A Note About Jewish Holidays:
All Jewish holidays begin the evening before the date specified. This
is because a Jewish "day" begins and ends at sunset, rather than at
The Three Weeks and Tisha B'Av The Three Weeks and Tisha B'Av
Destruction and Renewal
• full three weeks of our year -- the three weeks "between the
strictures" of Tammuz 17 and Av 9 -- are designated as a time of
mourning over the destruction of the Holy Temple and the resultant
galut (physical exile and spiritual displacement) in which we still
The 15th of Av Love and Rebirth
he 5th of Av is the most mysterious day of the Jewish calendar: our Sages proclaim it one of the two greatest festivals of the year (the other being Yom Kippur!), yet they ordained no special observances or celebrations for it. But also the unknowable is ours to seek and explore.
The High Holidays, Sukkot & Simchat Torah
Rosh Hashanah - Yom Kippur - Sukkot - Shemini Atzeret - Simchat Torah - O High Holy Days are observed over a 10-day period, beginning with Rosh Hashanah and culminating in Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, celebrates the creation of the world and is a time for reflection on the year past. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the most solemn day of the Jewish year.
Chanukah - Hanukkah
Victory of Light Over Darkness
Chanukah commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors called the Hasmoneans defeated the Syrians who had defiled the Holy Temple and attempted to force the Jews to assimilate. It is celebrated for eight days by kindling the menorah each evening.
Purim celebrates the salvation of the Jewish people, in the year 3405 from Creation (356 BCE), from Haman's plot "to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews." Purim is observed each year on the 14th of Adar, celebrating the deliverance of the Jewish people from the wicked Haman in the days of Queen Esther of Persia, as described in the book of Esther.
Festival of Liberation
Passover celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. One of the major mitzvos of this holiday is the prohibition against eating any leavened products and the commandment to eat Passover Matzos.
Pesach Sheni - The Second Passover
30 days ago we cleaned our homes and souls of leaven and matzahed our way through the week-long festival. And now -- a Second Passover! But this time it's over before you know it and the challah stays in the breadbox. What kind of Passover is this, anyway?
he birthday of Jewish mysticism... The spiritual significance of the Bow and Arrow... Can love be true and can truth be loving? ... The practical implications of infinity... What is Kabbalah?
Counting of the Omer - Sefirat HaOmer
Between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot, the Omer is counted after nightfall on each evening. The count signifies our preparation for the receiving of the Torah on the holiday of Shavuot.
The Giving of the Torah
Shavuot is the culmination of the counting of the 49 days of the Omer. It marks the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. The Ten Commandments are read in synagogues on Shavuot just as they were in the desert on Mt. Sinai over 3,300 years ago.
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