This week, we break the linear reading of Torah to honor the holy day of Shemini Atzeret, the eighth day of assembly, a day added to the seven days of Sukkot.
The eighth day of the holiday of Sukkot is actually a separate holiday called Shemini Atzeret. It means "the eighth day of the assembly."
During the last days of summer, I confess that our most focused family activity seems to be the annual pilgrimage to Target for new lunchboxes. All of that changes when September hits. From Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to Sukkot, then Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, the month of Tishrei is to the Jewish holiday cycle what the decathlon is to Track and Field Day.The kitchen table rapidly piles up with day school holiday projects-- cardboard shofarot, handmade New Year's cards, drawings of lulavim and the countless apples, made from every conceivable non-toxic medium known to teachers.