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The Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah 5778 (2017) Calendar

The Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah 5778 (2017) Calendar

An overview of Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah 5778

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Wednesday October 11 – 21 Tishrei
7th day of Sukkot
Hoshanah Rabbah
- The Day Before Shemini Atzeret

Note: Click here and here for more information about this special day. What follows is only the information relevant to preparations for the holiday of Shemini Atzeret.

Since the festival begins on a Wednesday night, we prepare an eruv tavshilin.

In some communities, it is customary that those who will be reciting Yizkor tomorrow (i.e., anyone with a deceased parent) light a 24-hour yahrtzeit candle before the onset of the holiday.

Click here for a summary of the laws of Yom Tov, and here for the complete Shemini Atzeret Guide.

Women and girls light candles — preferably in the sukkah — in order to usher in the holiday. Click here for the text of the blessings, and here for local candle lighting times.

Festive evening prayers followed — in most communities — by the hakafot dancing.

After the prayers, we enjoy a holiday meal in the sukkah. (Tonight and the next day, no blessing is made on sitting in the sukkah. Click here for more on this topic.)

Thursday October 12 – 22 Tishrei
Shemini Atzeret

Morning service. Full Hallel is recited.
Two Torah scrolls are taken out of the ark.
Torah reading: Deuteronomy 14:22-16:17 and Numbers 29:35-39.
Haftorah: I Kings 8:54–66.

Yizkor is recited by those who have a deceased parent. Before the start of the Musaf amidah, the gabbai announces aloud: "Mashiv haruach u'morid hageshem!" ("He causes the wind to blow and the rain to fall"), and from this prayer forward, and lasting until the first day of Passover, those words are inserted into the second blessing of the amidah. The opening paragraphs of the repetition of the amidah contains a special prayer, Geshem ("Rain"), beseeching G‑d to grant bountiful rain, and officially launching the Mediterranean (i.e., Israeli) rain season. The Priests bless the congregation with the Priestly Blessing during the Musaf prayer.

Festive lunch meal in the sukkah. Sometime before sundown, it is customary to go into the sukkah, have a bite to eat, and "bid farewell" to its holy shade.

After dark (tzeit hakochavim), women and girls light candles — in the home — for Simchat Torah, using an existing flame. Click here for the text of the blessings, and here for local candle lighting times.

Click here for the complete Simchat Torah Guide, and here for all you need to know about hakafot.

Festive evening prayers followed by hakafot — jubilant singing and dancing with the Torah scrolls.

After the prayers and hakafot, we enjoy a festive holiday meal (no longer do we eat in the sukkah).

Friday October 13 – 23 Tishrei
Simchat Torah

Morning service. The Priests bless the congregation with the Priestly Blessing during the Shacharit (morning) prayer. Full Hallel is recited, followed by the hakafot.
Three Torah scrolls are taken out of the ark. Everyone, including children, receives an aliyah.
Torah reading: Deuteronomy 33:1–34:12; Genesis 1:1-2:3; Numbers 29:35-39.
Haftorah: Joshua 1:1-18.

Festive lunch meal.

If you performed an eruv tavshilin on Wednesday, cook the foods necessary for Shabbat, using a flame that has been lit from the onset of the holiday.

18 minutes before sunset, women and girls light candles for Shabbat, using an existing flame. Click here for the text of the blessing, and here for local candle lighting times.

After Shabbat evening prayers festive Shabbat meal.

Shabbat October 14 – 27 Tishrei
Shabbat Bereishit - Shabbat Mevarchim

Morning service: Normal Shabbat prayers.
Torah reading: Genesis 1:1–6:8.
Haftorah: Isaiah 42:5-21.

Shabbat lunch meal.

The leaders of Chabad-Lubavitch would say: "As one establishes oneself on Shabbat Bereishit, so goes the rest of the year."

After nightfall, perform the Havdalah ceremony.

After the evening services, it is a Chabad custom for the gabbai to announce: "V'Yaakov halach lidarko!" ("And Jacob went on his way!")

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Anonymous kissimmee, Florida September 29, 2010

shemini atzeret It is always a pleasure to celebrate my birthday being the 22nd day of tishrei, shemini atzeret. What a joy to be born on such a joyous holiday. Reply