שמיני עצרת

The last part of פרשת פנחס discusses the holidays of the Jewish calendar. The last of the חגים is שמיני עצרת.

Although this חג comes at the end of Succot, it is considered a חג בפני עצמו, a holiday by itself. Rashi refers it to קשה עלי פרידתכם, that it was difficult for Hashem to depart from His beloved עם ישראל, as winter was about to begin. Hashem asked the Jewish people to stay for just one more day.

There is a mnemonic חז״ל came up with to show how שמיני עצרת was a separate holiday. It is known as פז״ר קש״ב. The ״פ״ stands for פיס, that is a separate lottery for priestly duties. The ״ז״ was זמן or שהחיינו. The ״ר״ רגל בפני עצמו. The ״ק״ a special קרבן. The ״ש״ it’s own שיר של יום. And ״ב״ refers to ברכה ותפילה, that we mention שמיני עצרת and not סוכות in ברכת המזון and שמיני עצרת.

We are taught that we should not overlook this special holiday known as שמיני עצרת.