Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Torah. Read. Learn. Celebrate. Repeat.

I’m all about repeats. If something resonates, makes me think, laugh, and cry, chances are I’ll read, watch, or listen again. But only so many times. We return to our favorites, but since we already know the story and how it ends, after a while we find little value in revisiting the whole thing.


And yet, we do just that with the Torah. We read it, we learn it, we celebrate it, and before the Simchas Torah flags are put away, we roll it back and do it all over again. We may learn a new Rashi, hear a drasha that reveals a layer to a pasuk here and there, but overall we’ve seen this episode before. So why do we do it?

So much of our endurance as a people can be attributed to our repetition without alteration. If we start to make changes to the sacred routine, we slowly water down tradition, it becomes what was, and no longer what is. With the Torah, repetition isn’t merely necessary to remember, it is to refocus us, reestablish ourselves as a people, and to reconnect us to our roots. I’m all for that repeat.

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Solly Hess is the chief development officer at Southern NCSY, a motivational speaker, and the co-host of the "It's OK, We're Jewish" podcast.