(JHE) — Simchat Torah — Rejoicing in the Torah, the Jewish festival that celebrates the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings (and beginning of the new cycle), begins this week at sundown on and ends at nightfall on
As is by now our JHE tradition, we mark the occasion with some images of the Aron ha Kodesh, or Ark — the place where Torah scrolls are kept — from a number of synagogues around Europe. We also show images of the Bimah — the platform where thebTorah is read — and also some of the silver ornaments used to decorate Torah scrolls. Some of the synagogues we show are used for worship; some are used as museums or cultural venues.
The frame of the actual niche or cabinet of the Ark was often elaborately decorated, to underscore the importance of the Torah, and in active synagogues an Eternal Light hangs is front of it. The Bimah, too, was often highlight of the synagogue’s architectural and/or decorative framework.
So Enjoy! Rejoice!