Shemini Atzeret - October
Mon, Oct 17, 2022

Shemini Atzeret

The holiday of Shemini Atzeret is celebrated on October 17 and is an afterword to the seven days of Sukkot. The meaning of the holiday is an additional day of celebration of the protective relationship between God and the Jews, demonstrated by forty years of exile after Moses received the 10 commandments at Sinai. They give thanks for the harvest and pray for rain to ensure the next year’s harvest.


Jewish holidays are mostly celebrated in honor of historical events, such as the flight from Egypt. No one knows the exact formation of the holiday and for what purposes Shemini Atzeret exists. Rabbis have been arguing about this for centuries, and the fact is that no one knows exactly the meaning of the word “Atzeret”. It is usually translated as “assembly”. The word may come from “atzar”, which in turn means “stop” or “hold on”. At present, it is more commonly accepted to be considered as a “solemn assembly.”

The books of Leviticus and Numbers indicate that the eighth day of Sukkot is the day of assembly. For centuries, Shemini Atzeret lasted two days, but in the Middle Ages, the second day began to be reserved for reading the final section of the Torah. Later, the reading of the Torah, due to its importance, became a separate holiday and was called Simmat Torah. On this day, you need to personally interact with this God. Today, both holidays are held on the same day.

Interesting facts

  • in 1313 BC God forgave the Jews for the sin of idolatry;
  • in 70 BC in Jerusalem the Babylonians destroyed the First Temple;
  • in the 11th century AD the second day of Shemini Atzeret celebration becomes a separate Simchat Torah holiday.

How to celebrate

Most of the day is devoted to family and children. Prepare Torah scrolls, place two pretzels side by side, wrap in a flatbread, tie and put two sweets. Show the children how clouds become rain: fill a glass with water, add a layer of shaving cream and a couple of drops of food coloring on top. The cream will take on a rich color and drip to the bottom of the glass.

When is Shemini Atzeret celebrated in 2022?

Shemini Atzeret is observed on both the 22nd and the 23rd day of this month outside of Israel.


Weekday Month Day Year
Monday October 17 2022
Saturday October 7 2023
Thursday October 24 2024
Tuesday October 14 2025
Saturday October 13 2026

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