I've heard an idea that a year (like 5772) in which parashas Sh'mini is read eight times[1] is a particularly auspicious one: the wording of the maxim is something like "sh'mona Sh'mini sh'mena" ([a year with] eight Sh'minis is fat [=plenteous]). Does anyone know the provenance, wording, or meaning of this maxim/idea?

[1] This occurs in chutz laaretz (only) in a year in which Pesach starts on the Shabas after Shabas parashas Tzav. In that case, Sh'mini is read the afternoon of Shabas hagadol, the following Monday and Thursday, the afternoons of the first and eighth days of Pesach, the following Monday and Thursday, and the Shabas morning after Pesach.

  • see this letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe - hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=15944&st=&pgnum=309 - (referenced in the source in @jutky's answer) - where the Rebbe says this is a saying that is often recited by Polish Chassidim (referring to non-Chabad chassidim). The Rebbe then explains it according to Chassidus. The Correct saying is "Shmini Shmonah, Shmeina". – Menachem Apr 22 '12 at 6:47
  • @Menachem, thanks (and to you, jutky), but I still wonder about its provenance. That it comes from some Polish chasid (or, especially, that it comes from some non-Lubavitch chasid) is very little source information. – msh210 Apr 22 '12 at 7:11
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    The Rebbe talks about it in Igros too: chabadlibrary.org/books/default.aspx?furl=/admur/ig/1/149 – Hod - Monica's Army Apr 6 '13 at 0:40
  • forum.otzar.org/viewtopic.php?t=9099 good quote about this. I honestly don't know if you'll find a good source for this saying, though. Good luck! – רבות מחשבות Feb 9 '18 at 13:49
  • rabbi moshe shternbuch reportedly said that he has this as a kabbala from the gr"a – heshy Feb 13 '18 at 3:24

Here is the hisvaadus that presents this idea (in seif yud). Found by googling so I can't provide any additional information.

‫ובזה גופא — קוראים פ׳ שמיני‬ ‫שמונה פעמים. וכמדובר פעם הפתגם‬ ‫בזה מחסידי פולין: שמיני שמונה‬ ‫שמנה, כלומר, ששנה שקוראים בה פ׳‬ ‫שמיני שמונה פעמים — תהי׳ שנה‬ ‫״שמנה״.‬

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  • Here is the volume it's from if that is what you were getting at. – WAF Apr 10 '13 at 0:36

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