Last modified on 26 August 2009, at 12:00

Hebrew Roots/Holy Days/Great Last Day/Night Service

NIGHT SERVICE FOR SHEMINI AZERET

1. INTRODUCTION Leader: Shemini Atzeret is an eighth day continuing on from the seven days of Sukkot and is a separate appointment with Yahweh God to anticipate our expectation of eternity in the new heavens and the new earth. Torah reading is connected to Succot and this final day of Shemini Atzeret is celebrated as a rejoicing over the Torah, called in Hebrew Simchat Torah.

2. THE FESTIVAL LIGHTS Female Leader: Baruch atah Yahweh, Eloheynu, Melech ha-O'lam, asher keed-sha-nu beed-va-reh-cha v’na-than la-noo et Y'shua M’she-chay-nu, v’tzee-va-nu l’he-oat oar la-O'lam v tsivanu, l hadleek naer shel Yom Tov. Amein

Blessed are You Yahweh, our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us in Your Word, and given us Y'shua our Messiah, and commanded us to be light to the world and commanded us to kindle the Festival lights.. Amen.

Baruch atah Yahweh, Elochenu Melach ha-olam, she-he-cheyanu, v keey manu, v higee anu, la-z man ha-zeh.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, our God, King of the universe, who has preserved us alive, sustained us, and caused us to attain this season.

3. OPENING PRAYER Leader: “Baruch atah Yahweh, Eloheynu, Melech ha-O'lam, asher natan lanu Torah-emet, v'chay-yeh o'lam nata-b'tochenu. Baruch atah Yahweh, nateyn ha-torah Amein"

Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the universe, Who in giving us Y'shua the Living Torah, has planted everlasting life in our midst. Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah.

4. SCRIPTURE READING Leviticus 23:36; Numbers 29:35-36; Deuteronomy 31:9-12

5. CONGREGATIONAL PRAYERS Leader: Sh' ma Yis' raeil, Yahweh Eloheinu, Yahweh Echad. Hear, O Israel, Yahweh our God is One.

Congregation: Y'hay sh'may rabboh m'vorach l'olam ool'ol'may ol'm'yoh May His Great Name be blessed forever and for all eternity

Leader: Barchu et Yahweh hahm vorach. Bless Yahweh Who is blessed. Congregation: Baruch Yahweh khvod malchu tol olam va' ed. A mein. Blessed be the Name of Yahweh Whose glorious kingdom is forever!

5. KIDDUSH Blessing of Kiddush - Leader holding cup: Baruch atah Yahweh, Elochenu Melach ha-olam, borae pree hagafen. Amen. Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine. Amen.

Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe, who has chosen us from among all nations and has sanctified us by the blood of Y'shua.

Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe, who sanctifies the Festival of Shemini Atzeret.

Blessing of Challah - Leader holding bread: Baruch atah Yahweh, Elocheinu Melech ha-olam, ha-motsee lechem min haarets. Amein.

Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth. Amen.

6. TORAH CELEBRATION Leader: We celebrate this night as the ending of one cycle in the year of religious festivities and the beginning of another which one day will lead us into the realm of the new heaven and the new earth when the prophetic timetable has been completed and we rejoice for all eternity in the goodness and the mercy of our God in His awesome plan of salvation which is revealed in His Word, the Torah. This day marks the end of one cycle of Torah reading for the year ending in Deuteronomy 33-34, and the beginning of another, starting in Genesis 1-6.

Attah Hareita is a prayer Reader: (each verse is read by the reader and repeated by the congregation - different readers for each verse can be used)

"To you it was shown, that you might know that Yahweh Himself is God; there is none other beside Him. (Deut 4:35)

"Who is like unto You Yahweh among the mighty ones, glorious in holiness, awesome in praises, doing wonders, blessed are You, Yahweh" (Exodus 15:11)

"For Yahweh is the great God, and the great King above all gods." (Psalm 95: 3)

"Great is Yahweh, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain." (Psalm 48: 2)

"God has gone up with a shout, Yahweh with the sound of the shofar. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is king over all the earth; Sing praises with understanding. (Psalm 47:5-7)

"And all the house of Israel brought up the ark of Yahweh with shouting and with the sound of the shofar" (2 Samuel 6:15)

"For out of Zion shall go forth the Torah and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2: 3) [scroll removed for the procession and dancing - banners may be used]

HAKAFOT A processional circuit of the altar seven times while scripture is read -- Psalm 147:19-20; Psalm 148:13-14; Psalm 149: 1-4; Psalm 150


In the synagogue when the Ark is opened and all the scrolls have been taken out, everybody in the synagogue is given an opportunity to dance with them. Each dance begins with a circuit of the bimah (the central platform in the synagogue from which the Torah is read), which symbolises the altar in the Temple. This is done seven times to the singing of various Hebrew melodies. This joyous parade is called the “hakafot” and everyone is given an opportunity to take part in it.

COMMUNAL DANCING The endless circle of dancing symbolises the eternity of Torah and its Author, who has also given us an inheritance in his eternal kingdom. In this we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

"Arise O Yahweh to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your strength. Your priests will be clothed in righteousness, Your saints will shout aloud for joy." (Psalm 132: 9) [read when scroll is returned]

7. TORAH CONCLUSION Scripture Parasha - Final Portion VeZot Habrachah 33: 1-34-34:12 (divided into three aliyot - i.e. portions)

8. AARONIC BLESSING Yahweh v yish-marechah. Yaer Yahweh panav aelechah veechu-nechah. Yisah Yahweh panav aelechah v ya-saem l chah shalom. B Shaem Y shua haMoshiach, Sar haShalom. Amein.

Yahweh bless you and keep you. Yahweh make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. Yahweh lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. In the name of the Prince of Peace, Y'shua the Messiah. Amen.

Yom tov Ve'al yom Shmini Atseret hachag hazeh. Have a blessed day for this day of Shemini Atzeret


The traditional original type of Torah scrolls are kept in an "Ark" and are removed from them for each participant to dance with them, or for the leader to lead a procession of dancing. They are returned to the Ark when the celebration is finished.

In traditional settings, all kohanim and leviim--priests and Levites--are honored first, followed by the congregation. Each procession is done to the chanting of prescribed hymns. To these are added songs and hymns of a joyous nature.

It is also customary to hand out flags for children to carry, supposedly reminiscent of the tribal flags under which the Israelites marched in the desert.