On Simchat Torah, we read the verse “The Torah was commanded to us by Moshe, a morasha (inheritance) to the congregation of Yaakov.” It is interesting that the Torah uses the word morasha and not yerusha (which also means inheritance), as we learn in the Talmud Yerushalmi that morasha implies a weaker connection, a weaker inheritance, than the word yerusha does.
A yerusha implies that whatever is being passed down will belong to those inheriting it, without any conditions. No matter what happens, it will be theirs. Morasha means they might not get it, it might be passed down only to their children, or the chain might be broken all together.
How can we be told that the Torah might not always be ours?!
While a morasha might not be as strong as a yerusha, it should not be thought of as something easily dismissed. A Morasha has just as much strength as a yerusha, but it is an active process rather than a passive one. We must work to make it truly ours. We must learn it, study it, internalize it. If we don’t, all we will be able to do is pass it on to the next generation. But it won’t be ours in the same way.
Sukkot is called “zman simchateinu” (Time of Happiness). The pinnacle of the holiday is Simchat Torah, where we celebrate the Torah, completing it, and beginning to read, once again, the stories within.
On Simchat Torah we as a community come together in that happiness to celebrate. Men, Women, and Children all take part in the celebration. It is our chance to continue having the Torah as a morasha for ourselves and generations to come!