This calendar listing is intended to provide information about the named cultural/religious observation and is not intended as an actual campus event. If a campus event is associated with this observance, it will be listed separately on the master calendar.
Shemini Atzeret, meaning the “eighth day of assembly,” is celebrated after the seventh day of Sukkot, but is in fact a holiday separate from Sukkot. It is often explained that Sukkot is like a seven day party, where the Creator is the host who has invited his visitors for a limited time. On the eighth day, he has had such a pleasurable time that he asks for guests to stay an extra day. Shemini Atzeret marks the beginning of the rainy season. On this day, no work is permitted and a prayer for rain, called tefilat geshem, is recited, so that it will be plentiful and bring healthy crops. Simchat Torah commemorates the reading of the last part of the Torah and the beginning of the first part, to start the cycle of scriptural readings for the new year.