Jewish holiday

Jewish holiday

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Encyclopedia
For the Gregorian dates of Jewish Holidays, see Jewish holidays 2000-2050
Jewish holidays 2000-2050
This is an almanac-like listing of major Jewish holidays from 2000 to 2050. All Jewish holidays begin at sundown on the evening before the date shown. On holidays marked "*", Jews are not permitted to work...

.


Jewish holidays are days observed by Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 as holy or secular commemorations of important events in Jewish history
Jewish history
Jewish history is the history of the Jews, their religion and culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Since Jewish history is over 4000 years long and includes hundreds of different populations, any treatment can only be provided in broad strokes...

. In Hebrew, Jewish holidays and festivals, depending on their nature, may be called yom tov (lit., "good day") or chag ("festival") or ta'anit
Ta'anit
A ta'anit or taanis or taʿanith in Classical Hebrew is a fast in Judaism in which one abstains from all food and drink, including water...

("fast"). A Yom Tov has similar obligations and restrictions to Shabbat
Shabbat
Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until a few minutes after when one would expect to be able to see three stars in the sky on Saturday night. The exact times, therefore, differ from...

, with the exception that you can cook, carry, and transfer fire (from a pre-existing flame). The origins of various Jewish holidays generally can be found in Biblical mitzvot
Mitzvah
The primary meaning of the Hebrew word refers to precepts and commandments as commanded by God...

 (commandments), rabbinical mandate
Rabbinic Judaism
Rabbinic Judaism or Rabbinism has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century CE, after the codification of the Talmud...

, and modern Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i history.

Rosh Hashanah — The Jewish New Year


  • For a variable number 4-9 of days before Rosh Hashanah among Ashkenazim
    Ashkenazi Jews
    Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim , are the Jews descended from the medieval Jewish communities along the Rhine in Germany from Alsace in the south to the Rhineland in the north. Ashkenaz is the medieval Hebrew name for this region and thus for Germany...

    , and the entire month of Elul among Sephardim
    Sephardi Jews
    Sephardi Jews is a general term referring to the descendants of the Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula before their expulsion in the Spanish Inquisition. It can also refer to those who use a Sephardic style of liturgy or would otherwise define themselves in terms of the Jewish customs and...

    , special additional morning prayers are added known as Selichot
    Selichot
    Selichot or slichot are Jewish penitential poems and prayers, especially those said in the period leading up to the High Holidays, and on Fast Days...

    .
  • Erev Rosh Hashanah (evening of the first day) — 29 Elul
    Elul
    Elul is the twelfth month of the Jewish civil year and the sixth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It is a summer month of 29 days...

  • Rosh Hashanah (‎) 1 – 2 - Tishrei
    Tishrei
    Tishrei or Tishri , Tiberian: ; from Akkadian "Beginning", from "To begin") is the first month of the civil year and the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year in the Hebrew calendar. The name of the month is Babylonian. It is an autumn month of 30 days...



According to oral tradition, Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish new year, day of memorial and the day of judgment, in which God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 judges each person individually according to their deeds, and makes a decree for the following year. The holiday is characterized by the special mitzvah
Mitzvah
The primary meaning of the Hebrew word refers to precepts and commandments as commanded by God...

 of blowing the shofar
Shofar
A shofar is a horn, traditionally that of a ram, used for Jewish religious purposes. Shofar-blowing is incorporated in synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.Shofar come in a variety of sizes.- Bible and rabbinic literature :...

. According to the Torah, this is the first day of the seventh month of the calendar year that marks the beginning of a ten day count to Yom Kippur.

Rosh Hashanah is set aside by the Mishna as the new year for calculating calendar years, shmita and jubilee
Jubilee (Biblical)
The Jubilee year is the year at the end of seven cycles of Sabbatical years , and according to Biblical regulations had a special impact on the ownership and management of land in the territory of the kingdoms of Israel and of Judah; there is some debate whether it was the 49th year The Jubilee...

 years, vegetable tithe
Tithe
A tithe is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes were required and paid in kind, such as agricultural products...

s, and tree-planting (determining the age of a tree). Example of Jewish Calendar.

According to an opinion in Jewish oral tradition
Oral Torah
The Oral Torah comprises the legal and interpretative traditions that, according to tradition, were transmitted orally from Mount Sinai, and were not written in the Torah...

, the creation of the world was completed on Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah , , is the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the High Holy Days or Yamim Nora'im which occur in the autumn...

. The recitation of Tashlikh
Tashlikh
Tashlikh is a long-standing Jewish practice usually performed on the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, however it can be said up until Hoshana Rabbah...

occurs during the afternoon of the first day. Officially North American Reform Judaism celebrates two days of Rosh Hashanah, but a significant number of Reform congregations and members celebrate only one day; the non-Reform branches of Judaism celebrate it as a two-day holiday, both inside and outside the boundaries of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. The two days are considered together to be a yoma arichta, a single "long day".

Aseret Yemei Teshuva — Ten Days of Repentance


The first ten days of seventh month of the Jewish year (from the beginning of Rosh Hashana until the end of Yom Kippur) are known as the Aseret Yemei Teshuva. During this time it is "exceedingly appropriate" for Jews to practice "Teshuvah", which is examining one's deeds and repenting for sins one has committed against other people and God in anticipation of Yom Kippur. This repentance can take the form of additional supplications, confessing one's deeds before God, fasting, and self-reflection. On the third day, the Fast of Gedalia
Fast of Gedalia
The Fast of Gedalia , also spelled Gedaliah, is a Jewish fast day from dawn until dusk to lament the assassination of the righteous governor of Judah of that name, which ended Jewish rule following the destruction of the First Temple.-Origins:...

 is celebrated.

