Shemini Atzeret – Eighth Day of Assembly

Shemini Atzeret (Hebr. Eighth Day of Assembly) is a separate holiday prescribed by the Torah as the closure of the festival of Sukkot, on the 22nd day of the month of Tishri. In 2013, Shemini Atzeret is celebrated from the evening of September 25 until the evening of September 26.

The requirements of living in a sukkah and of waving the four species (Hebr. arba minim) are no longer binding during Shemini Atzeret. The central place is occupied by the Rain Prayer – recited already at the time of the Jerusalem Temple – for winter rainfall in Israel, of paramount importance for the spring harvest. The book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), which poses questions about the meaning and purpose of human existence, is read on this day.