Haftarah for Shemini Atzeret (I Kings 8)

… And it was, as Solomon finished praying all this prayer and supplication to the Lord, that he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread out toward heaven. 55. And he stood, and blessed the entire congregation of Israel (with) a loud voice, saying, 56. “Blessed (be) the Lord, Who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He spoke; there has not failed one word of all his good word, that He spoke through Moses His servant. 57. May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our forefathers; let Him not leave us, nor forsake us:


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5 Responses to Haftarah for Shemini Atzeret (I Kings 8)

  1. Cutting through this puzzle, the most appealing depiction of the holiday may be that of Samson Raphael Hirsch, a 19th-century Orthodox rabbi who lived in Germany. He infers the meaning of the holiday from the word atzeret, which he renders as “to gather” or “to store up.” Accordingly, on this eighth day of Sukkot, the final day of celebration, we must store up the sentiments of gratitude and devotion acquired throughout the entire fall holiday season:


  2. Tishri 22, the day after the seventh day of Sukkot, is the holiday Shemini Atzeret. In Israel, Shemini Atzeret is also the holiday of Simchat Torah. Outside of Israel, where extra days of holidays are held, only the second day of Shemini Atzeret is Simchat Torah: Shemini Atzeret is Tishri 22 and 23, while Simchat Torah is Tishri 23:


  3. Shemini Atzeret literally means “the assembly of the eighth (day).” Rabbinic literature explains the holiday this way: G-d is like a host, who invites us as visitors for a limited time, but when the time comes for us to leave, He has enjoyed himself so much that He asks us to stay another day:


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