Chag Asif

Chag Asif is celebrated on the 15th day of Chodesh Shvi’i (Seventh New Moon), at the full moon, after the completion of the fall harvest. It is a time where we reap the benefits of all our works, a time of fulfillment, a day to celebrate, rejoice and give thanks for the bounty of the earth. The “Ingathering” refers to the Hebrew farmers gathering the last of their crops at the turn of the year, around the time of the fall equinox.

The Festival of Asif is the first and most significant day of the Festival of Sukkot. It too uses an everyday activity that the people can relate to, gathering the last of the seasonal crops, as the most significant day of the festival.

Like many of the Hebrew festivals, there is a name for the 7-day festival and another festival name that identifies the set-apart day that kicks off the 7-day festival. Similar to the Festival of Pesach, The Festival of Asif is a set-apart festival that takes place on the first day of the 7-day Festival of Matzot. Dwelling in booths for seven days is akin to the eating of unleavened bread for seven days. Similarly, the Festival of Asif is the first day, a set-apart day of holy convocation, of the Festival of Sukkot. The Festival of Asif is not just another name for the Festival of Sukkot, it is its own festival that is overlapped by the major festival, it is a festival within a festival so to speak.

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