We Parade Around The Shul: A Prayer for Simkhat Torah

Found In: Month of Elul, Simchat Torah

Tags: torah

Our Torah is old.
The velvet torah cover

And the silver plate that hangs over the velvet

Are covered in names of donors long gone,
And their honored loved ones, gone even longer.

These names mean nothing to us:

We ignore them on Shabbat
When we parade around the shul.

On Selichot we put aside the old velvet

And dress our Torah in a fresh white cover, 
Only a year old,

Donated by a beloved member

Her name is embroidered on the velvet.

She died this year, four days before Rosh HaShanah.

We cried,
When we walked our Torah around the shul.

We will think of our friend every year at this time of year,

From now on, whenever we see the white cover,

Until none of us are here, 

Until no one alive remembers her

Or us.

Then others will carry this scroll with the white cover

Donated by a Jew they never knew,
Whose name they will ignore,
Our loved one.

Tonight it’s Simkhat Torah.
So we take off her white covers

And put on the old ones,

Gold and blue, embroidered with strangers' names. 

Then we will dance around the shul.

We give thanks to the ancient One-ness,
Telling the story even when we can’t

Keeping our loved ones’ memories as blessings,

Giving us Torah from the beginning, every year.