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Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah

Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah

Tishrei 22 & 23, September/October

The two days immediately after Sukkot are Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah.

Shemini Atzeret is a biblical holiday, designated as “a solemn gathering.” Those pilgrims who had made the trip to Jerusalem for Sukkot would stay an additional day for Shemini Atzeret.

Each year we read the entire Torah (the sacred scroll containing the first five books of the Bible), divided into weekly portions. On any given Shabbat (Sabbath), every synagogue around the world reads the same Torah portion. Simchat Torah, the day after Shemini Atzeret, marks the completion of the annual cycle. On the Shabbat immediately after Simchat Torah, we begin the cycle again, reading from the beginning, Genesis (Bereshit) 1:1.

Press play to hear the pronunciation: