Jewish Celebrations (11)

Sukkoth

“...On the fifteenth day of the seventh month is the Festival of Sukkoth, seven days for the Lord.” - Leviticus 23:34

At sunset on the 4th October, corresponding to the 14th day of the Hebrew month of ‘Tishrei’, Jews all over the world will begin celebrating the festival of ‘Sukkoth’.
‘Sukkoth’ begins the fifth day after ‘Yom Kippur’, and it is quite a drastic transition, from one of the most solemn holidays in the Jewish year to one of the most joyous. ‘Sukkoth’ is so unreservedly joyful that it is commonly referred to in Jewish prayer and literature as ‘Z'man Simchateinu’, the ‘Season of our Rejoicing’.

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Yom Kippur

“...In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and you shall not do any work ... For on that day he shall provide atonement for you to cleanse you from all your sins before the Lord.”- Leviticus 16:29-30

Just before sunset on the 29th October 2017, corresponding to the 9th day of the Hebrew month of ‘Tishrei’, Jews the world over will begin a 26 hour fast to usher in ‘Yom Kippur’.
‘Yom Kippur’ is the most important holiday of the Jewish year.

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Rosh Hashanah

At sunset on the 20th September 2017, corresponding to the last day of the Hebrew month of ‘Elul’, Jewish people all over the world will begin celebrating ‘Rosh Hashanah’, the Jewish New Year.

‘Rosh Hashanah’ literally means ‘head of the year’; it is observed on the first day of ‘Tishrei’ as ordained in the ‘Torah’, in Leviticus 23:24: ”Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ’In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation’”.

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Tisha B'Av

At sunset on the 31st July 2017 Jews all over the world begin the annual 24 hour fast of ‘Tisha B’Av’ (the ninth day of the Hebrew month of ‘Av’).

The fast commemorates the destruction of the First and Second temples in Jerusalem which occurred about 656 years apart, but on the same date. Accordingly, ‘Tisha B’Av’ has been called the "saddest day in Jewish history".

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Shavuot

On the evening of the 30th May, corresponding to the 5th day of the Hebrew month of Sivan, Jewish people all over the world will begin celebrating the festival of ‘Shavuot’.

‘Shavuot’, the Feast of the Weeks, is the Jewish holiday celebrating the harvest season in Israel. ‘Shavuot’, which means ‘weeks’, refers to the timing of the festival which is held exactly 7 weeks after Passover.

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Yom Yerushalayim

Isaiah 62:6-7: “I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or nigh. You who make mention of the Lord, keep not silent, and give Him no rest, till He establishes, and till he makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth”

Wednesday 24th May, corresponding to the 28th day of the Hebrew month ‘Iyar’, Jews in Israel and all over the world will commemorate ‘Yom Yerushalayim’ (Jerusalem Day) which is a national holiday in Israel. For Israel this is a great and joyous occasion as ‘Yom Yerushalayim’ marks the Israeli liberation of East Jerusalem in 1967 and the subsequent unification of the city of Jerusalem. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the liberation of East Jerusalem and the ‘Kotel’ (Western Wall).

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Lag B’Omer

Leviticus 23:15-16: “And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD.”

On the 14th of May 2017, Jews all over the world will celebrate ‘Lag B’Omer’. ‘Lag B’Omer’ is Hebrew shorthand for the 33rd day of the ‘Omer’. ‘Lag’, or L"G is the Hebrew numerals for 33. It falls on the 33rd day of the counting of the ‘Omer’ (the amount of days as counted from the second day of ‘Pesach (Passover) until the holiday of ‘Shavuot’.) This corresponds to the 18th day of the Hebrew month of ‘Iyar’.

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Yom Ha Shoa, Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut

During this months of April and May, three very important days are commemorated by Jews both in Israel and throughout the world.  The three days are ‘Yom Ha Shoah’, ‘Yom Hazikaron’, and ‘Yom Ha’atzmaut’.

Each of these days is very significant for Jewish people throughout the world. One specific day, however, has worldwide significance – that day is ‘Yom Ha’atzmaut’.

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Pesach (Passover)

On the evening of the 10th April, Jewish people all over the world will begin celebrating ‘Pesach’ (Passover) to remember the miraculous events of G-d taking the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt into freedom.

‘Pesach’ is a joyous festival and it is usually celebrated by the entire family (uncles, aunts, cousins etc).

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Purim

On the  9th March 2017, Jews all over the world will be partaking in the ‘Fast of Esther’ to commence the celebration of the holiday of ‘Purim’.

‘Purim’, which, this year, takes place on the 12th March, could be called the happiest holiday of the year for Jewish people.
It is a time for giving to the poor, exchanging gifts with family and friends, dressing up in fancy dress, and generally a time for rejoicing.

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Hanukkah

During the four hundred ‘silent years’ between the Old and New Testaments, events occurred which could threaten to destroy the Jewish people and Israel. However, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was not about to let His people and the Messianic line be destroyed…

On the 12th of December, corresponding to the 24th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, Jews all over the world will begin celebrating the Festival of Lights (also known as the Feast of Dedication), known in Hebrew as ‘Hanukkah’ which is the Hebrew term for dedication. ‘Hanukkah’ is celebrated to commemorate the victory of the Jews over the Hellenist Syrians in 165 BCE.

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