Yom Kippur — Day of Atonement



  • Erev Yom Kippur — 9 Tishrei
  • Yom Kippur
    Yom Kippur
    Yom Kippur , also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest and most solemn day of the year for the Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue...

     (יום כיפור‎) — 10 Tishrei (begins at sunset)


Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur , also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest and most solemn day of the year for the Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue...

 is the holiest day of the year for most Jews (Karaite Jews
Karaite Judaism
Karaite Judaism or Karaism is a Jewish movement characterized by the recognition of the Tanakh alone as its supreme legal authority in Halakhah, as well as in theology...

 regard Passover
Passover
Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

 as the holiest day of the year, as do Samaritans). Its central theme is atonement
Atonement in Judaism
Atonement in Judaism is the process of causing a transgression to be forgiven or pardoned.- In Rabbinic Judaism :In Rabbinic Judaism, atonement is achieved through some combination of*repentance*Temple service Atonement in Judaism is the process of causing a transgression to be forgiven or...

 and reconciliation
Reconciliation
Reconciliation may variously refer to:* Bank reconciliation* Truth and reconciliation commission-Religion:* Sacrament of Penance , also known as Reconciliation...

. This is accomplished through prayer and complete fasting - including abstinence from all food and drink (including water), unless fasting is prohibited for medical reasons (e.g., Jewish law does not permit fasting by nursing mothers, diabetics, people with anorexia nervosa, etc.). Bathing, wearing of perfume or cologne, wearing of leather shoes, and sexual relations are some of the other prohibitions on Yom Kippur - all them designed to ensure one's attention is completely and absolutely focused on the quest for atonement with God. The fast and other prohibitions commence on 10 Tishri at sunset - sunset being the beginning of the day in Jewish tradition.

A traditional Aramaic
Aramaic language
Aramaic is a group of languages belonging to the Afroasiatic language phylum. The name of the language is based on the name of Aram, an ancient region in central Syria. Within this family, Aramaic belongs to the Semitic family, and more specifically, is a part of the Northwest Semitic subfamily,...

 prayer called Kol Nidre
Kol Nidre
Kol Nidre is an Aramaic declaration recited in the synagogue before the beginning of the evening service on every Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement...

("All Vows") is traditionally recited just before sunset. Although often regarded as the start of the Yom Kippur evening service - to such a degree that Erev Yom Kippur ("Yom Kippur Evening") is often called "Kol Nidre" (also spelled "Kol Nidrei") - it is technically a separate tradition. This is especially so because, being recited before sunset, it is actually recited on 9 Tishri, which is the day before Yom Kippur; it is not recited on Yom Kippur itself (on 10 Tishri, which begins after the sun sets).

The words of Kol Nidre differ slightly between Ashkenazic and Sephardic traditions. In both, the supplicant prays to be released from all personal vows made to God during the year, so that any unfulfilled promises made to God will be annulled and, thus, forgiven. In Ashkenazi tradition, the reference is to the coming year; in Sephardic tradition, the reference is to the year just ended. Only vows between the supplicant and God are relevant. Vows made between the supplicant and other people remain perfectly valid, since they are unaffected by the prayer.

A Tallit
Tallit
A tallit pl. tallitot is a Jewish prayer shawl. The tallit is worn over the outer clothes during the morning prayers on weekdays, Shabbat and holidays...

(four-cornered prayer
Prayer
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...

 shawl) is donned for evening prayers; the only evening service of the year in which this is done. The Ne'ilah service is a special service held only on the day of Yom Kippur, and deals with the closing of the holiday. Yom Kippur comes to an end with the blowing of the shofar, which marks the conclusion of the fast. It is always observed as a one-day holiday, both inside and outside the boundaries of the land of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

.

Yom Kippur is considered, along with 15th of Av, as the Happiest days of the year (Talmud Bavli - Tractate Ta'anit).

Sukkot — Feast of Booths (or Tabernacles)



  • Erev Sukkot — 14 Tishrei
  • Sukkot (חג הסוכות‎) — 15–21 Tishrei (22 outside Israel)


Sukkot
Sukkot
Sukkot is a Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei . It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Hebrews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.The holiday lasts seven days...

 (סוכות or סֻכּוֹת sukkōt) or Succoth is a 7 day festival
Religious festival
A religious festival is a time of special importance marked by adherents to that religion. Religious festivals are commonly celebrated on recurring cycles in a calendar year or lunar calendar...

, also known as the Feast of Booths, the Feast of Tabernacles, or just Tabernacles. It is one of the three pilgrimage festivals (shalosh regalim)
Three pilgrim festivals
The Three Pilgrimage Festivals, known as the Shalosh Regalim , are three major festivals in Judaism — Pesach , Shavuot , and Sukkot — when the Israelites living in ancient Israel and Judea would make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, as commanded by the Torah...

 mentioned in the Bible. Sukkot commemorates the years that the Jews spent in the desert on their way to the Promised Land, and celebrates the way in which God protected them under difficult desert conditions. The word sukkot is the plural of the Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 word sukkah, meaning booth. Jews are commanded to "dwell" in booths during the holiday. This generally means taking meals, but some sleep in the sukkah as well. There are specific rules for constructing a sukkah. The seventh day of the holiday is called Hoshanah Rabbah
Hoshanah Rabbah
The seventh day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, 21st day of Tishrei, is known as Hoshana Rabbah . This day is marked by a special synagogue service, the Hoshana Rabbah, in which seven circuits are made by the worshippers with their lulav and etrog, while the congregation recites Hoshanot...

