Holiday Alert: Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah

Holiday Alert
Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah

 

Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah begins this year on Sunday evening, September 30 and continues until nightfall, Tuesday, October 2, 2018.

 

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Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah in a Nutshell

Immediately following the seven-day festival of Sukkot comes the two-day festival of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. (In the Land of Israel, the festival is “compacted” in a single day).

Shemini Atzeret means “the eighth [day] of retention“; the chassidic masters explain that the primary purpose of the festival is to retain and “conceive” the spiritual revelations and powers that we are granted during the festivals of the month of Tishrei, so that we could subsequently apply them to our lives throughout the year.

The “Four Kinds” are not taken on Shemini Atzeret. We still eat in the sukkah (according to the custom of most communities), but without making the special blessing on the sukkah. On the second day of Shemini Atzeret (i.e., the ninth day from the beginning of Sukkot)–and in the Land of Israel–we go back to eating in the home.

The second day of Shemini Atzeret is called Simchat Torah (“Rejoicing of the Torah“). On this day we conclude, and begin anew, the annual Torah reading cycle. The event is marked with great rejoicing, especially during the “hakafot” procession, in which we march, sing and dance with the Torah scrolls around the reading table in the synagogue. “On Simchat Torah,” goes the chassidic saying, “we rejoice in the Torah, and the Torah rejoices in us; the Torah, too, wants to dance, so we become the Torah’s dancing feet.”

Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah: September 23-October 2, 2018

If you like to come united in Messiah Ben Yoseph with ALL of the Lost Sheep from the House of Israel please read all about it and join

Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah: September 23-October 2, 2018

The seven days of Sukkot—celebrated by dwelling in the sukkah, taking the Four Kinds, and rejoicing—are followed by Simchat Torah.

Sukkot—when we expose ourselves to the elements in greenery-covered huts—commemorates G‑dsheltering our ancestors as they traveled from Egypt to the Promised Land. The Four Kinds express our unity and our belief in G‑d’s omnipresence.

Coming after the solemn High Holidays, it is a time of joy and happiness.

The first two days (or one day in Israel) are yom tov, when work is forbidden, candles are lit in the evening, and festive meals are preceded with Kiddush and contain challah dipped in honey. Read more….

If you like to come united in Messiah Ben Yoseph with ALL of the Lost Sheep from the House of Israel please read all about it and join