Shemini Atzeret custom #galicia



There are multiple customs regarding sukkah on Shemini Atzeret.  Some make kiddush in the sukkah, but eat indoors; others eat in the sukkah at night but not by day, or "go inside" after daytime kiddush.  This makes some sense if you consider that the "geshem" prayer for rain is on Shemini Atzeret morning, so why would you sit in a sukkah when you've just prayed for rain!

Generally one should follow one's ancestral custom.  I suppose the OP would like to know what the ancestral custom of that town was.  If the town or local area had a notable Rabbinic leader, then that could help find the answer.

If one doesn't have a family custom, then they would do as per their own Rabbi.

Charles Joseph

Yitschok Margareten

Richard gave a well explained response for the general tradition as suggested in Halacha.

However, some places -especially Chassidim- had different customs regarding sitting in the Sukkah on Shemini Atzeret, where many did not follow the tradition of sitting in the Sukkah, as to not desecrate the Yom Tov of Shemini Atzeret by showing that maybe it's still Succot, defining the day as not so holy by not actually being Yom Tov.

Unfortunately, I do not know the tradition of Bolechow. But it they were Chassidim, there is a great possibility that they didn't sit in the Sukkah.

Yitschok Margareten


Richard Gilbert

It wasn’t just in Bolechow.

In Israel Succot lasts only 7 days. Everywhere else it is supposed to last 8 days, but in the Torah the day after Succot is Shemini Atzeret.

Since Shemini Azeret therefore falls on what should be the 8th day of Succot the Rabbis determined that one should continue to dwell in one’s succah on Shemini Atzeret but without making the blessing of dwelling in the succah. In this way, the uniqueness of Shemini Atzeret was preserved but for those Jews living outside of Israel, they do not lose the custom of keeping an extra day for our festivals.

The last day of Succot is known as Hoshana Rabba (The Great Hoshana). It was the day that seven circuits are made round the bimah asking for G-D’s salvation. The person who leads the service on Hoshana Rabba wears a white kittel. This is replicated on Shemini Atzeret when the prayer for rain is recited during the additional musaf service.

Best wishes,

Richard Gilbert
Hertfordshire, England


A friend's paternal grandfather came from Bolechow, Galicia (now Bolekhiv, Ukraine).  He was wondering whether Jews from that town had a tradition of sitting in the sukkah on Shemini Atzeret (8th day of Sukkot).
Granted, this isn't the most conventional genealogical question.  Thanks in advance.
Evan Fishman

Evan Fishman
New Jersey
FISHMAN--Terespol, Poland
FINKEL-- Brest Litovsk, Belarus