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Service concludes with Ein KeElokeinu, Aleinu, Shir shel Yom, and LeDavid Hashem Ori, (which Nusach Sefarad already said at Shacharis, following Hallel) and their respective Kaddish recitations. Some congregations conclude with An’im Zemiros followed by Mourner’s Kaddish.

Mincha: Ashrei, U’va LeTziyyon, half-Kaddish. All then say the silent Shemoneh Esreh (of Shalosh Regalim). We are careful to include Mashiv Haruach U’morid Hagashem in the beracha of Mechayyeh Hameisim. In case one forgot to include this phrase: If he realized it before he uttered the beracha of Ata Kadosh – he is to include it there and then. If, however, he already said Ata Kadosh, he repeats from the beginning of the Amidah. According to Rema (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 114:9), in order not to say a blessing in vain, it is proper to repeat Mashiv Haruach U’morid Hageshem 90 times.


The Mishna Berura (ad loc.) explains: One says … Rav lehoshia, Mashiv Haruach U’morid Hageshem 90 times. He quotes the Chasam Sofer (Responsa Vol. I 9:20) as well, who opines that one repeats it 103 times, but he would repeat it only in the case one said it less than 90 times.

Thursday, the second night of Yom Tov – which we now commonly refer to as Simchas Torah (due to our joy at completing the yearly Torah reading cycle) – we are not allowed to make any preparations for Yom Tov before we light candles, (from an existing flame) 45 minutes after sunset, at 7:00 p.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T. (according to Piskei Rav Henkin, zt”l, the zeman is preferably 72 minutes after sunset, at 7:27 p.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T. or at the very least 60 minutes after sunset, at 7:15 p.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T.) and then we can commence all preparations. When lighting candles we recite Lehadlik ner shel Yom Tov and Shehecheyanu.

Maariv is usual tefilla of Yom Tov. We end the Kerias Shema prayer with U’feros… We say Va’yedabber Moshe. Chazzan recites half-Kaddish, then all say the silent Shemoneh Esreh. We refer to the Yom Tov in the Shalosh Regalim text as Yom Shemini Ha’atzeres. Following that the chazzan recites Kaddish Tiskabbel.

It is customary, before the recital of Ata Horeisa, to “sell” this right for pledges to charity. The purchaser then honors individuals with the recitation of individual pesukim in Ata Horeisa. Most congregations also sell all the other honors associated with Simchas Torah. It is customary to sell the honors of Maftir and the three Hagbahos and gelillos, and some sell the opening and closing of the Ark as well. With all the Sifrei Torah removed from the Ark, we now begin the Hakafos circling of the bimah – we go around it seven times in joyous dance.

At the conclusion of Hakafos we return all but one Sefer Torah to the Ark. We call three aliyos and we read from Vezos HaBeracha (Devarim 31:1-26). (Some congregations call up five people.)

The ba’al keriah then says half-Kaddish. We return the Sefer Torah to the Ark and we conclude with Aleinu and Mourner’s Kaddish. We no longer recite LeDavid Hashem Ori.

Kiddush is usual Shalosh Regalim Kiddush, with reference to Shemini Atzeres and Shehecheyanu.

We eat our festive se’uda in the house, as the second day of this Yom Tov in the Diaspora is considered like Shemini Atzeres in Eretz Yisrael – and is not treated as sefeka deyoma, a doubtful day.

Shacharis, 2nd day Yom Tov – see next week’s luach.

We do not say Tachanun until after Rosh Chodesh (2 Marcheshvan).

The following chapters of Tehillim are being recited by many congregations and Yeshivos for our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael: Chapter 83, 130, 142 – Y.K.


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Rabbi Yaakov Klass is Rav of K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush; Torah Editor of The Jewish Press; and Presidium Chairman, Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim.