Shabbat and the Torah

        Here at Beit Simcha we have a Torah service twice a month, usually on the first and third Shabbats of the month; of these two services one is a "mini Torah" service with just one reader coming up to chant briefly a passage that the Rabbi will then expound upon in his sermon. The other service is more like a traditional service with several readers coming up to chant and give their perspective on what they have read. Usually we have five readers come up, with three reading from the Torah, one from the Haftarah (Prophets) and one reading from the B''rit Chadasha (New Covenant).

        What you can expect to see and hear during one of these services is singing during the processional, chanting from the Torah and the prophets, the traditional Jewish prayers recited as the ark is opened, and the Torah is brought out or put away. Congregants and guests alike are encouraged to joyfully march behind the Torah as it makes its way around the sanctuary and back to the beemah (stage). Some of the traditional prayers recited are the blessings for before and after the Torah readings, and the Haftorah reading, the Shema Gadol and we conclude with V''zot Hatorah (this is the Torah), and the Etz Chayim (Tree of Life).