.

Outside of Israel, meals are still taken in the Sukkah on the eighth day, Shemini Atzeret
Shemini Atzeret
Shemini Atzeret is a Jewish holiday. It is celebrated on the 22nd day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. In the Diaspora, an additional day is celebrated, the second day being separately referred to as Simchat Torah...

, a holiday in its own right.

Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah


  • Shemini Atzeret – 22 Tishrei (combined with Simchat Torah in Israel)
  • Simchat Torah outside Israel – 23 Tishrei

Simchat Torah
Simchat Torah
Simchat Torah or Simḥath Torah is a celebration marking the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle...

 (שמחת תורה) means "rejoicing with the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

." It actually refers to a special ceremony which takes place on the holiday of Shemini Atzeret
Shemini Atzeret
Shemini Atzeret is a Jewish holiday. It is celebrated on the 22nd day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. In the Diaspora, an additional day is celebrated, the second day being separately referred to as Simchat Torah...

. This holiday immediately follows the conclusion of the holiday of Sukkot
Sukkot
Sukkot is a Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei . It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Hebrews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.The holiday lasts seven days...

. In Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Shemini Atzeret is one day long and includes the celebration of Simchat Torah. Outside Israel, Shemini Atzeret is two days long and Simchat Torah is observed on the second day, which is often referred to by the name of the ceremony.

The last portion of the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 is read, completing the annual cycle, followed by the first chapter of Genesis. Services are especially joyous, and all attendees, young and old, are involved.

Hanukkah — Festival of Lights


  • Erev Hanukkah — 24 Kislev
    Kislev
    Kislev Kislev Tiberian ; also Chislev is the third month of the civil year and the ninth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar....

  • Hanukkah (חנוכה‎) — 25 Kislev
    Kislev
    Kislev Kislev Tiberian ; also Chislev is the third month of the civil year and the ninth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar....

     – 2 or 3 Tevet
    Tevet
    Tebet is the fourth month of the civil year and the tenth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It follows Kislev and precedes Shevat. It is a winter month of 29 days...



The story of Hanukkah
Hanukkah
Hanukkah , also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE...

 is preserved in the books of the First
1 Maccabees
The First book of Maccabees is a book written in Hebrew by a Jewish author after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom, about the latter part of the 2nd century BC. The original Hebrew is lost and the most important surviving version is the Greek translation contained in the Septuagint...

 and Second Maccabees
2 Maccabees
2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible, which focuses on the Jews' revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes and concludes with the defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the work....

. These books are not part of the Tanakh
Tanakh
The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

 (Hebrew Bible), they are apocryphal
Biblical apocrypha
The word "apocrypha" is today often used to refer to the collection of ancient books printed in some editions of the Bible in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments...

 books instead. The miracle of the one-day supply of oil miraculously lasting eight days is first described in the Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

.

Hanukkah marks the defeat of Seleucid Empire
Seleucid Empire
The Seleucid Empire was a Greek-Macedonian state that was created out of the eastern conquests of Alexander the Great. At the height of its power, it included central Anatolia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, Persia, today's Turkmenistan, Pamir and parts of Pakistan.The Seleucid Empire was a major centre...

 forces that had tried to prevent the people of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 from practicing Judaism. Judah Maccabee
Judas Maccabeus
Judah Maccabee was a Kohen and a son of the Jewish priest Mattathias...

 and his brothers destroyed overwhelming forces, and rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem
Temple in Jerusalem
The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple , refers to one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Historically, these successive temples stood at this location and functioned as the centre of...

. The eight-day festival is marked by the kindling of lights — one on the first night, two on the second, and so on — using a special candle holder called a Chanukkiyah
Chanukkiyah
The Hanukkah menorah is, strictly speaking, a nine-branched candelabrum lit during the eight-day holiday of Hanukkah, as opposed to the seven-branched menorah used in the ancient...

, or a Hanukkah menorah.

There is a custom to give children money, also known as "gelt" on Hanukkah to commemorate the learning of Torah in guise of Jews gathering in what was perceived as gambling at that time since Torah was forbidden. Because of this, there is also the custom to play with the dreidel
Dreidel
A dreidel is a four-sided spinning top, played with during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.Each side of the dreidel bears a letter of the Hebrew alphabet:נ ,ג ,ה ,ש ,...

 (called a sevivon in Hebrew).

Tenth of Tevet


This minor fast day marks the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem as outlined in 2 Kings 25:1
And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and encamped against it; and they built forts against it round about.


As a minor fast day, fasting from dawn to dusk is required, but other laws of mourning are not observed. A Torah reading and Haftorah reading, and a special prayer in the Amidah
Amidah
The Amidah , also called the Shmoneh Esreh , is the central prayer of the Jewish liturgy. This prayer, among others, is found in the siddur, the traditional Jewish prayer book...

, are added at both Shacharit
Shacharit
Shacharit is the the daily morning Tefillah of the Jewish people, one of the three times there is prayer each day.Shacharit is said to have been established by the patriarch Abraham when he prayed in the morning...

 and Mincha
Mincha
Mincha, מנחה is the afternoon prayer service in Judaism.-Etymology:The name "Mincha" is derived from the meal offering that accompanied each sacrifice.-Origin:...

 services.

Tu Bishvat — New Year of the Trees




  • Tu Bishvat (חג האילנות - ט"ו בשבט‎) — 15 Shevat
    Shevat
    Shevat is the fifth month of the civil year and the eleventh month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It is a winter month of 30 days...



