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Simcha (Hebrew: שִׂמְחָה śimḥāʰ; Hebrew pronunciation: [simˈχa], Yiddish pronunciation: [ˈsɪmχə]) is a Hebrew word that means gladness, or joy, and is often used as a given name.


The concept of simcha is an important one in Jewish philosophy. A popular teaching by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, a 19th-century Chassidic Rabbi, is "Mitzvah Gedolah Le'hiyot Besimcha Tamid," it is a great mitzvah (commandment) to always be in a state of happiness. When a person is happy one is much more capable of serving God and going about one's daily activities than when depressed or upset.[1]

Jews often use simcha in its capacity as a Hebrew and Yiddish noun meaning festive occasion. The term is used for any happy occasion, such as a wedding, Bar Mitzvah or engagement.


The day of Simchat Torah, "Rejoice in the Law", marks the completion and beginning of the annual cycle of reading the Torah.

Other uses[edit]

Simcha is also the name of a kosher beer from Saxony, Germany.[2] It was also a slang term used in Jewish-American organized crime circles to refer to a pimp.[3]


Simcha is also used as a given name, for men or women. In the Ashkenazi Jewish tradition, the name Simcha is most likely to be used for a boy, while in the Sephardic/Israeli tradition it would be a girl's name.

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