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Jewish Festivals

Biblical Festivals

  • Rosh Hashana (1-2 Tishrei)
    The first day of the first month of Tishrei, marks the beginning of a new year. The celebration of this holiday is marked with solemnity, as it is the day on which the whole world is judged for the coming year.
  • Yom Kippur (10 Tishrei)
    This day, the tenth day of the month of Tishrei, is the holiest day of the year. On this day, G-d seals our fate for the coming year, and therefore, the entire day is spent in prayer to G-d for forgiveness and a good year.
  • Sukkot (15-21 Tishrei)
    A holiday of happiness, in part due to the celebration surrounding the harvest. The observances unique to this holiday are the taking of the Four Species and our dwelling in Sukkot - special booths that remind us of G-d's protection.
  • Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah (22 Tishrei)
    Demonstrates G-d's love of the Jewish people, and the celebration by the Jewish people of the completion of the Torah.
  • Pesach (Passover) (15-21 Nisan)
    This holiday begins on the night of the fifteenth day of Nissan and lasts for eight days. The highlight of this holiday, which commemorates the departure of the nation of Israel from Egypt, is the observance of the Seder, a ceremony performed on the first evening(s) of Passover.
  • Sfirat HaOmer (16 Nisan - 5 Sivan)
    The Counting of The Omer starts on the second night of Pesach. It continues for seven weeks, or forty-nine days. The fiftieth day is Shavuot.
  • Shavuot (6 Sivan)
    Celebrates the fact that the nation of Israel received the Torah, as well as the bringing of the first fruits at the time of the Temple.

    Traditional Festivals

  • Ten Days of Teshuva (1-10 Tishrei)
    The first ten days of the year are specially designated to return to G-d with sincerity, to do Teshuva.
  • Tzom Gedalia Fast (3 Tishrei)
    Commemorates the killing of the Jewish governor of Israel, a critical event in the downfall of the first commonwealth.
  • Chanukah (25 Kislev - 2 Tevet)
    Marks the miraculous victory of the Jews, led by the Maccabees, against Greek persecution and religious suppression. In addition to being victorious in war, an additional miracle occurred: When the Maccabees came to rededicate the Temple, they found only one flask of oil with which to light the Menorah. This small flask lasted for eight days, and in order to commemorate this miracle, the Menorah is lit for the eight days of Hanukkah.
  • Asarah BeTevet Fast (10 Tevet)
    This fast marks the beginning of the siege of the city of Jerusalem, which resulted in the destruction of the city and the Holy Temples.
  • Tu BiShvat (15 Shvat)
    Marks the beginning of the "new year" for trees. It is customary to plant trees and partake of the fruits of the land of Israel to mark the occasion.
  • Taanit Esther Fast (13 Adar)
    Commemorates the three days that Esther fasted before approaching King Achashverosh on behalf of the Jewish people.
  • Purim (14 Adar)
    During the period of time between the destruction of the First Temple and the building of the Second Temple, the Jews came very close to being anihilated because of the evil scheming of Haman with the King of Persia, Achashverosh. Because of the clandestine intervention of Hashem, using Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai as His messengers, the Jews were spared, and instead the nation of Israel was able to avenge themselves against their enemies. In order to commemorate these miraculous turn of events, we celebrate Purim on the 14th of Adar with feasts, sending gifts of food to our friends and the needy, and with the reading of the Megilla, the story of Purim.
  • Shushan Purim (15 Adar)
    Purim is celebrated in walled cities such as Jerusalem, on the 15th of Adar.
  • Lag BaOmer (18 Iyar)
    The thirty-third day of the Omer is a day of celebration for the whole nation of Israel. According to tradition, the students of the great sage Rabbi Akiva, who had been dying in great numbers, stopped dying on this day.
  • Shiva Asar BeTamuz Fast (17 Tamuz)
    Commemorates the breaching of the walls surrounding Jerusalem.
  • The Three Weeks - Bein Hametzarim (17 Tamuz - 9 Av)
    The Three Weeks are a period of mourning over the events of 17 Tamuz and 9 Av.
  • Tisha BeAv Fast (9 Av)
    Commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Holy Temples.
  • Month of Elul
    The final month in the Jewish Calendar is a time for introspection, a time to prepare one's self for the coming year and the upcoming holiday of Rosh HaShana.

    Israeli Holidays

  • Yom HaShoah / Holocaust Day (27 Nisan)
    Established to remember the Holocaust and the six million Jews who perished.
  • Yom HaZikaron / Memorial Day (4 Iyar)
    Established to remember the soldiers killed defending the State of Israel.
  • Yom HaAtzmaut / Independence Day (5 Iyar 5708)
    Celebrates the day on which the State of Israel officially came into existence.
  • Yom Yerushalayim / Jerusalem Day (28 Iyar 5727)
    Commemorates the reunification of the city of Jerusalem.

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