Yom Tov is Sfeika Deyoma of which we always recite Shehechiyanu. [Admur 600:5 regarding all Yomim Tovim; 473:2 regarding Pesach] The reason for this is because the entire reason of keeping two days in the Diaspora is because of the doubt of their ancestors as to (on which day the month was sanctified and consequently as to) which day is Yom Tov. Now, the ancestors always said Shehechiyanu also on the second day as perhaps the second day is Yom Tov and the previous day was a weekday and hence it was not exempt with the blessing of Shehechiyanu said yesterday. [Admur 600:5]

[30] Sefer Haminhagim p. 147 [English] based on Mamarim Haketzarim of Admur Hazakein p. 454

[31] Admur 529:3-4 regarding Oneg; 529:7 regarding Simcha

The ruling in 242:1 and KU”A 2: There Admur mentions plainly that eating and drinking such as wine and meat is part of the Biblical Mitzvah of Simcha. Vetzaruch Iyun as there it implies a) meat is also a Biblical Mitzvah b) Everyone fulfills the Mitzvah through eating and drinking.

[32] See Q&A!

[33] See regarding Nesias Kapayim: Levush 669; M”B 669:17

[34] Admur 339:2; M”A 669:1 in name of Darkei Moshe and Mahrik; M”B 339:8; 669:5

[35] Rama 669:1; Siddur Admur “And so too on the night of Simchas Torah, and some are accustomed also by the day of Simchas Torah.”

[36] M”B 669:10 in name of Achronim

[37] Kaf Hachaim 669:29

[38] Sefer Haminhagim p. 146 [English edition]

[39] Sefer Haminhagim

[40] Rama ibid

[41] Sefer Haminhagim p. 148 [English edition]

[42] Siddur Admur

[43] Siddur Im Dach p. 269; See also Likkutei Torah 2nd “Ushiavtem Mayim” “It is a mere custom”

[44] Letter printed in Likkutei Sichos 29:505; See there that perhaps a) The word “prophets” is a printing error; b) Even if not a printing eror, it is not to be taken literally, and does not mnean to say that dancing in a circle around the Bima on Shemini Atzeres is a custom of the prophets, but rather in general that the concept of celebrating with the Torah is derived from the prophets.

[45] Hisvadyus 1984 2:1082; See the Pizmon of Sisu Visimchu that is recited after Kerias Hatorah in which we state that Mosher rejoiced on Simchas Torah, and it should be accepted literally, as a) Mosher Rabbeinu established the reading of the Torah during the weeks; b) It is difficult to assume that some person in a later generation established it, as why would Klal Yisrael suddenly follow his custom. Rather one must say it was already followed by Moshe Rabbeinu as a custom. [Hisvadyos ibid]

[46] See Minchas Yitzchak 6:62; Nitei Gavriel Sukkos 101:1-3; Aveilus 2 30:5-7

[47] Levushei Mordechai 4:136; Yalkut Hagershuni 660; Chelkas Yaakov 3:75

[48] Moed Lekol Chaiy 20:39; Poskim in Kaf Hachaim 669:33

[49] Sefer Haminhagim p. 78; Sefer Hasichos 1944:30; Hayom Yom 2; Otzer Minhagei Chabad 20; See Nitei Gavriel Sukkos 101; Aveilus 30:5

[50] So I have seen done

[51] Harav Leibal Groner in a written correspondence

[52] Nitei Gavriel ibid; Vetzaruch Iyun as there could be many other reasons for why he does not wish to participate.

[53] Halef Lecha Shlomo 37

[54] Shaarei Rachamim 8:26; Piskeiy Teshuvos 669:1

[55] See Shulchan Hatahor 149:2; Aruch Hashulchan Y.D. 282:5; Betzel Hachochma 5:139; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 2:319; Tzedka Umishpat 16 footnote 37 in name of Rav SZ”A; SSH”K 24 footnote 118

[56] Shulchan Hatahor ibid questions the custom and concludes to sit while holding a Sefer Torah

[57] SSH”K 20 footnote 75 new edition.

As they are no different than Tefillin which in essence should also be considered MMC”K and is not due to its status as Sireiy Kodesh, and hence may be moved for its use. [See Tosefes Shabbos 308:21]

[58] Yoreh Deah 279:1 and 4; Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 3:118

As if it is fixable, one must fix it within thirty days. If the Sefer Torah is not fixable, it is to be placed in Geniza. [ibid]

[59] The Rebbe [ibid] has questioned the source of deliberately leaving a Pasul Sefer Torah in the Aron in order to dance with it on Simchas Torah, as opposed to placing it in Geniza.

