In Israel on motzei Shemini Atzeres/Simchas Torah, many yeshivos, shuls etc. do "Hakafos Shniyos". What do they do exactly? Where does this custom come from and what's the idea behind it?


3 Answers 3


It's another 7 hakafot, but this time with live music.

At the ones i've been to, they do the standard hakafah opening verses (with Hashem's name -- it's just reciting psukim, at least in the Sfardi version), and then sing and dance with music. It's not much more complicated than that.

I don't know where exactly the custom comes from, but it may just be to have more fun.


When I was in Hebrew University, we had Yom Tov Sheni shel goliyos with Hakafos. There were Israelis who came and played music and danced as well.. It was mutar for them since it was not Yom Tov.

  • Even b'pharhesya? And I don't see how this is related to the question. You're talking about Israelis joining in the diasporan's hakafos, not them making their own in Israel.
    – user613
    Oct 28, 2016 at 9:01
  • @user613 They would not play in the shul but outside and they would do it at various places whether or not there were people from chutz la'aretz there. The Yom Tov Sheini shel golyus was the reason that they gave then. Oct 28, 2016 at 9:37
  • @user613 What do you think would be a problem befarhesya? Melakha is fine. Do you mean having a Yom Tov Minyan befarhesya?
    – Double AA
    Oct 28, 2016 at 15:27
  • @DoubleAA I was under the impression that if that place has Yom Tov, you can only do melachah b'tzinah, though I'll try and look up if that's true.
    – user613
    Oct 28, 2016 at 17:24
  • @user What do you mean if that place has yom tov? We're talking about Israel here.
    – Double AA
    Oct 28, 2016 at 17:25

Indeed, I noticed this interesting phenomena in Gan Hapa'amon ("Liberty Bell" Park) in Jerusalem when I was there in the mid 1980's. 3 Orthodox Israelis explained that the reasoning for this was a combo of these reasons:

  • "Balancing out the score" with the Jews living outside Israel. Many outside Israel do hakafot on Shemini Atzeret to honor those in Israel who celebrate Simchat Torah on that night. Thus, the Israelis do likewise to honor those who live outside Israel who celebrate Simchat Torah
  • Somewhat supporting the above idea is the concept that Succot, in particular, was meant as a holiday where both Jews and non-Jews gathered at the Temple in Jerusalem. I understand that numerous non-Jews come to Jerusalem during Succot, to this day, albeit without our Temple. Thus, Succot is notable as being a holiday of unity. There is a Midrash that says that G-d created Shmini Atzeret (Simchat Torah was a later concept) because our departing from him was difficult. Thus, G-d wanted Jews tolinger in Jerusalem an extra day to celebrate just with G-d. Thus, Shemni Atzeret is specifically a Jewish holiday. As this is meant for the gathering of Jews, and there are many Jews visiting Israel, perhaps this extra hakfa was meant also as a means of having them join in unity with their Israelis while in Israel visiting
  • Isru Chag, which is the day following the holiday is mentioned in Shulchan Aruch as being a day of celebration and feasting, as well. The additional "hakafot" is partially attributed to Isru Chag.
  • "Many outside Israel do hakafot on Shemini Atzeret to honor those in Israel who celebrate Simchat Torah on that night." Source? I've never heard of such a thing.
    – Double AA
    Oct 26, 2016 at 18:18
  • "is mentioned in Shulchan Aruch" Where?
    – Double AA
    Oct 26, 2016 at 18:19
  • @DoubleAA Source for 1st comment is based on what the Israelis have told me. It may not be the best source around, granted.
    – DanF
    Oct 27, 2016 at 1:19
  • @DoubleAA You've never heard of hakafos on shmini atzeres in Chu"l, or you've never heard of that being the reason?
    – user613
    Oct 28, 2016 at 9:05
  • Are you sure non Jews came to the temple? I know we brought korbonos for the 70 nations, but I've never heard they came. And they're not even allowed past the cheil
    – user613
    Oct 28, 2016 at 9:05

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