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: 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.
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: 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: Hear, O Israel, Yahweh our God is One. Congregation: May His Great Name be blessed forever and for all eternity
Leader: Bless Yahweh Who is blessed. Congregation: Blessed be the Name of Yahweh Whose glorious kingdom is forever!
5. KIDDUSH Blessing of Kiddush - Leader holding cup: 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: 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 Genesis1-6.
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 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.
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.]
MORNING SERVICE FOR SHEMINI ATZERET
1. INTRODUCTION Leader: This last day of Shemini Atzeret, the eighth concluding day of Sukkot prefigures for us the endless cycles of eternity when the life-giving power of the Almighty will flow to and through His people on the earth in the world to come (Olam Habah). It is a time of great rejoicing for us as we look forward to being fully immersed in the river of life which proceeds from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2. OPENING PRAYER Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the universe and our merciful Heavenly Father, Who is praised by His people and glorified by the tongue of his pious servants. We glorify You and declare Your Name and Your rule, O God and our King. You are the Life-Giver to the worlds; You are the King to be praised and Your great Name glorified forever and ever. Blessed are You, Lord, the King Who is to be praised. Amen.
3. THE SHEMA Reader - Hear, O Israel, Yahweh our God is One. Blessed be the Name of Yahweh Whose glorious kingdom is forever!
Congregation - May His Great Name be blessed forever and for all eternity
Reader - Praise Yahweh to whom all praise is due.
Congregation - Blessed be Yahweh to whom all praise is due forever and ever - Amein!
4. SCRIPTURE READING Blessing: Blessed are You Yahweh, our Elohim, King of the universe, Who has chosen us from all peoples, and has given us His Torah. Blessed are You Yahweh, the Giver of the Torah.
Readings: John 7:37-39; Isaiah 44: 3--4; Revelation 22: 1-5
5. SIMCHAT BEIT HASHOEVAH - Celebration of Water Pouring This may be done as a symbolic act as the water-pouring ceremony at the altar in the temple or as a water libation. In the temple era, the High Priest led a procession off the Temple Mount and through the streets of Jerusalem to bring up a pitcher of living water to be poured out on the altar of the Temple. There, he is handed a silver pitcher full of wine. Pouring them out together, he prays for two things. First, he prays for rains, the former and the later rains. Then he prays “God in heaven, send Your Messiah soon and in our days. We cry out for our Mashiach (our Messiah) now.
Reader: "And the Spirit and the Bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take of the water of life freely." Revelation 22:17
6. PRAYER FOR THE SPIRITUAL HARVEST A traditional prayer called "Tefilat Geshem" is recited for rain in the coming season for the crops. We are told to pray for the spiritual rain, the 'latter rain' to bring the last harvest of the earth to maturity. Readings: Zechariah 10: 1; Joel 2:23-27 32 James 5: 7-8
7. SIMCHA TORAH Blessing: Praise be to you, O Yahweh, King of the universe, who has give us Y'shua your son as our Mashiach, our Redeemer, our Saviour, our Atonement and our Lord, and the books of the Torah and the New Covenant to our people and to all the peoples. Praise be to You, O Yahweh , giver of Salvation in Y'shua HaMashiach. Amen How blessed we are!
Reader: " Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119:105 When Y'shua was at the Temple on Sukkot, He said - "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
8. HAKAFOT PROCESSION [Two people are chosen one as the Chatan Torah (Bridegroom of the Torah) and the other as the Kallat Bereshit (the Bride of Genesis) to read the last portion of Deuteronomy and the first chapter of Genesis respectively]
Reading for the Chatan Torah: Deut. 34: 1-12; Joshua 1: 5-9 Reading for the Kallat Bereshit: Genesis 1: 1-31 [Procession is made around the altar seven times while scripture is being read]
[A tallit is used as a canopy held over them as they, the Bride and the Groom, unite as a never ending circle of Torah reading] Pronouncement: The Word which was made flesh will unite with His Bride in an everlasting bond for all eternity.
Reader: "Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. .. .. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride ordained for her husband." Revelation 21: 1-2
The risen Messiah told John, "Behold, I make all things new" (Rev.21:5). "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy." Isaiah 65:17-18
"For as the new heavens and the new earth which I shall make shall remain before Me, says Yahweh, So shall your descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come and worship before Me." Isaiah 66: 22-23
9. BENEDICTION Leader: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God for ever and ever, Amen" Revelation 7:12
"The grace of our Lord, Y'shua the Messiah be with you all, Amen" Revelation 22:21
The Chattan Torah and the Kallat Bereshit should ideally be a male and a female - e.g. a married couple
Candelabras can be lit for the occasion to represent the four large Menorahs which were lit in the courts of the Temple. Y'shua referenced Himself to be the light of the world which was symbolised by the light that it shed over all the city of Jerusalem. John 8:12