Tu Bishvat
Tu Bishvat
Tu Bishvat or Tu B'Shevat is a minor Jewish holiday, occurring on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat . It is also called "The New Year of the Trees" or...

 is the new year for trees. According to the Mishnah
Mishnah
The Mishnah or Mishna is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. It was redacted c...

, it marks the day from which fruit tithe
Tithe
A tithe is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes were required and paid in kind, such as agricultural products...

s are counted each year, and marks the timepoint from which the Biblical prohibition on eating the first three years of fruit and the requirement to bring the fourth year fruit
Orlah
Orlah is the tenth tractate of Seder Zeraim of the Mishnah and of the Talmud. It discusses the laws pertaining to any fruit bearing tree, whose fruits cannot be eaten during the first three years the tree produces fruit...

 to the Temple in Jerusalem
Temple in Jerusalem
The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple , refers to one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Historically, these successive temples stood at this location and functioned as the centre of...

 were counted. In modern times, it is celebrated by eating various fruits and nuts associated with the Land of Israel
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the Biblical name for the territory roughly corresponding to the area encompassed by the Southern Levant, also known as Canaan and Palestine, Promised Land and Holy Land. The belief that the area is a God-given homeland of the Jewish people is based on the narrative of the...

. During the 17th century, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria of Safed
Safed
Safed , is a city in the Northern District of Israel. Located at an elevation of , Safed is the highest city in the Galilee and of Israel. Due to its high elevation, Safed experiences warm summers and cold, often snowy, winters...

 and his disciples created a short seder, called Hemdat ha‑Yamim, reminiscent of the seder that Jews observe on Passover
Passover
Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

, that explores the holiday's Kabbalistic themes.

Traditionally, trees are planted on this day. Many children collect funds leading up to this day to plant trees in Israel. Trees are usually planted locally as well.

Purim — Festival of Lots




  • Erev Purim and Fast of Esther
    Fast of Esther
    The Fast of Esther is a Jewish fast from dawn until dusk on Purim eve, commemorating the three-day fast observed by the Jewish people in the story of Purim...

     known as "Ta'anit Ester" — 13 Adar
    Adar
    Adar is the sixth month of the civil year and the twelfth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It is a winter month of 29 days...

  • Purim
    Purim
    Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire from destruction in the wake of a plot by Haman, a story recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther .Purim is celebrated annually according to the Hebrew calendar on the 14th...

     (פורים‎) — 14 Adar
  • Shushan Purim 15 Adar
  • In leap years on the Hebrew calendar, Purim is observed in the Second Adar (Adar Sheni).


Purim commemorates the events that took place in the Book of Esther
Esther
Esther , born Hadassah, is the eponymous heroine of the Biblical Book of Esther.According to the Bible, she was a Jewish queen of the Persian king Ahasuerus...

. It is celebrated by reading or acting out the story of Esther, and by making disparaging noises at every mention of Haman's name. In Purim it is a tradition to masquerade around in costumes and to give Mishloakh Manot (care packages, i.e. gifts of food and drink) to the poor and the needy. In Israel it is also a tradition to arrange festive parades, known as Ad-D'lo-Yada, in the town's main street. Sometimes the children dress up and act out the story of Esther for their parents.

New Year for Kings

  • New Year for Kings — 1 Nisan
    Nisan
    Nisan is the first month of the ecclesiastical year and the seventh month of the civil year, on the Hebrew calendar. The name of the month is Babylonian; in the Torah it is called the month of the Aviv, referring to the month in which barley was ripe. It is a spring month of 30 days...



Although Rosh Hashanah marks the change of the Jewish calendar year, Nisan
Nisan
Nisan is the first month of the ecclesiastical year and the seventh month of the civil year, on the Hebrew calendar. The name of the month is Babylonian; in the Torah it is called the month of the Aviv, referring to the month in which barley was ripe. It is a spring month of 30 days...

 is considered the first month of the Hebrew calendar
Hebrew calendar
The Hebrew calendar , or Jewish calendar, is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions, yahrzeits , and daily Psalm reading, among many ceremonial uses...

. The Mishnah
Mishnah
The Mishnah or Mishna is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. It was redacted c...

 indicates that the year of the reign of Jewish kings was counted from Nisan in Biblical
Tanakh
The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

 times. Nisan is also considered the beginning of the calendar year in terms of the order of the holidays.

In addition to this New Year, the Mishnah sets up three other legal New Years:
  • 1st of Elul, New Year for animal tithes,
  • 1st of Tishrei (Rosh Hashanah
    Rosh Hashanah
    Rosh Hashanah , , is the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the High Holy Days or Yamim Nora'im which occur in the autumn...

    ), the New Year for the calendar year and for vegetable tithes
  • 15th of Shevat (Tu B'Shevat
    Tu Bishvat
    Tu Bishvat or Tu B'Shevat is a minor Jewish holiday, occurring on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat . It is also called "The New Year of the Trees" or...

    ), the New Year for Trees/fruit tithes

Pesach — Passover



  • Erev Pesach and Fast of the Firstborn
    Fast of the firstborn
    Fast of the Firstborn ; is a unique fast day in Judaism which usually falls on the day before Passover...

     known as "Ta'anit Bechorim" — 14 Nisan
  • Passover
    Passover
    Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

     (Hebrew: Pesach, פסח) (first days) — 15 (and outside Israel 16) Nisan
  • The "Last days of Passover", known as Shevi'i shel Pesach and Aḥaron shel Pesach, are also a holiday commemorating K'riat Yam Suf, the Passage of the Red Sea
    Passage of the Red Sea
    The Crossing of the Red Sea is a passage in the Biblical narrative of the escape of the Israelites from the pursuing Egyptians in the Book of Exodus . This story is also mentioned in the Qur'an in Surah 26: Al-Shu'ara' in verses 60-67...

