(Yuri leading us in worship at our study center.)
Today is Hoshana Rabba, which is the seventh (final) day of Sukkot. Tomorrow is Shemini Atzeret, which is a separate holiday, and therefore we no longer sit in the Sukkah. In English, we know this holiday as the Eighth Day Assembly. You can read about this in Leviticus 23:36, 39. We read that on this day we should have a holy convocation, we should not do any work (it is a Yom Tov) and that it is a holy assembly.
Within Israel, we combine Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah into a one day celebration. In the Diaspora (outside of Israel), it is a two day holiday. The first day Shemini Atzeret is celebrated and then the second day, Simchat Torah is celebrated. Simchat Torah is not a Biblical holiday. Simchat Torah ends and begins the annual Torah reading cycle.
Outside of of Israel, the Torah reading for Shemini Atzeret is Deut. 14:22-16:17. On Simchat Torah, they read V’Zot HaBracha and Genesis 1:1-2:3. In Israel, we read on Shemini Atzeret what is read outside of Israel on Simchat Torah.
Recently, Baruch has taught twice at a newly forming congregation in our city. Two men from our study center have begun this weekly meeting, which is growing. Many of attendees are not believers (yet). Please pray for them as the hear the Word. Baruch has gone a couple of times during these Fall Holidays to teach them about the holidays and to begin laying a foundation for this new work. We are so glad to be of help.
Last night we had a great study during our Live Stream. We studied Acts 10. This passage is frequently misunderstood. Here is a link to the study, which also includes an explanation about Shemini Atzeret.