V’Zot HaBrachah & Shemini Atzeret

In our whirlwind of holidays in the month of Tishrei, Shemini Atzeret tends to escape the spotlight. Why are we are commanded to celebrate Shemini Atzeret? The Babylonian Talmud in Sukkah 55b tells the story of a king who invited all of his children to join him in a feast for a certain number of days. When it came time for his children to leave, the king begged them to stay on for an additional day, as the prospect of separation from them was hard for him. So too, God commanded Bnai Yisrael to have an “eighth day” so that God could have one more day of celebration with the Jewish people. As the holiday season is coming to a close, let us appreciate Shemini Atezret and Simchat Torah as opportunities to celebrate the gift of God’s Torah as well as God’s love and support for us, as we transition back to our typical routines.

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