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Minor Modern Holy Days and Celebrations
'Tu bi-Shevat' is also known as the New Year for Trees.

Minor Modern Holy Days and Celebrations

Minor Jewish holy days and celebrations are joyous festivals that lack the work restriction characteristics of the major Jewish festivals.

“Shavuot” is one of the Jewish harvest festivals and is also known as the festival of 'Weeks'. It marks the ....
start of the wheat harvest and the end of the barley harvest
start of the crop sowing season
moving clocks forward an hour at springtime to help harvesting
the harvesting of the first fruit crops of the year
Shavuot is sometimes called the Jewish Pentecost which refers here to the count of fifty days after Passover. The Christian festival of Pentecost also has its origins in Shavuot
Yom Haatzmaut or Independence Day celebrates ....
American Independence Day
Israel Independence Day
the end of the Second World War and the freeing of the remaining Jewish prisoners held by the Nazis
the reunification of Jerusalem during the Six Day War
It coincides with the Hebrew date when Israel was established in 1948 and is an especially big national holiday of celebration in Israel. It is also marked by Jewish people throughout the world
“Yom Hashoah” is the day each year Jews remember the Holocaust during the Second World War. It falls on the date of the ....
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
liberation of Auschwitz, the largest extermination camp established by the Germans 37 miles west of Krakow (Cracow) in Poland where 1.1 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis
establishment of the State of Israel in 1948
the election of David Ben Gurion as Prime Minister of Israel in 1959
Yom Hashoah was established in Israel in 1959 by law and is observed by Jewish people throughout the world. Although not a religious festival, it is one of the most solemn days in the year, with memorial events held by Jewish communities around the world. A major national ceremony is held at Yad Vashem (the Jewish people’s memorial to the Six Million murdered by the Nazis) in Jerusalem, Israel
“Purim”, the festival of “lots” is celebrated around March and before Passover. It is very much ....
celebrated mainly at home
the only Jewish festival not to include the services of a rabbi
the only Jewish festival not celebrated in Israel
an “eat, drink and be merry” festival
Purim is certainly one of the most entertaining of all the Jewish holidays. It celebrates the time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination by Haman, the favourite nobleman of Xerxes, King of Persia through the courage of a young Jewish woman called Esther (later Queen of Persia). It is noisy and raucous, the idea being that each time the name of Haman is read out from the Book of Esther, his name can’t be heard
Hannukah, or the “Festival of Lights” that sometimes coincides with Christmas, is an 8-day minor Jewish holiday that commemorates the ....
Jewish equivalent of Christmas
Re-dedication of the 2nd Holy Temple in Jerusalem
Feast of Tabernacles
This was at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire of the 2nd century. It is observed for eight nights and days, with a kindling of the candles on a unique candelabrum, the eight-branched (or nine if the ‘attendant’ candle for lighting the other eight is included) “menorah” or “hanukiah”, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night
The main denominations or branches of Judaism - Orthodox, Progressive/Liberal/Reform and Conservative celebrate Jewish festivals ....
in their own way
completely differently
ignoring just some festivals completely
very much in the same way
Although the beliefs of the denominations vary slightly, all Jewish holy days and festivals are celebrated in much the same way throughout Judaism. The main difference will be the differing levels of observance, for example, Reform Jews will drive to synagogue on the Sabbath, whereas Orthodox Jews will not; ultra-orthodox married Jewish ladies will keep their hair covered at all times, modern Orthodox married Jewish ladies don’t bother
“Tu bi-Shevat” (the New Year for Trees) actually celebrates a new ....
year for planting crops in Israel
year for planting trees in Israel
Spring after the Equinox
year looking forward to increased sustainability on the land
In modern Israel, this day is celebrated as an ecological awareness day and trees are planted in celebration
Rosh Chodesh, the first day of each Jewish month, is considered a minor festival. There is a custom that ...
Jewish women do not work on the day
Jewish men do not work on the day
children attend synagogue in the morning for a celebration breakfast
if it falls on the Sabbath day it is ignored
Because of the sin of the Golden Calf, the idol made by Aaron during Moses' absence up Mount Sinai, the holiday was taken away from the men and given to women as a reward for their refusal to participate in the creation of the Golden Calf
“Tisha B'Av” a single day of national mourning and fasting marking the destruction of the Temples in ancient times occurs in late July or August. It is unusual because it’s ....
not widely observed outside the religious community
not widely observed inside the religious community
a festival for old men
a festival celebrated only by women
It also commemorates other misfortunes to have befallen the Jewish people over time. The main activity is the chanting of the book of Lamentations for those who attend synagogue. It is the only Jewish festival where it's traditional that people don’t greet one another during it
“Sukkot” known as the Feast of Tabernacles, or the Feast of Booths is a time when the ritual is to ....
take four plant types, typically a citron fruit, a palm branch, a myrtle branch, and a willow branch, and to celebrate with them
refrain from drinking hot drinks for the week of the festival
joyously celebrate how far the Jewish people have come (from a timeline point of view) since slavery in Egypt in biblical times
dress very casually for synagogue services during the week of the festival
Religious Jewish families in particular will build an open air structure in which to spend time, or depending upon the climate, live in during the holiday. The “hut” should have a roof of branches and leaves, through which those inside can see the sky, and it should be a temporary and flimsy structure. It remembers the years Jews spent in the desert on their way to the Promised Land after leaving Egypt


Author:  Ed Moss

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