Chazak! Be Strong!

Chazak, chazak v’nitchazek! Like we did today, we traditionally ready these words 5 times a year as we finish each book of the Torah. If you listen carefully to this phrase in Hebrew, you’ll notice that we are pretty much saying the same word “chazak” three times in repetition with some extra sounds before the last word. So, what is this word and why do we proclaim this phrase at the end of each of the five books? Well the first and simplest explanation is, of course, it’s tradition! To be more exact though, it is Ashkenazi tradition. The Sephardic custom is to say “chazak u’barukh” at the end of every single Torah Aliyah, which means “strength and blessing.” Now let’s look deeper into our p

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