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Jewish Festivals, Rituals, Practices. Jewish Festivals. Nature is the key (not clocks and calendars) days begin at nightfall lunar month: 29 1/2 days solar year (365 1/4 days) festivals follow seasons. Jewish Calendar. NameMonthLength Gregorian of MonthNumberof MonthEquivalent

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Jewish Festivals, Rituals, Practices

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Jewish festivals rituals practices

Jewish Festivals, Rituals, Practices


Jewish festivals

Jewish Festivals

  • Nature is the key (not clocks and calendars)

  • days begin at nightfall

  • lunar month:

    • 29 1/2 days

  • solar year (365 1/4 days)

  • festivals follow seasons


  • Jewish calendar

    Jewish Calendar

    NameMonthLength Gregorian

    of MonthNumberof MonthEquivalent

    Nissan130 daysMarch-April

    Iyar229 daysApril-May

    Sivan330 daysMay-June

    Tammuz429 daysJune-July

    Av530 daysJuly-August

    Elul629 daysAugust-September

    Tishrei730 daysSeptember-October

    Cheshvan829 or 30 daysOctober-November

    Kislev929 or 30 daysNovember-December

    Tevet1029 daysDecember-January

    Shevat1130 daysJanuary-February

    Adar1229 or 30 days February-March

    Adar II1329 daysMarch-April


    Jewish festivals1

    Jewish Festivals

    • Nature is the key (not clocks and calendars)

    • days begin at nightfall

    • lunar month:

      • 29 1/2 days

  • solar year (365 1/4 days)

  • festivals follow seasons

  • Sabbath (and New Moon)

  • Pilgrim Festivals

  • “Days of Awe”

  • Fast Days


  • Pilgrim festivals

    Pilgrim Festivals

    Source: Norman Solomon, Judaism.


    Days of awe

    “Days of Awe”

    • Rosh Hoshana (New Year)-- September 9-10, 2010/5771

      • New Year’s Eve: food symbolizing sweetness (e.g., bread dipped in honey); pray: “May it be Your will to renew for us a good and sweet year.”

      • Morning Service: four to six hours; focus on God as creator, king and judge; sounding of the shofar (ram’s horn) periodically.

    • Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)—September 18, 2010/5771

      • high attendance (strong cultural celebration)

      • various forms of fasting and restraint are practiced

      • emphasizes Teshuva (repentance)

      • Kol Nidrei (opens synagogue service Yom Kippur eve)

      • Ne’ilah (“closing of the gates”); chanting “Avinu Malkenu” (“Our Father, Our King”)


    Other festivals

    Other Festivals

    • Chanukah (rededication of Temple by Hasmoneans in 165 BCE, [also the miracle of the oil, and thus victory of light over darkness])

    • Purim (rescue of Jews from extermination under Ahasuerus, Esther, carnival atmosphere, distributing alms to the needy, merriment)

    • The New Year for Trees (mentioned in the Talmud but only popular after the “return to the land,” school holiday in Israel, tree planting)

    • Yom Ha-Atzma (Israel Independence Day, somewhat controversial)


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