    . — 21 (and outside Israel 22) Nisan
  • The semi-holiday days between the "first days" and the "last days" of Passover are known as Chol Hamo'ed
    Chol HaMoed
    Chol HaMoed, a Hebrew phrase meaning "weekdays [of] the festival" , refers to the intermediate days of Passover and Sukkot. During Chol HaMoed the usual restrictions that apply to the Biblical Jewish holidays are relaxed, but not entirely eliminated...

    , referred to as the "Intermediate days".


Passover is one of the three pilgrimage festivals (Shalosh regalim) ordained in the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

. Pesach commemorates the liberation of the Israelite slaves
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 from Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. No leavened
Leavening agent
A leavening agent is any one of a number of substances used in doughs and batters that cause a foaming action which lightens and softens the finished product...

 food is eaten during the week of Pesach, in commemoration of the fact that the Jews left Egypt so quickly that their bread did not have enough time to rise.

The first seder
Passover Seder
The Passover Seder is a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover. It is conducted on the evenings of the 14th day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, and on the 15th by traditionally observant Jews living outside Israel. This corresponds to late March or April in...

 begins at sundown on the 15th of Nisan, and the second seder (outside Israel) is held on the night of the 16th of Nisan. On the second night, Jews start counting the omer
Omer
Omer may refer to:*Omer , an ancient unit of measure used in the era of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem**Counting of the Omer, Jewish ritual during the forty-nine days between Passover and the Feast of Weeks*Omar, Omer is a variation of the name...

. The counting of the omer
Counting of the Omer
Counting of the Omer is a verbal counting of each of the forty-nine days between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot...

 is a count of the days from the time they left Egypt until the time they arrived at Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai , also known as Mount Horeb, Mount Musa, Gabal Musa , Jabal Musa meaning "Moses' Mountain", is a mountain near Saint Catherine in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. A mountain called Mount Sinai is mentioned many times in the Book of Exodus in the Torah and the Bible as well as the Quran...

.

Sefirah — Counting of the Omer



  • Sefirah
    Counting of the Omer
    Counting of the Omer is a verbal counting of each of the forty-nine days between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot...

     (ספירת העומר, Sefirat Ha'Omer) — Counting the Omer


Sefirah is the 49 day ("seven weeks") period between Pesach and Shavuot; it is defined by the Torah as the period during which special offerings are to be brought to the Temple in Jerusalem
Temple in Jerusalem
The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple , refers to one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Historically, these successive temples stood at this location and functioned as the centre of...

. Judaism teaches that this makes physical the spiritual connection between Pesach and Shavuot.

Lag Ba'omer


Lag Ba'omer
Lag Ba'omer
Lag BaOmer , also known as Lag LaOmer amongst Sephardi Jews, is a Jewish holiday celebrated on the thirty-third day of the Counting of the Omer, which occurs on the 18th day of Iyar. One reason given for the holiday is as the day of passing of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. Modern Jewish tradition links...

 (‎) is the 33rd day in the Omer count ( is the number 33 in Hebrew). The mourning restrictions on joyous activities during the Omer period are lifted on Lag Ba'Omer and there are often celebrations with picnics
Picnic
In contemporary usage, a picnic can be defined simply as a pleasure excursion at which a meal is eaten outdoors , ideally taking place in a beautiful landscape such as a park, beside a lake or with an interesting view and possibly at a public event such as before an open air theatre performance,...

, bonfires and bow and arrow play by children. In Israel, youth can be seen gathering materials for bonfires.

Shavuot — Feast of Weeks — Yom HaBikurim



  • Erev Shavuot — 5 Sivan
    Sivan
    Sivan is the ninth month of the civil year and the third month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It is a spring month of 30 days...

  • Shavuot
    Shavuot
    The festival of is a Jewish holiday that occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan ....

     (‎) — 6 (and outside Israel 7) Sivan
    Sivan
    Sivan is the ninth month of the civil year and the third month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It is a spring month of 30 days...



Shavuot
Shavuot
The festival of is a Jewish holiday that occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan ....

, The Feast of Weeks is one of the three pilgrimage festivals (Shalosh regalim) ordained in the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

, Shavuot marks the end of the counting of the Omer, the period between Passover and Shavuot. According to Rabbinic tradition, the Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

 were given on this day. During this holiday the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 portion containing the Ten Commandments is read in the synagogue, and the biblical Book of Ruth
Book of Ruth
The Book of Ruth is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh, or Old Testament. In the Jewish canon the Book of Ruth is included in the third division, or the Writings . In the Christian canon the Book of Ruth is placed between Judges and 1 Samuel...

 is read as well. It is traditional to eat dairy meals during Shavuot.

Seventeenth of Tammuz



The 17th of Tammuz traditionally marks the first breach in the walls of the Second Temple
Second Temple
The Jewish Second Temple was an important shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon...

 during the Roman occupation.

As a minor fast day, fasting from dawn to dusk is required, but other laws of mourning are not observed. A Torah reading and Haftorah reading, and a special prayer in the Amidah
Amidah
The Amidah , also called the Shmoneh Esreh , is the central prayer of the Jewish liturgy. This prayer, among others, is found in the siddur, the traditional Jewish prayer book...

, are added at both Shacharit and Mincha
Jewish services
Jewish prayer are the prayer recitations that form part of the observance of Judaism. These prayers, often with instructions and commentary, are found in the siddur, the traditional Jewish prayer book....

 services.

