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☞   Shemini Atseret (and Simḥat Torah)
This is an archive of prayers, prayer-poems, and songs for the festival of Shemini Atseret and Simḥat Torah.

Click here to contribute a prayer or transcription or translation of a historic prayer.


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For digital scans of maḥzorim (festival prayer books) for Shemini Atseret that have entered the Public Domain, and of maḥzorim under copyright that have been contributed with Open Content licenses by their creators, go here.

For an archive of special readings on Shemini Atseret and Simḥat Torah, go here.

תפילות לשמיני עצרת שנת תשפ״א, בזמן מגפת הקורונה | Prayers for Shemini Atseret 5781 during the Coronavirus Pandemic, by Amit Gvaryahu & Yedidah Koren

Yizkor and other prayers for Shemini Atsertet during the coronavirus pandemic in 5781 (2020). . . .

Tefillat Geshem, a paraliturgical prayer for rain on Shemini Atseret by Rabbi Louis Polisson

A paraliturgical prayer for rain on Shemini Atseret. . . .

Prayer for Shmini Atseret (שמיני עצרת), by Rabbi Moritz Mayer (1866)

A prayer for a woman celebrating Shmini Atseret. . . .

אֲשׁוֹרֵר שִׁירָה | Ashorer Shirah, a piyyut in honor of the Torah by Ḥakham Raphael Baruch Toledano (ca. 20th c.)

A piyyut in honor of the Torah. . . .

תהלים ח׳ בלשון לאדינו | Psalms 8 by David in Ladino (Estampado por Ǧ. Griffit, ca. 1852/3)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of Psalms 8 from תהילים או לוס סאלמוס ; טריסלאד’אד’וס דיל לשון הקדש אין לה לינגואה ספרדית (Tehillim, or the Psalms, translated from the Holy language [Hebrew] into the Sephardic language, Estampado por Ǧ. Griffit 1852/3) from a digital copy made available by the collection of Sephardic Studies at the University of Washington. Please join me in making a complete transcription of this Ladino translation of Psalms. –Aharon N. Varady . . .

תחנה אמהות | Prayer for Yizkor on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Yamim Tovim, from the Tkhine of the Matriarchs by Seril Rappaport (ca. 18th century)

“Tkhine of the Matriarchs for Yizkor on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Yamim Tovim” by Rebbetsin Seril Rappaport is a faithful transcription of her tkhine included in “תחנה אמהות מן ראש חודש אלול” (Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the New Moon of Elul) published in Vilna, 1874, as re-published in The Merit of Our Mothers בזכות אמהות A Bilingual Anthology of Jewish Women’s Prayers, compiled by Rabbi Tracy Guren Klirs, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992. shgiyot mi yavin, ministarot nakeni. . . .

[Gebet] Am Thora-Freudenfest | [A prayer] on Simḥat Torah, by Fanny Neuda (1855)

This is Fanny Neuda’s prayer “on Simḥat Torah,” faithfully transcribed and proofread with the help of German Wikisource contributors from Fanny Neuda’s Stunden Der Andacht (1855), p. 66-67. We are happy to share your translation of Neuda’s tkhines in any language. The translation provided here was made by Julia Watts Belser for Hours of Devotion: Fanny Neuda’s Book of Prayers for Jewish Women (ed. Dinah Berland, Schocken 2007), and set here for the first time side-by-side with Neuda’s original German. . . .

Actions de graces pour la récolte et Prière pour demander un bon hiver | Thanksgiving for the Harvest and a Prayer for a Favorable Winter, a paraliturgical prayer for rain by Jonas Ennery & Rabbi Arnaud Aron (1848)

This is a paraliturgical prayer for rain during the wet season, read during the festival of Sukkot, following in the tradition of Yiddish tkhines, albeit written in French. The prayer was included by Rabbi Arnaud Aron and Jonas Ennery in their opus, אמרי לב Prières d’un Coeur Israelite (first edition) published in 1848 by the Société Consistoriale de Bons Livres. . . .

אֵין אַדִּיר כַּיְיָ (מִפִּי אֵל)‏ | Ayn Adir kAdonai (Mipi El) :: There is none like YHVH

A popular piyyut for Simḥat Torah (4th hakkafah) originally composed as a piyyut for Shavuot and often referred to by its incipit, “Mipi El.” . . .

תפילת גשם בזכות האמהות | Prayer for Rain in the Merit of the Matriarchs by Rabbi Jill Hammer

The time of Sukkot is a time of fullness and generosity, but also a time to pray for the coming season. Shemini Atzeret, the festival when we pray for rain, is an expression of our need for water, which in the Jewish tradition symbolizes life, renewal, and deliverance. Tefillat Geshem, a graceful fixture of the Ashkenazic liturgy, invokes the patriarchs as exemplars of holiness and model recipients of God’s love. This prayer uses water as a metaphor for devotion and faith, asking that God grant us life-sustaining rain. While its authorship is unknown, it is sometimes attributed to Elazar Kallir, the great liturgist who lived sometime during the first millenium. Each year, we are reminded of our people’s connection to the patriarchs and to the rhythms of water, spiritual and physical sources of life, through this medieval piyyut. While we know that rain is a natural process, formal thanksgiving for water as a source of life, energy, and beauty reminds us that our Creator is the source of our physical world and its many wonders. . . .


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