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AẒERET (Heb. עֲצֶרֶת), word used in the Bible to convey "a general assembly" (Amos 5:21) or a "concluding celebration" (II Chron. 7:9). In the Torah, aẓeret refers to the final (seventh) day of *Passover (Deut. 16:8) and to the concluding celebration which takes place on the eighth day of Sukkot (Lev. 23:33 ff.; Num. 29:35 ff.). The Jewish religious calendar considers Sukkot as one seven-day festival, and aẓeret (see Feast of *Sukkot ) as a separate celebration with a distinct ritual. In the Second Temple period, however, aẓeret was used exclusively to designate the third pilgrim festival, *Shavuot . Shavuot is closely related to Passover (Lev. 23:15 ff.), and so rabbinic literature treated it as the aẓeret, the "concluding celebration," of that festival.

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.