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Holidays / Chagim



Shabbat | Rosh Hashanah | Yom Kippur | Sukkot | Shemini Atzeret |
Simchat Torah | Hanukah | Tu B'Shevat | Purim | Passover |
Omer | Yom HaShoah | Yom Ha'atzmaut | Yom Yerushalayim | Shavuot | Tisha B'Av

Shabbot
chagimshabbot chagimshabbotOn Shabbat, or the day of rest, we spend time with family and rest from the work week. This begins on Friday night with the lighting of the two Shabbot candles, traditionally lit by the woman of the house to commemorate the two mitzvot of this holiday: Zachor (to remember) and Shamor (to observe). Shabbot lasts until sundown on Saturday.
Candle-lighting Times
MyJewishLearning.com: Shabbat


High Holidays
Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur
chagimroshashanah2 chagimroshashanahRosh Hashanah is the Jewish new Year, and takes place in the beginning of the month of Tishrei. It is both a time of rejoicing and of introspection, taking stock of the past year and year to come. Yom Kippur is the most solemn day of the Jewish calendar, devoted to the repentance for sins committed over the course of the previous year.
Rosh Hashanah Links:
Understanding High Holiday Services
Sounding the Shofar
Make your own shofar
The High Holiday Machzor
Fun & Games for Kids!
Rosh Hashanah Coloring Book!


Yom Kippur Links:
Yom Kippur Prohibitions
A Yom Kippur Challenge.
Torahtots: What's the story?
Project Forgiveness



Sukkot
chagimsukkotsukkah chagimsukkotlulavSukkot begins five days after Yom Kippur. It is named after the huts or booths (sukkot) in which we eat during this week-long celebration. They represent the huts the Israelists lived in when escaped from slavery in Egypt and spent 40 years of wandering in the desert.

How to build your own sukkah
Lulav & Etrog, the basics
Coloring Pages, Fun & Games....
Help build a sukkah with Bonim Builders

 


Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah
chagimsimchatorah2 These holidays take place at the conclusion of Sukkot. Shemini Atzeret means the "Eighth Day of Assembly," and Simchat Torah means "Rejoicing in Torah." The observance of these holidays is centered around the synagogue where the community gathers to celebrate the Torah and our joy in receiving it. chagimsimchatorah
Learn about Shemini Atzeret
Learn how to say the blessings on the Torah
Dancing with Scrolls: Simchat Torah


Hanukkah
chagimhanukahdreidel chagimmenorahanimatedHanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after its defilement by the Syrian Greeks in 164 BCE. The holiday is centered around the home and family, where we light the hanukkian (also known as the menorah).

How to Light the Candles
Listen to Hanukkah songs
Not your Mama's Latke
Hanukkah: The Gift of Giving
Hanukkah: Rekindling the Internal Light
Hanukah at Torahtots.com
Hanukah Safety Tips

Rabbi Mark's Hanukkah Instructions



Tu B'Shevat
chagimtubishvat chagimtubishvatsaplingTu B'shvat is a holiday intimately connected to the agricultural cycle of the Land of Israel, the New Year of Trees. This holiday is usually celebrated by planting saplings and eating a seder-like meal, in which the produce of trees (fruits, nuts, etc) are featured.


Custom of eating fruit
Custom of Tree planting
Judaism & the Environment
Tu B'Shebat: Celebrating Nature's Bounty (USCJ)
Fun & Games, Learning About the Holiday
Jewish National Fund
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life 



Purim
chagimpurimscroll chagimpurimgroggerPurim, or the Feast of Lots, is a joyous holiday that recounts the saving of the Jews from a massacre during in Persia. The holiday is traditionally celebrated with costumes and a reading of the story from the Book of Esther. Cheering and celebration are popular with the children, who spin groggers, or noisemakers, to drown out the name of the evil Hamen.

Make your own grogger
Hamentashen Recipe
The Holiday of Purim (USCJ)
Torahtots.com (Fun & Games)
Jewish Heritage Magazine
Jewish Sound Archives


Passover
chagimpesachmatzah2 chagimpesachsederplatePassover is a commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt and specifically the night of the 10th plague, when the homes of the Israelites were "passed over." This holidays is centered in the home, where we eat the traditional seder meal.

Rabbincal Assembly - Pesach 2010 Guide
Questions & Reflections for the Seder Table (USCJ)
Passover Through History: JTS
USCJ Holidays
Haggadahs R Us
Jewish Heritage online
National Sound Archives
Kashrut.com
Koshercooking.com
Kosherquest
Fun & Games from Torahtots
About the seder (for kids)

No family should be alone on Pesah night. It is my hope that I can match every family that has extra space at their table with every family that would have been on their own. Please let us know if you wish to take part.
Rabbi Randy Mark.



Omer (& Lag B'Omer)
Picnics and games with bows and arrows. Trees are planted in Israel.
USCJ Counting the Omer 5770/2010
USCJ Counting the Omer
USCJ Lag B'Omer
Lag B'omer from torahtots.com
The Homer Calendar. Counting the Omer with Homer Simpson.


Yom HaShoah
Yom Hashoah--Holocaust Remembrance Day--is observed one week after the conclusion of Passover on 27 Nissan. It is also falls halfway between the first day of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising--which began on the first day of Passover in 1943-- and Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day.

Holocaust Teacher Resource Center
Teaching the Holocaust
Discussing the Holocaust with children
United States Holocaust Museum
Yad Vashem
Simon Wiesenthal Center
USCJ Publication - Yom HaShoah
USCJ - Yom HaShoah
Yom HaShoah (for Children)
Remember.org Cybrary
Holocaust Chronicle
Ann Frank House


israeliflaganimated2 israeliflaganimated2 Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day
Yom Ha'atzmaut is a joyful celebration of Israel's independence. It is celebrated on the 5th day of Iyar, which in 1948 corresponded to May 14, the day on which David Ben Gurion, the nation's first prime minister, announced the creation of the State of Israel.
USCJ Independence Day
BBC - Israel at 50
CIA World Factbook (Israel)


Yom Yerushalayim
Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem under Israeli rule following the Six Day War of June 1967. It is celebrated on the 28th of Iyar, in May or June (one week before the eve of Shavuot).
About Yom Yerushalayim from myjewishlearning.com
Jerusalem (Official website)


Shavuot
The forgotten Jewish holiday. In the Torah, Shavuot is listed along with Pesah and Sukkot, but it doesn't have matzah or a Seder; it doesn't have a Sukkah or a lulov; it is a holiday struggling for attention. Originally, it was the spring parallel to Sukkot, a Festival of Thanksgiving; celbrating the spring harvest. The Torah tells us of the ceremony of the Bikkurim, the First Fruits, brought to the Temple in Jerusalem. After the destruction of the Temple and our exile form the land of Israel, the agricultural nature of the hoiday was transformed into a celebration of the giving of the Torah and ultimately of Jewish Education.
Fun & Games, & things to learn for Kids



Tisha B'Av
Tisha B'Av, the ninth day of the month of Av (which month coincides with July and/or August), is the major day of communal mourning in the Jewish calendar. Although a large number of disasters are said to have befallen the Jews on this day, the major commemoration is of the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E. and 70 C.E. Central to the observance of this day is fasting.
Tisha B'Av, the Other Fast Day (Aug 2006) by Rabbi Mark
My Jewish Learning.com
Kinot (dirges) Recounting the sorrows.

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