Biblical in origin, a holiday that celebrates springtime renewal and growth. Traditions include eating fruit and planting trees.
A joyous holiday commemorating the rescue of the
Jews of Persia by Queen Esther and her uncle Mordecai from the evil
Haman. The story is read aloud and when Haman is mentioned in the
Megillah (scroll) of Esther, people scream and turn noisemakers called
“groggers” to drown out his name. Traditions include parties, dances,
putting on plays (shpeils), mishloach manot (gift-giving), and eating
hamentashen (three-cornered, fruit-filled pastries).
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Celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in
Egypt. At the seder (service and festive meal), the Haggadah (collection
of texts and commentaries on the Exodus) is read and symbolic foods are
eaten. In remembrance of the departure of the Israelites, who could not
wait for their bread to rise before fleeing, matzah (unleavened bread)
is eaten for the eight days of Passover. This holiday stresses the value
of moving from slavery to freedom for all who are oppressed or
Day chosen by the Israeli Knesset in 1951 to mourn the millions
killed in the Holocaust. Often commemorated with speeches by survivors
and the reading of names.
An omer refers to an ancient Hebrew measure of grain. Biblical law
forbade any use of the new barley crop until an omer was brought as an
offering to the Temple in Jerusalem. This led to the practice of the
Sefirat Ha’omer, or the forty-nine days of the “Counting of the Omer”.
The omer is counted from the second day of Passover and ends on Shavuot.
Lag Ba’Omer is celebrated to commemorate the day a plague ended in which
thousands of students of Rabbi Akiba, a Talmudic scholar, died during
the Counting of the Omer. The period of counting is traditionally
observed as a period of mourning. The mourning, however, is set aside on
Lag Ba’Omer, making it day of special joy and festivity. It is a
traditional wedding day.
Celebrates the giving of the Torah at Sinai and the spring
harvest. Traditionally, Jews read the Ten Commandments and the Book of
Ruth and eat dairy products. Tenth graders in the Midrasha program
participate in Confirmation, a ceremony of dedication to the teachings
of Torah and to the Jewish community.S'lichot
This evening service prepares the spirit for
the upcoming High Holydays through meditation and reciting prayers of
forgiveness. This year we will also have a coffee and discussion. High
Holyday melodies are introduced and the service concludes with the
sounding of the shofar.
A festive celebration during which individuals contemplate past,
present and future actions. Traditional foods include round challah and
apples with honey, symbolizing wholeness and sweetness for the new
year. The Ten Days of Awe follow, which culminate on Yom Kippur.
One of the holiest days of the Jewish year. Through fasting and
prayer, Jews reflect upon their relationships with other people and with
God, atoning for wrongdoings and failures to take right action. Ends
at sunset with a blast of the shofar (ram's horn).
A seven-day holiday commemorating the fulfillment of God's promise
to bring the Israelites to the Promised Land after forty years of
wandering. Many people build a sukkah (booth), a temporary structure
with a roof made of branches, modeled after the huts constructed in the
desert. We also give thanks to God for the bounty of the Earth with
prayers and a symbolic shaking of the lulav (an assemblage of palm,
willow and myrtle branches) and etrog (a lemon-like fruit).
Celebrates the completion of the annual Torah-reading cycle. After
finishing the last sentence of the chapter Devarim (Deuteronomy), the
Torah is joyously paraded around the synagogue. The new cycle begins
immediately with a reading from Bereshit (Genesis).
An eight-day holiday commemorating the ancient Jewish victory over
the Syrian-Greeks and the miracle of the rededication of the Temple,
when oil meant to last for one day burned for eight. Celebrated by
lighting candles in a chanukiah (a nine-branched candelabrum), eating
latkes (potato pancakes), playing with dreidels (spinning tops) and
giving money or gifts. This holiday celebrates the importance of
religious freedom. Click here
for Hanukkah blessings, recipes, games, etc.