Ultra-Orthodox Jews celebrate Simchat Torah holiday in Jerusalem

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An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man dances on the table during the celebrations of Simchat Torah in a synagogue at the Mea Shearim neighbourhood of Jerusalem October 1 , 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man walks next to a synagogue during the celebrations of Simchat Torah at the Mea Shearim neighbourhood of Jerusalem October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man dances on the table during the celebrations of Simchat Torah in a synagogue at the Mea Shearim neighbourhood of Jerusalem October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men dance with Torah scrolls during the celebrations of Simchat Torah in a synagogue at the Mea Shearim neighbourhood of Jerusalem October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men on Monday danced with scrolls of the Torah, celebrating the religious holiday of Simchat Torah (Rejoicing in the Torah) in one of Jerusalem’s oldest neighborhoods.

During the year, every Saturday in synagogue, devout Jews read a portion of the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. Simchat Torah marks the reading of the final portion and the start of the cycle for the next year.

An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man holds palm fronds in Ashdod, Israel September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish children with palm fronds stand outside a ritual booth, known as a sukkah in Ashdod, Israel September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
Jewish worshippers pray during a priestly blessing at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City September 26, 2018. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man check myrtle branches to be used in rituals in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood, September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

On Simchat Torah valuable parchment scrolls are taken from their places of safe-keeping in synagogues into the streets and devout men dance with them in a series of seven circuits that symbolize the restart of the reading of the Torah.

In the ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood, hundreds of rejoicers donning traditional fur hats and festive white, grey and golden robes packed the synagogues to celebrate the holiday, holding up Torah scrolls, singing and dancing.

Simchat Torah marks the end of the week-long festival of Sukkot and is the final holiday of almost a month of festivities that includes the Jewish New Year and the solemn fasting day of Yom Kippur.

JERUSALEM (Reuters)

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