Sh'mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah
A celebration of the completing the annual reading of the Torah.
What are SH'MINI ATZERET AND SIMCHAT TORAH?
Immediately following Sukkot, we observe Sh'mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, a fun-filled day during which we celebrate the completion of the annual reading of the and affirm Torah as one of the pillars on which we build our lives.
As part of the celebration, the Torah scrolls are taken from the ark and carried or danced around the synagogue seven times. During the Torah service, the concluding section of the fifth book of the Torah, D’varim (Deuteronomy), is read, and immediately following, the opening section of Genesis, or B'reishit, is read. This practice represents the cyclical nature of the relationship between the Jewish people and the reading of the Torah.
Historically, Sh’mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah were two separate holidays (a day of reflection after the end of Sukkot and a celebration of Torah the following day). However, in Israel and in Reform congregations, which generally observe one day of holidays rather than two, Sh’mini Atzeret is observed concurrently with Simchat Torah.
Simchat Torah Family Activities
Get Jewish Life in Your Life
Subscribe to get inspiring email newsletters.
Thank you for signing up! We can't wait to deliver the best of Reform Jewish life to your inbox.
To ensure you receive our emails please add our domain to your list of safe senders.
Relating to Sh'mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah
More On Simchat Torah
GIVE THE GIFT OF TIKKUN OLAM
Honor a Jewish hero for justice by making a tax-deductible gift to the Union for Reform Judaism in his or her name. Your gift will provide funding for creative Reform Jewish programming and help ensure the continued growth and strength of Reform Judaism.