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Holy Days

The Jewish calendar is a combined moon and sun calendar, unlike the conventional Western (or Gregorian) calendar.

The result is that Jewish festivals move about the Western calendar from year to year. The Jewish calendar also starts each day in the evening.

This is because when God was creating the world he started each day in the evening.


  Holy Days of Judaism...

* Sabbath—The Holy Day

One day each week is set aside as the Sabbath, (in Jewish circles it’s usually called Shabbat).

Once again this is something that God instructed the Jews to do.

* The High Holy Days

The High Holy Days come in Autumn, at the start of the month of Tishri. This is the most spiritual period of the year for Jews, a time for looking back on the year just passed, and for taking action to get right with God and with other people. It runs from Rosh Hashanah for ten days until Yom Kippur.

The dates in the Hebrew calendar are 1 Tishri-10 Tishri. Because Hebrew dates begin at sunset, the events begin on the evening before the festival day.

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year festival and commemorates the creation of the world.

Days of Awe or Repentance are the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur during which everyone gets a chance to repent.

Yom Kippur is the the most sacred and solemn day of the Jewish year and brings the Days of Repentance to a close.

The Pilgrimage Festivals
These commemorate the journey of the Jewish People from Egypt to the Holy Land.

Passover or Pesach is a spring festival that marks the escape from captivity in Egypt.

Shavuot marks the time that the Jews received God's laws at Mount Sinai.

Sukkot or The Feast of Tabernacles, commemorates the years that the Jews spent in the desert on their way to the Promised Land, and celebrates the way in which God took special care of them under impossible conditions.

Other Festivals

Purim marks the defeat of an attempt to wipe out the Jews by Haman.

Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights and marks the restoration of the temple by the Maccabees in 164 BCE. Hanukkah is celebrated at roughly the same time as Christmas, but there is no connection at all between the festivals.

Tish B'av is the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av which usually falls in July or August in the western calendar. It is a solemn occasion because it commemorates a series of tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people over the years, many of which have coincidentally happened on this day.


Holy Days of Judaism

Jewish celebrations
Judaism sets aside certain holidays and days of remembrance as holy days. These holy days are scheduled according to the Jewish calendar.


Conservative Jews and Christians generally agree that the main seasonal days of celebration that are mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) were established by God and recorded by Moses.