Simchat Torah (Jewish)
October 7 - October 8
Coming at the conclusion of Sukkot are the two holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah . In Israel and among more liberal Jews they are combined into one holiday on the day after the conclusion of Sukkot . Among more traditional Jews outside of Israel, they are observed separately from one another on two consecutive days. Shemini Atzeret means the “Eighth Day of Assembly,” while Simchat Torah means “Rejoicing in Torah.”They mark the conclusion of the annual reading cycle of the Torah, the Five Books of Moses that make up the Jewish Bible. Jews celebrate the Torah by dancing and singing, followed by reading the last word of Deuteronomy and the first word of Genesis in one breath to represent the cyclical relationship between the Jewish People and Torah.