The Three Weeks and the Nine Days



  • The Three Weeks
    The Three Weeks
    The Three Weeks or Bein ha-Metzarim is a period of mourning commemorating the destruction of the first and second Jewish Temples...

    : Seventeenth of Tammuz
    Seventeenth of Tammuz
    The Seventeenth of Tammuz is a minor Jewish fast day commemorating the breach of the walls of Jerusalem before the destruction of the Second Temple. It falls on the 17th day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz and marks the beginning of the three-week mourning period leading up to Tisha B'Av.The day...

    , 17 Tammuz – 9 Av (Tisha B'Av
    Tisha B'Av
    |Av]],") is an annual fast day in Judaism, named for the ninth day of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar. The fast commemorates the destruction of both the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem, which occurred about 655 years apart, but on the same Hebrew calendar date...

    )
  • The Nine Days
    The Nine Days
    The Nine Days is a religious observance in Judaism that takes place during the first nine days of the Jewish month of Av...

    : 1–9 Av
  • (See also Tenth of Tevet
    Tenth of Tevet
    Tenth of Tevet , the tenth day of the Hebrew month of Tevet, is a minor fast day in Judaism. It is a "low fast" observed from sunrise to sunset. The day has no relationship to Hanukkah, but it happens to follow that festival by a week...

    )


The days between the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av
Av
Av is the eleventh month of the civil year and the fifth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. The name is Babylonian in origin and appeared in the Talmud around the 3rd century. This is the only month which is not named in the Bible. It is a summer month of 30 days...

 are days of mourning, on account of the collapse of Jerusalem during the Roman occupation which occurred during this time framework. Weddings and other joyful occasions are traditionally not held during this period. A further element is added within the three weeks, during the nine days between the 1st and 9th day of Av — the pious refrain from eating meat
Meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

 and drinking wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

, except on Shabbat
Shabbat
Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until a few minutes after when one would expect to be able to see three stars in the sky on Saturday night. The exact times, therefore, differ from...

or at a Seudat Mitzvah (a Mitzvah
Mitzvah
The primary meaning of the Hebrew word refers to precepts and commandments as commanded by God...

 meal, such as a Pidyon Haben — the recognition of a firstborn male child — or the study completion of a religious text.) In addition, one's hair is not cut during this period.

In Conservative Judaism
Conservative Judaism
Conservative Judaism is a modern stream of Judaism that arose out of intellectual currents in Germany in the mid-19th century and took institutional form in the United States in the early 1900s.Conservative Judaism has its roots in the school of thought known as Positive-Historical Judaism,...

, the Rabbinical Assembly
Rabbinical Assembly
The Rabbinical Assembly is the international association of Conservative rabbis. The RA was founded in 1901 to shape the ideology, programs, and practices of the Conservative movement. It publishes prayerbooks and books of Jewish interest, and oversees the work of the Committee on Jewish Law and...

's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards has issued several responsa (legal rulings)
Halakha
Halakha — also transliterated Halocho , or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish...

 which hold that the prohibitions against weddings in this timeframe are deeply held traditions, but should not be construed as binding law. Thus, Conservative Jewish practice would allow weddings during this time, except on the 9th of Av itself. Reform Judaism
Reform Judaism
Reform Judaism refers to various beliefs, practices and organizations associated with the Reform Jewish movement in North America, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. In general, it maintains that Judaism and Jewish traditions should be modernized and should be compatible with participation in the...

 and Reconstructionist Judaism
Reconstructionist Judaism
Reconstructionist Judaism is a modern American-based Jewish movement based on the ideas of Mordecai Kaplan . The movement views Judaism as a progressively evolving civilization. It originated as a branch of Conservative Judaism, before it splintered...

 hold that halakha
Halakha
Halakha — also transliterated Halocho , or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish...

 (Jewish law) is no longer binding, and rabbis in those movements follow their individual consciences on such matters; some uphold the traditional prohibitions and some permit weddings on these days. Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism , is the approach to Judaism which adheres to the traditional interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah as legislated in the Talmudic texts by the Sanhedrin and subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and...

 maintains the traditional prohibitions.

Tisha B'av — Ninth of Av

  • Tisha B'Av (צום תשעה באב‎) — 9 Av

Tisha B'Av
Tisha B'Av
|Av]],") is an annual fast day in Judaism, named for the ninth day of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar. The fast commemorates the destruction of both the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem, which occurred about 655 years apart, but on the same Hebrew calendar date...

 is a fast day that commemorates two of the saddest events in Jewish history that both occurred on the ninth of Av — the destruction in 586 BCE of the First Temple
Solomon's Temple
Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was the main temple in ancient Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount , before its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BCE....

, originally built by King Solomon
Solomon
Solomon , according to the Book of Kings and the Book of Chronicles, a King of Israel and according to the Talmud one of the 48 prophets, is identified as the son of David, also called Jedidiah in 2 Samuel 12:25, and is described as the third king of the United Monarchy, and the final king before...

, and destruction of the Second Temple
Second Temple
The Jewish Second Temple was an important shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon...

 in 70 CE. Other calamities throughout Jewish history are said to have taken place on Tisha B'Av, including King Edward I
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

's edict compelling the Jews to leave England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 (1290) and the Jewish expulsion
Alhambra decree
The Alhambra Decree was an edict issued on 31 March 1492 by the joint Catholic Monarchs of Spain ordering the expulsion of Jews from the Kingdom of Spain and its territories and possessions by 31 July of that year.The edict was formally revoked on 16 December 1968, following the Second...

 from Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 in 1492.

