With this last set of holidays, Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, we not only finish the holiday season we also finish reading the Torah. In the same service that we conclude reading the last words of Deuteronomy, we immediately begin reading the book of Genesis. There is no “end” to reading the Torah. We are never finished reading and studying the Torah and its lessons. We re-read and re-study the same stories every year.
One could ask, “Isn’t there some point where we have studied the story of creation, or Noah’s Ark, or the story of the Offering of Isaac enough times?” The answer is, no, there is always something we can learn. Every year we are different, and therefore we have the opportunity to see something new in the same story we read and studied last year. This is true in life as well. We may be doing the same thing we were doing last year, but hopefully we have grown in the past year. So although things look the same, we are not. How we interact with life around us, depends on us and how we push and enable our developed selves to interact with our existing stories.