by Shaina Abrams-Kornblum, Eastern Community Manager
During the High Holy Days, there is one holiday that often goes unnoticed because it is closely sandwiched between Sukkot and Simchat Torah. Introducing: Shemini Atzeret! The Hebrew word “Shemini” means “eighth” because it falls on the 8th day after the start of Sukkot. So what are we supposed to do to celebrate? Shemini Atzeret starts on Friday, October 9th at sundown and goes until Saturday, October 10th at sundown. It is a unique holiday that often gets overlooked because there are no specific rituals or ritual items associated with it. When Jewish holidays are often so rich with meaning and symbols, how do we find meaning and celebrate a holiday without big customs with our community? Below, you will find some program ideas to use with your community as you celebrate the holiday of Shemini Atzeret through the themes of fulfilling the mitzvah to rejoice in festivals and through gratitude and self-care.