Tu B'av



  • Tu B'av–15 Av

Tu B'av
Tu B'Av
Tu B'Av is a minor Jewish holiday. In modern-day Israel, it is celebrated as a holiday of love , similar to Valentine's Day...

 is a day mentioned in the Talmud alongside Yom Kippur as "happiest of the year." It was a day celebrating the bringing of wood used for the Temple Service, as well as a day when marriages were arranged. In modern Israel, the day has become somewhat of an analog to Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day
Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496...

.

Tithe of animals

  • New Year for Animal Tithes (Taxes) — 1 Elul
    Elul
    Elul is the twelfth month of the Jewish civil year and the sixth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It is a summer month of 29 days...



This commemoration is no longer observed. This day was set up by the Mishna as the New Year for animal tithes
Tithe
A tithe is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes were required and paid in kind, such as agricultural products...

, which is somewhat equivalent to a new year for taxes. (This notion is similar to the tax deadline in the United States of America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 on April 15.)

Rosh Chodesh — the New Month



The first day of each month and the thirtieth day of the preceding month, if it has thirty days, is (in modern times) a minor holiday known as Rosh Chodesh
Rosh Chodesh
Rosh Chodesh or Rosh ḥodesh is the name for the first day of every month in the Hebrew calendar, marked by the appearance of the new moon. The new moon is marked by the day and hour that the new crescent is observed...

 (head of the month). The one exception is the month of Tishrei, whose beginning is a major holiday, Rosh Hashanah. There are also special prayers said upon observing the new Moon for the first time each month.

Shabbat — The Sabbath — שבת


Jewish law accords Shabbat
Shabbat
Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until a few minutes after when one would expect to be able to see three stars in the sky on Saturday night. The exact times, therefore, differ from...

the status of a holiday, a day of rest celebrated on the seventh day of each week. Jewish law defines a day as ending at nightfall, which is when the next day then begins. Thus, Shabbat begins at sundown Friday night, and ends at nightfall Saturday night.

In many ways halakha
Halakha
Halakha — also transliterated Halocho , or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish...

(Jewish law) gives Shabbat the status of being the most important holy day in the Jewish calendar.
  • It is the first holiday mentioned in the Tanakh
    Tanakh
    The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

    (Hebrew Bible), and God
    God
    God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

     was the first one to observe it.
  • The liturgy
    Jewish services
    Jewish prayer are the prayer recitations that form part of the observance of Judaism. These prayers, often with instructions and commentary, are found in the siddur, the traditional Jewish prayer book....

     treats Shabbat as a bride and queen.
  • The Torah
    Torah
    Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

     reading on Shabbat has more sections of parshiot (Torah readings) than on Yom Kippur, the most of any Jewish holiday.
  • There is a tradition that the Messiah
    Jewish eschatology
    Jewish eschatology is concerned with the Jewish Messiah, afterlife, and the revival of the dead. Eschatology, generically, is the area of theology and philosophy concerned with the final events in the history of the world, the ultimate destiny of humanity, and related concepts.-The Messiah:The...

     will come if every Jew observes Shabbat perfectly twice in a row.

Israeli/Jewish national holidays


Since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has established four new Jewish holidays.
  • Yom Yerushalayim — Jerusalem day
  • Yom HaShoah
    Yom HaShoah
    Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah , known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Holocaust Day, is observed as Israel's day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews and five million others who perished in the...

     — Holocaust Remembrance day
  • Yom Hazikaron
    Yom Hazikaron
    Yom Hazikaron is Israel's official Memorial Day. In 2011, Israel honored the memory of soldiers killed in the line of duty and the civilian casualties too.-Observance:...

     — Memorial Day
  • Yom Ha'atzmaut
    Yom Ha'atzmaut
    Yom Ha'atzmaut commemorates Israel's declaration of Independence in 1948. It is celebrated on 5 Iyar according to the Hebrew calendar. Yom Ha'atzmaut is preceded by Yom Hazikaron, the Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day.-History:...

     — Israel Independence Day


These four days are national holidays in the State of Israel, and in general have been accepted as religious holidays by the following groups: The Union of Orthodox Congregations and Rabbinical Council of America; The United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth (United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

); The Chief Rabbinate of the State of Israel; All of Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism; The Union for Traditional Judaism and the Reconstructionist movement.

These four new days are not accepted as religious holidays by Haredi Judaism
Haredi Judaism
Haredi or Charedi/Chareidi Judaism is the most conservative form of Orthodox Judaism, often referred to as ultra-Orthodox. A follower of Haredi Judaism is called a Haredi ....

, which includes Hasidic Judaism
Hasidic Judaism
Hasidic Judaism or Hasidism, from the Hebrew —Ḥasidut in Sephardi, Chasidus in Ashkenazi, meaning "piety" , is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and joy through the popularisation and internalisation of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith...

. These groups view these new days as secular innovations, and they do not celebrate these holidays.

Yom HaShoah — Holocaust Remembrance day



  • Yom HaShoah
    Yom HaShoah
    Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah , known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Holocaust Day, is observed as Israel's day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews and five million others who perished in the...

     (‎) — 27 Nisan
    Nisan
    Nisan is the first month of the ecclesiastical year and the seventh month of the civil year, on the Hebrew calendar. The name of the month is Babylonian; in the Torah it is called the month of the Aviv, referring to the month in which barley was ripe. It is a spring month of 30 days...



Yom HaShoah
Yom HaShoah
Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah , known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Holocaust Day, is observed as Israel's day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews and five million others who perished in the...

 is also known as Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

 Remembrance Day, and takes place on the 27th day of Nisan
Nisan
Nisan is the first month of the ecclesiastical year and the seventh month of the civil year, on the Hebrew calendar. The name of the month is Babylonian; in the Torah it is called the month of the Aviv, referring to the month in which barley was ripe. It is a spring month of 30 days...

