Vulnerability and Joy

Vulnerability and Joy

Oct 10, 2009 By David Hoffman | Commentary | Shemini Atzeret | Sukkot

How do we make sense of two of the central narratives of the holiday of Sukkot that seemingly point us in different emotional directions?

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Tarry a Day Longer

Tarry a Day Longer

Oct 14, 2006 By Eliezer B. Diamond | Commentary | Shemini Atzeret

For me as a child Sh’mini Atzeret was without question the least memorable among the Jewish holidays of the fall season. Sandwiched between the high drama of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and the pageantry of Sukkot on one hand and the revelry of Simhat Torah on the other, Sh’mini Atzeret often seemed more like a way station than a destination. It had only two distinguishing characteristics. The first, the prayer for rain, seemed to me supremely irrelevant and even perverse; I wasn’t a farmer and I liked spending time outdoors, so what was the upside to rain? The second, Yizkor, was depressing; in any case in the synagogue of my youth those lucky enough to have parents who were alive and well repaired to the lobby to schmooze while the sad and serious business of Yizkor took place behind closed doors.

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Remembering Moses

Remembering Moses

Sep 27, 2002 By Ismar Schorsch | Commentary | Vezot Haberakhah | Shemini Atzeret | Simhat Torah

My father died twenty years ago. The day of his yahrzeit has never been hard for me to remember. It follows by one day the day affixed by the Talmud for the death of Moses (BT Kiddushin 38a). Moses died on the seventh of Adar, the last month of the Jewish calendar, and my father on the eighth. Thus the Hebrew date of my father’s passing is forever anchored in my memory by its proximity to the traditional date for the demise of Moses. Reciprocally, that convergence has heightened for me the yahrzeit of Moses, which is barely noted in most Jewish calendars.

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Shemini Atzeret

Shemini Atzeret

Jan 1, 1980

54 When Solomon finished offering to the Lord all this prayer and supplication, he rose from where he had been kneeling, in front of the altar of the Lord, his hands spread out toward heaven.

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Shemini Atzeret

Shemini Atzeret

Jan 1, 1980

22 You shall set aside every year a tenth part of all the yield of your sowing that is brought from the field.

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