How would the Rav say we should best use the dancing and singing on Simchas Torah in order to serve Hashem?
On Simchas Torah we get together and we dance and we sing. But you have to know that for most people, this singing is a wasted opportunity. Let’s say they’re singing כי מציון תצא תורה ודבר השם מירושלים. (The Rav zatzal sang the niggun here). And they’re dancing, singing; it’s a pity, it’s a waste of time. No; it’s not a waste of time – it doesn’t have to be a waste. The fact that you’re repeating the words should be utilized by you. Each time you say it you’re thinking “From tziyon someday will come forth the Torah.” And each time, you say it with conviction, with the intention that it should be deeper and deeper impressed into your neshama that כי מציון תצא תורה – a time will come when the Torah will come out of tziyon. You’ll see what’s going to happen one day. It will be tremendous. A whole torrent of Torah will flow out of tziyon, and the dvar Hashem will come forth from Yerushalayim.
Again and again. Again and again you say the words. But this time you’ll say the words with a different intent. Not because you want to hear the niggun again; not because you want to maintain the tune. No, you want to maintain the words! You want to put those words into your mind; you want it to go in so deep that you become a new personality. So you say the words over and over again. And so too all those songs which are shirei kodesh – you have to get those words into your head. That’s why it’s not good to have a niggun without words. No, it should be with words. And you say the words over and over again. And each time, as you walk and stamp and dance, you’re stamping the words into your heart. With each stamp, you bang it into your heart deeper and deeper. That’s the way to celebrate Simchas Torah, so that when Simchas Torah is over, you’re not just tired and worn out; but after Simchas Torah you’re not the same person anymore! You’re a ben aliyah. You have practiced that great principle of making your mind follow your words.
TAPE E-202 (September 1999)