. If this date falls on a Friday, the observance is moved to the previous Thursday. If it falls on a Sunday, observance is moved to the following Monday.

Yom Hazikaron — Memorial Day



  • Yom Hazikaron
    Yom Hazikaron
    Yom Hazikaron is Israel's official Memorial Day. In 2011, Israel honored the memory of soldiers killed in the line of duty and the civilian casualties too.-Observance:...

     (‎) — 4 Iyar
    Iyar
    Iyar is the eighth month of the civil year and the second month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. The name is Babylonian in origin. It is a spring month of 29 days. Iyar usually falls in April–June on the Gregorian calendar.In the Hebrew Bible, before the Babylonian Exile, the...



Yom Hazikaron
Yom Hazikaron
Yom Hazikaron is Israel's official Memorial Day. In 2011, Israel honored the memory of soldiers killed in the line of duty and the civilian casualties too.-Observance:...

 is the day of remembrance in honor of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i veterans and fallen soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

s of the Wars of Israel. The Memorial Day also commemorates fallen civilians, slain by acts of hostile terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

. http://www.izkor.gov.il

Yom Ha'atzmaut — Israel Independence Day



  • Yom Ha'atzmaut
    Yom Ha'atzmaut
    Yom Ha'atzmaut commemorates Israel's declaration of Independence in 1948. It is celebrated on 5 Iyar according to the Hebrew calendar. Yom Ha'atzmaut is preceded by Yom Hazikaron, the Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day.-History:...

     (‎) — 5 Iyar
    Iyar
    Iyar is the eighth month of the civil year and the second month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. The name is Babylonian in origin. It is a spring month of 29 days. Iyar usually falls in April–June on the Gregorian calendar.In the Hebrew Bible, before the Babylonian Exile, the...



Yom Ha'atzmaut
Yom Ha'atzmaut
Yom Ha'atzmaut commemorates Israel's declaration of Independence in 1948. It is celebrated on 5 Iyar according to the Hebrew calendar. Yom Ha'atzmaut is preceded by Yom Hazikaron, the Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day.-History:...

 is Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

's Independence Day
Independence Day
An Independence Day is an annual event commemorating the anniversary of a nation's assumption of independent statehood, usually after ceasing to be a colony or part of another nation or state, and more rarely after the end of a military occupation...

. An official ceremony is held annually on the eve of Yom Ha'atzmaut at Mount Herzl
Mount Herzl
Mount Herzl , also Har HaZikaron , is the national cemetery of Israel on the west side of Jerusalem. It is named for Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern political Zionism. Herzl's tomb lies at the top of the hill. Yad Vashem, which commemorates the Holocaust, lies to the west of Mt. Herzl....

. The ceremony includes speeches by senior Israeli officials, an artistic presentation, a ritual march of flag
Flag
A flag is a piece of fabric with a distinctive design that is usually rectangular and used as a symbol, as a signaling device, or decoration. The term flag is also used to refer to the graphic design employed by a flag, or to its depiction in another medium.The first flags were used to assist...

-carrying soldiers forming elaborate structures (such as a Menorah, a Magen David
Star of David
The Star of David, known in Hebrew as the Shield of David or Magen David is a generally recognized symbol of Jewish identity and Judaism.Its shape is that of a hexagram, the compound of two equilateral triangles...

 and the number which represents the age of the State of Israel) and the lighting of twelve beacons (one for each of the Tribes of Israel). Dozens of Israeli citizens, who contributed significantly to the state, are selected to light these beacons.

Yom Yerushalayim - Jerusalem Day



  • Yom Yerushalayim (‎) — 28 Iyar
    Iyar
    Iyar is the eighth month of the civil year and the second month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. The name is Babylonian in origin. It is a spring month of 29 days. Iyar usually falls in April–June on the Gregorian calendar.In the Hebrew Bible, before the Babylonian Exile, the...



Jerusalem Day marks the 1967 reunification of Jerusalem and The Temple Mount
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

 under Jewish rule during the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 almost 1900 years after the destruction of the Second Temple
Second Temple
The Jewish Second Temple was an important shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon...

 in Jerusalem.

See also


  • Public holidays in Israel
    Public holidays in Israel
    Note: for exact dates in the Gregorian calendar see Jewish holidays 2000-2050.Israeli law designates 9 days of official holiday during the year. Of these, Independence Day is supposed to be observed by all citizens, while others are Jewish religious holidays which non-Jews or non-Jewish communities...

  • Ta'anit
    Ta'anit
    A ta'anit or taanis or taʿanith in Classical Hebrew is a fast in Judaism in which one abstains from all food and drink, including water...

  • Religious festival
    Religious festival
    A religious festival is a time of special importance marked by adherents to that religion. Religious festivals are commonly celebrated on recurring cycles in a calendar year or lunar calendar...

  • Torah readings of Yom Tov
  • Hebrew calendar
    Hebrew calendar
    The Hebrew calendar , or Jewish calendar, is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions, yahrzeits , and daily Psalm reading, among many ceremonial uses...


Further reading

  • Greenberg, Irving. The Jewish Way: Living the Holidays. New York: Touchstone, 1988.
  • Renberg, Dalia H. The Complete Family Guide to Jewish Holidays. New York: Adama, 1985.
  • Strassfeld, Michael. The Jewish Holidays: A Guide and Commentary. New York: Harper & Row, 1985.

External links