Weekly Cycle

Thursday, February 8, 2024

The Atzeret War (מלחמת עצרת)

This war began on Shmini Atzeret. Atzeret means to “tarry” or to “stop.” This war has been longer than previous recent confrontations. It is a war in which we have needed to tarry in order to finally stop the constant evil and terrorism we have faced.

Atzeret is also a term used for Shavuot. Both Shmini Atzeret and Shavuot represent the idea of Divine revelation that is above nature, connected to the number 8 (7+1) and to the number 50 (49+1). Modern Jewish holidays are commemorated during the Counting of the Omer. Yom HaShoah (13th) followed by Yom HaZikaron/Yom HaAtzma’ut (19th/20th) and then Yom Yerushalayim (43rd). Each day represents an additional step towards the final redemption. The time has come to reach the end of the count, to stop only when our part of the job is done. Hashem will then do the rest.

(See also the Song of the Eagle in Perek Shirah for the Week of Shmini Atzeret (Week 4 of the Book): “And You, G-d, Lord if Hosts (Tzva-ot), Lord of Israel, awake to remember all the nations; do not be gracious to any wicked traitors, sela!” (Psalms 59:6))

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