Shemini Atzeret is a festival which is celebrated on the 22nd day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei (mid-September to early October on the Gregorian calendar) of Jewish community. The day falls immediately after the holiday of Sukkot. It is the Eighth day of Assembly” as the name Shemini means eighth and it is a holiday.
As per the Rabbinic tradition, on the Shemini Atzeret day the world is judged for water, or rainfall, in the upcoming year. On Shemini Atzeret people of Israel recite special prayers asking for rain. Thus the day has a lot of agricultural significance.
Apart from this, Shemini Atzeret is understood as a day highlighting the special relationship between the Jewish people and God.
Simchat Torah is celebrated a day after Shemini Atzeret. Simchat Torah means “Rejoicing with/of the Torah”. The day marks the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and a new cycle starts on this day.
Simchat Torah is a component of the Biblical Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret.
The Jewish mark the celebration by dancing and singing with the Torah. Communities that observe a triennial cycle – i.e. they complete reading the Torah every three years – nonetheless celebrate Simchat Torah each year. In order to celebrate the Torah and every Jew’s relationship to it, there is a tradition that everyone is called up the Torah on Simchat Torah to recite the Torah blessing.
Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah 2016 Dates :
- Shmini Atzeret 2016 begins in the evening of Sunday, October 23 and ends in the evening of Monday, October 24.
- Simchat Torah 2016 begins in the evening of Monday, October 24 and ends in the evening of Tuesday, October 25.