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Shemini Atzeret

Home > Holidays > Shemini Atzeret's Guide to Sukkot
Shemini Atzeret
Simchat Torah

Shemini Atzeret

Shemini Atzeret could be regarded as the forgotten stepchild of Jewish festivals. Passover has matzah and the seder, Shavuot has the dairy thing, Sukkot has the huts and four species, and Simchat Torah has dancing with the Torah. What does Shemini Atzeret have? The prayer for rain. A real thriller.

The prayer for rain, however, is very important in Israel, where winter rain nourishes the crops for the upcoming year. To this day, if Israel doesn't receive enough rain in the winter, special prayers are added into the daily services there.

Shemini Atzeret is celebrated on the eighth day of Sukkot, but is considered a separate holiday, evidenced by the "Shechiyanu" blessing-reserved for new items or holidays-recited at candle lighting on Shemini Atzeret. In Israel, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are celebrated on the same day, but in the Diaspora are two separate days.

JSource: Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah

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