We then conclude with [most Ashkenaz] Ein Ke’Elokeinu, followed by KaddishD’rabbanan, then Aleinu, Shir shel Yom, LeDavid Hashem Ori and their respective Mourner’s Kaddish recitations.
Mincha: usual erev Yom Tov tefilla – weekday Shemoneh Esreh with mention of Sukkos. Following chazzan’s repetition, Kaddish Tiskabbel, then Aleinu (Nusach Sefarad say LeDavid Hashem Ori), followed by Mourner’s Kaddish.
We make an eruv tavshilin in order to be able to prepare food for the Sabbath on Yom Tov.
As we recite Yizkor on Shemini Atzeres we light candles for the departed souls before we light the Yom Tov candles which are to be lit eighteen minutes before Shekia (sunset), at 5:57 p.m. (N.Y.C. E.D.T.)
Maariv: usual tefilla of Shalosh Regalim. We add Va’yedabber Moshe, the Shalosh Regalim and we make mention of Shemini Atzeres. Kaddish Tiskabbel, Aleinu and LeDavid Hashem Ori. (Nusach Sefarad said LeDavid, following Mincha) and Mourner’s Kaddish recitals.
Minhag Sefarad make the hakafos on the night of Shemini Atzeres as well as on the night of Simchas Torah.
Kiddush is Yom Tov text of Shalosh Regalim: Asher bachar banu: Mekkadesh Yisrael VeHazemanim. Since Shemini Atzeres is considered a new Yom Tov, we add the beracha of Shehecheyanu. However, though most still eat in the sukkah because of sefeka deyoma (lit. “a doubt regarding the day” – as in this regard only, the eighth day is possibly the seventh day.) Regarding the other days of Sukkos, in reference to the mention or their sacrifices in both the Torah reading and the Shemoneh Esreh of Mussaf, we treat each day with a “doubt regarding the day.” But we do not say the blessing Leishev basukkah as we no longer refer to this Yom Tov as Sukkos. We do continue the custom of replacing the salt with honey, into which we dip our challah at the blessing of Hamotzi.
Thursday morning: Shacharis as usual with the following exceptions: chazzan begins at HaKel instead of at Shochen Ad. The Shemoneh Esreh is that of Shalosh Regalim. Following chazzan’s repetition we say the entire Hallel followed by Kaddish Tiskabbel. (Nusach Sefarad then proceed with Shir shel Yom, LeDavid Hashem Ori and their respective Kaddish recitations.)
We remove two Sifrei Torah from the Ark – we say the Thirteen Middos and Ribbono Shel Olam.
We call 5 aliyos in the first sefer Torah and we read in Parashas Re’eh, from a Aser Te’aser” (Devarim 14:22 – 16:17). We place the second scroll next to the first and the ba’al keriah recites half-Kaddish. We call the Maftir. We read from the second scroll in Parashas Pinchas (Bamidbar 29:35-39; 30:1).
The Maftir reads the Haftara – Va’yehi kechalos Shlomo (I Kings 8:54-66; 9:1).
It is customary in many congregations to schedule a Yizkor appeal, in accordance with the text of the Yizkor prayer, “In merit of my vowing to give charity on his/her behalf.”
We recite Yizkor and Av HaRachamim, followed by Ashrei. We return the Sifrei Torah to the Ark. The chazzan dons a kittel and says half-Kaddish in the Nusach of Yamim Nora’im.
Before we begin the silent Shemoneh Esreh, the gabbai calls out “Mashiv Haruach U’morid Hageshem” so that we will include this phrase in our silent Shemoneh Esreh as well. (Nusach Sefarad first begin saying Mashiv Haruach U’morid Hageshem” at Mincha – and the chazzan’s repetition at Mussaf serves as the reminder.)
In chazzan’s repetition he chants the Prayer for Rain in its special nusach. We pray for the blessing of rain in its proper season. At “Ve’se’arev” the kohanim ascend to the duchan. (The Levi’im, or where none are available, the firstborn, have washed the priests’ hands). The congregation say Ribbono Shel Olam and Yehi Ratzon. The chazzan then recites Kaddish Tiskabbel.