[60] Ledavid Emes 4:17; Kuntrus Achron on 4; Machazik Bracha 669:9; M”B 669:9; Kaf Hachaim 669:28

[61] The reason: As it is forbidden to bring a Torah scroll for temporary residence. See our corresponding Sefer “The Laws of Rosh Hashanah” Chapter 1 Halacha 12 for the required conditions

[62] Elya Raba 669:5; Aruch Hashulchan 660:3; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 669:1

[63] Taz 154:7

[64] Sefer Hasichos 5704 p. 39; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 374

[65] M”A 240:3 in name of Arizal “Ein Leshameish..; Or Tzaddikim 27:11; Birkeiy Yosef in name of Ramaz, brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 668:4 that it is forbidden to do so; M”B 240:7

[66] Admur 494:3 regarding Sukkos; M”A 240:3; Chesed Lialafim 240:3; Siddur Yaavetz; Chayeh Adam 130:22; M”B 240:7; Kaf Hachaim 240:5

[67] Shlah p. 213 brought in Kaf Hachaim 581:86 reagrding the night of Rosh Hashanaha

[68] M”B 240:7; 581:26; Kaf Hachaim 240:5; See Seder Hayom brought in Kaf Hachaim 581:86; Machazik Bracha 581:4; Ben Ish Chai Netzavim 9; Chayeh Adam 139:7; Kaf Hachaim 581:88.

[69] Levuh 669; M”B 669:17; Sefer Haminhagim that so is also the Chabad custom that the Kohanim pronounce the Priestly Blessing at Shacharis instead of at Mussaf

Other customs: Nevertheless there are those which are accustomed to go up. [Elya Raba, brought in M”B ibid that so is custom in Prague]

[70] The reason: As it is common to be drunk on Simchas Torah, and one who is drunk may not recite the Priestly blessings.

[71] Sefer Haminhagim p. ; Oatzer Minhagei Chabad p. 379; See Nemukei Orach Chaim 669 that so was the custom to circle 3.5 times on Simchas Torah in the Krakos shul which was over 900 years old. He firefly opposes those that wanted to change the custom and do seven Hakafos.

Other customs: Others have the custom to encircle the Bimah seven times also by day. This is based on the custom of the Arizal which was to perform seven Hakafos both by day and night.

[72] Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 5:88


In the Moreh Shiur of Chitas it states that the learning of Parshas Bireishis is to begin on Issru Chag. The Rebbe however instituted for it to be learned on Simchas Torah. The reason for this is because originally people were completely involved in the Simchas Hayom and hence had no time to learn the portion of Bireishis on Simchas Torah itself and consequently it was differed to the next day. However now that people in any event take time off from rejoicing in order to do mundane matters, therefore it is proper to reinstitute the learning to Simchas Torah which is the day Bireishis begins to be read. Nevertheless one is not Heaven forbid to diminish in rejoicing in order to complete this learning and is rather to do so in his free time that he is not involved in rejoicing. [ibid]

[73] So is implied from Rebbe ibid

[74] Michaber 669:1

[75] Rama ibid; Peri Chadash 684; Shulchan Gavoa 684:11; Kaf Hachaim 684:16

[76] Chemed Moshe 669; Kaf Hachaim 669:41; Biur Halacha 669:1 “Vechozrim”

[77] Rama 669:1


[79] M”B 669:13

[80] Rama 669:1; Sichas Leil Simchas Torah 5715, printed in Toras Menachem 13:55; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 380

[81] Rama ibid

[82] This follows the wording of the Rama ibid

[83] Shalmei Tzibur p. 293:3; M”B 669:12; Kaf Hachaim 669:4

[84] Rebbe ibid

[85] Rama ibid; Rebbe ibid

[86] Rebbe ibid in name of the Rebbe Rayatz

The reason: As the day of Simchas Torah is higher than this concept of spreading a Tallis and saying these verses. [Rebbe ibid]

[87] M”B 669:12 “Likewise when they call up a Gadol with the children for Kol Hanearim..”; However see Kaf Hachaim 669:4 in name of Shalmei Tzibur p. 293:3 who implies the children may go up on their own and say the blessing; See also Rama 669:1 that the custom is to call a Katan for even Chasan Torah!

[88] Shalmei Tzibur p. 293:3; M”B ibid; Kaf Hachaim 669:4

[89] See Kaf Hachaim ibid

[90] Sichas Yom Simchas Torah 5719 p. 146

[91] Kaf Hachaim 669:4No mention is made in the Poskim that the children must go up together in one Aliya, and some are actually accustomed for each child to get their own Aliya, as brought in

[92] Rama 669:1 “He calls to others to make a festive meal”; Tur 669

[93] Mordechai Hagahos Ketanos

[94] Rama ibid

The reason: As in today;s times, in any event the Baal Korei reads the Parsha for the congregation and not the Olah. [Rama ibid]

[95] Sefer Haminhagim p. 148 [English edition]

[96] Sefer Haminhagim p. 148 [English edition]

[97] Elya Raba 669; M”B 669:12; See Kaf Hachaim 669:4 in name of Shalmei Tzibur p. 293:3 “If two people go up for the same Aliya…”

[98] Sichas Yom Simchas Torah 5719 p. 146; Otzer Minhagie Chabad p. 379

[99] See Sichas Yom Simchas Torah 5719 p. 146 for three customs in this

[100] Shalmei Tzibur p. 293:3; M”B and Kaf Hachaim ibid

[101] See Kaf Hachaim ibid

[102] Sichas Yom Simchas Torah 5719 p. 146

[103] Shaareiy Efraim 1:32; Piskeiy Teshuvos 141:4

[104] M”B 135:37; Piskeiy Teshuvos 669:3

[105] M”B 669:2 in name of Maharil; Piskeiy Teshuvos 669:4

[106] Pischeiy Teshuvos 399:1 in name of Eish Daas; See Nitei Gavriel Sukkos 101:5

[107] See M”B 548:16

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