Jewish Holidays

This section on the Jewish Calendar contains basic but thorough explanations of holidays and their origins. Whether you are just beginning, filling in gaps, or furthering your learning this site has appropriate levels for everyone. Each directory can link you to an even greater background.

For instance, for Chanukah you can learn about the historic origins of the holiday and the development of its ritual objects. You can read the Book of Maccabees and Josephus on Chanukah. You can read the Talmud's regulations concerning the chunukiyah and the origin of Chanukah. You can read Me'am Loez's regulations about Chanukah. And there is a Chanukah Home Ritual on line as well. If you hunt carefully, you'll even find some Chanukah humor somewhere on the site.

The Jewish Calendar

  1. ROSH CHODESH
  2. SELECTIONS OF MISHNAH on Rosh Chodesh
  3. SHABBAT
  4. Kabbalat Shabbat
  5. TALMUD ON HOW Rabbis Prepared for Shabbat
  6. Running on Erev Shabbat
  7. The Thirty-Nine Labors
  8. CONSEQUENCES OF KEEPING SHABBAT and NOT KEEPING SHABBAT
  9. Pikuach Nefesh
  10. THREE SHABBAT STORIES
  11. Two Loaves on Shabbat and Three Full Meals
  12. The "Shabbes Goy"
  13. Shabbat Oils and Wicks
  14. HAVDALLAH
  15. The Havdalah Ritual
  16. The Origin of Saying a Blessing Over Fire at Havdallah
  17. The Talmudic Ritual of Sweet-Smelling Oil
  18. PASSOVER, FESTIVAL OF FREEDOM, BARLEY, AND LAMBS
  19. The Fourteen Steps of a Seder
  20. Searching for Chametz and the Meaning of
  21. Some Regulations about Ritual Leaven-Searching
  22. Leaven, Mice, Children, and a Nice Weasel Pun
  23. Pot-Breaking for Pesach
  24. Bread on Passover
  25. Mishnah on the Order of the Seder
  26. Matzah and Maror: Are Bitter Herbs Mandatory?
  27. The Talmud on the Four Questions
  28. The Four Sons
  29. Passover Double-Dipping
  30. Charoset
  31. The Famous Rice Controversy
  32. THE TALMUD ON Hillel and the Famous Passover Sandwich
  33. The Afikoman
  34. THE COUNTING OF THE OMER and LaG BaOmer
  35. Omer-Counting
  36. YOM HASHOAH
  37. YOM HA'ATZMAUT
  38. SHAVUOT
  39. On What Day Was Torah Revealed?
  40. Torah and Mishnah on The Bikkurim Ceremony
  41. Two Loaves on Shavuot
  42. TISHA B'AV
  43. THE BIBLE TEXT ABOUT Tisha B'Av, 586 BCE
  44. The Ninth of Av
  45. A SERVICE FOR Tisha B'Av
  46. The Fifteenth of Av
  47. The Origin of the Fall Festivals
  48. Rosh HaShanah
  49. The Origin of Selichot
  50. So When Was the Creation of the World?
  51. Four Or More New Years!
  52. Regulations about Blowing the Shofar
  53. The Ten Days of Repentence
  54. Yom Kippur
  55. Regulations About "Self-Afflictions" on Yom Kippur
  56. The High Priest's Ceremony on Yom Kippur
  57. Satan's Impotence on Yom Kippur
  58. Repentence and Atonement
  59. Tension between Repentence and Yom Kippur
  60. Asking Forgiveness and Forgiving
  61. SUKKOT
  62. Regulations Concerning the Lulav
  63. The Mystery of the Etrog and its Regulations
  64. The Willow Ceremony and Regulations Concerning the Willow
  65. Regulations about the Sukkah
  66. The Water Libation Ceremony and the Water-Drawing Ceremony
  67. SIMCHAT TORAH
  68. The Triennial Cycle of Torah Readings
  69. CHANUKAH
  70. The Chanukah Story According to the Talmud
  71. Regulations About the Chanukah Lamp
  72. TU BISHVAT
  73. So When Do You Tax Fruit Trees?
  74. The Four Special Shabbats Bracketing Adar
  75. Regulations about the Arba Parashiyot
  76. PURIM!
  77. Regulations About Purim
  78. Talmudic Imagery to the Book of Esther
  79. Book of Esther Commentary
  80. Purim at the Time of the Messiah
  81. Study Versus Feasting on a Festival
  82. Why You Can't Mix Two Joyous Occasions
  83. Home Chanukah Ceremony
  84. How to Play Dreidl
  85. Four Special Torah Readings



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