Succot 2018: Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah

…On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Festival of Sukkot, seven days for the L-RD… on the eighth day, there shall be a holy convocation for you. -Leviticus 23:34

Tonight begins the last days of the Succot holiday, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. We will be offline until Wednesday. We wish all our friends and relatives a joyous holiday.

The painting depicts a number of well known Rabbis from previous generations dancing with Torah scrolls on Simchat Torah — the day of rejoicing with the Torah.

Pictured are:
Rabbi Yakov Yisrael Kanievski (known as the Steipler Gaon)
Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri
Chacham Yosef Chaim (known as the Ben Ish Chai)
Rabbi Yisrael Abuchatzeira (known as the Baba Sali)

Moses ascended from the plains of Moab, to Mount Nebo, to the summit of the cliff that faces Jericho, and Hashem showed him the entire Land; the Gilead as far as Dan; all of Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh; the entire land of Judah as far as the western sea; the Negev and the plain—the valley of Jericho, city of date palms—as far as Zoar.

And Hashem said to him, “This is the land which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying ‘I will give it to your offspring,’ I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you shall not cross over to there.”

So Moses, servant to Hashem, died there, in the land of Moab, by the mouth of Hashem. He buried him in the depression, in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor, and no one knows his burial place to this day. Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died; his eye had not dimmed, and his vigor had not diminished. The children of Israel bewailed Moses in the plains of Moab for thirty days; then the days of tearful mourning for Moses ended.

—Parshat Vezot Haberacha (Deuteronomy) 34, 1 – 8

Rashi, (1040 – 1105) the great French medieval commentator explains: Having blessed the people and prayed for them, Moses, the faithful servant, ascended the mountain as he had been commanded (32:49). As he stood there, G-d showed him every part of the Land, the entire panorama of Jewish history that occurred at the places named in the passage. G-d prophetically showed Moses the entire Land of Israel, in its prosperity and under the oppression of future conquerors.

—The Stone Edition, published by Mesorah Publications

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