God upholds the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and befriends the stranger, providing him with food and clothing. You too must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt  -(Deuteronomy10:19)

                           Shemini  Atzeret  



                              

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

This is analogous to a king who invited his sons to a feast for a number of days. When the time came for them to leave, he said: "My sons! Please, stay one more day; it is difficult for me to part with you!"—the Midrash.

"Please, stay one more day; it is difficult for me to part with you!"Holiday candles are lit on both nights, and kiddush and sumptuous holiday meals are enjoyed on both nights and days of this holiday. We don't go to work, drive, write or switch on or off electric devices. We are permitted to cook and to carry outdoors.

Shemini Atzeret

On Shemini Atzeret ("the Eighth of Retention") we still eat in the sukkah (according to the custom of most communities), but without reciting the blessing on the sukkah. The "Four Kinds," though, are not taken on this day.

The Shemini Atzeret morning service includes the Yizkor as well as a special prayer for rain, officially launching the Mediterranean rainy season.

 


 

 

          

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