10/7/09

Shemini Atzeret

Shemini Atzeret (שמיני עצרת - "the Eighth [day] of Assembly") is a Jewish holiday celebrated on the 22nd day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. In the Diaspora, an additional day is celebrated, the second day being separately referred to as Simkhat Torah. In Israel and Reform Judaism, the holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are combined into a single day and the names are used interchangeably.

Simchat Torah (also Simchas Torah, Hebrew: שמחת תורה, lit., "Rejoicing with/of the Torah,") is a celebration marking the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle. Simchat Torah is a component of the Biblical Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret ("Eighth Day of Assembly"), which follows immediately after the festival of Sukkot in the month of Tishrei (mid-September to early October on the Gregorian calendar).

There you are, folks! Two lovely holy days coming up for us all to enjoy together.
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