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The Complete Guide Of Jewish Festivals And Days Of Remembrance





The Jewish calendar is full of different events from Jewish history and every moment is celebrated on different Jewish holidays, I made the ultimate list of Jewish holidays to present you with the most important events of Jewish history.







Yom Shikhrur ve Atzala - Day of Salvation and Liberation is a Jewish holiday celebrated on May 9, 1945 - Victory Day over Nazi Germany. About 6 million Jews died in World War II. The liberation of Europe from the fascist yoke by the forces of the anti-Hitler coalition and the salvation of the Jews from the hands of the fascist executioners marked the beginning of a new era in the history of the Jewish people - the revival and the creation of their own state in Eretz Israel. According to Jewish chronology, May 9, 1945, fell on 26 Iyar 5705.



HISTORY OF DAY OF SALVATION AND LIBERATIONDay of Salvation and Liberation “As you know, according to Jewish tradition, if a holiday is not determined by the Torah, then it must be associated with Divine intervention. It was May 9, 1945, or 26 Iyar 5705, that became a turning point in Jewish history, thanks to which our people were not only saved from destruction but also found their national home - the State of Israel.

The Almighty did not leave his people and sent salvation. That is why this date should not only be reflected in the Jewish religious calendar, but preserved in it forever - so that our children and grandchildren and their children always know to whom the Jewish people owe their lives. Unfortunately, every year there are fewer and fewer veterans of the Great Patriotic War (may the Almighty grant them 120 years of life!). The day is not far off when they will not be left at all.

And then only on us - the children and grandchildren of those who were liberated by the wars of the Red Army and the Allied Army, the memory of their Great Victory will depend ”. The author of these words is German Zakharyaev, president of the STMEGI Foundation, and initiator of the 26th Iyar in the Jewish religious calendar.

Recently, the chief rabbis of Israel and Europe decided to add this date to the Jewish calendar and mark Iyar 26 as the Day of Salvation and Liberation (Yom Shikhrur ve Atzala).

DAY OF SALVATION AND LIBERATION TRADITIONS - After the date of 26 Iyar was entered into the religious Jewish calendar, and a special ceremony was established. Three candles are lit: in honor of the Almighty, in honor of the soldiers-liberators, and in memory of the dead. Memorial prayers and prayers of gratitude for salvation are heard. The Day of Salvation and Liberation was created to become, along with Passover and Purim, one of the main Jewish holidays, symbolizing victory over enemies and deliverance from mortal danger.

On the day of salvation and liberation, they remember the Jews who died in the fight against fascism, and they thank the Almighty for the fact that the Jewish people were liberated and survived. In Jewish communities around the world, the Day of Salvation and Liberation has been celebrated since 2014; in Russia, it began to be widely celebrated in 2015, in the year of 70 Victory in World War II. According to the Gregorian calendar, the date of the celebration falls on the period from May to June and is updated every year. Day of Rescue and Liberation in 2020 was celebrated on May 20. Like all Jewish holidays, its celebration began the night before sunset on May 19 and lasted until the evening of May 20. This year, Jews from all over the world will hold a common prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem online. The chief rabbis from around the world will conduct ceremonies and prayers through the Zoom conference. World Prayer at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem will take place on May 19 at 18.00 Israel time.




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What holiday do Jews spend in a hut for seven days? This Jewish holiday is called Sukkot. It got its name from the word Sukkah, which means a hut, a tent, or a bush. Sukkot On the days of the holiday, it is customary to leave home and live in ritual huts specially built for this, in memory of the people who wandered in the desert for forty years before finding the Promised Land.

The Sukkot holiday symbolizes the connection of the Jewish people with their historical past. Sukkot is a holiday filled with the scent of freshly cut greenery, and the aromas of myrtle and etrog. The holiday begins on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Tishrei and lasts for 7 days. Tishrei, the seventh month in the Hebrew calendar, usually falls between September and October of the Gregorian calendar. Sukkot in 2020 fell on the dates from October 3 to October 9. Like all Jewish holidays, it began the night before after sunset on October 2 and ran until the evening of October 9, 2020.

The culmination of Sukkot is the eighth day, which is called Shemini Atzeret, which means "stay on the eighth."


THE MEANING OF SUKKOT HOLIDAY -  The sons of Israel spent forty years in the Sinai desert after the Exodus from Egypt. In those ancient times, they lived in temporary dwellings of the Sukkah, and they were little worried about the strength of the roof over their heads, for in everything they relied on the mercy of the Almighty.

Having found their land and built strong and reliable dwellings on it, the sons of Israel continued to move for seven days every year under the roof of temporary huts, in fulfillment of the commandment of the Highest. And the commandment is this: “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month (Tishrei) when you are harvesting the fruits of the earth, celebrate the feast of the Almighty for seven days: the first rest on the day and the eighth rest on the eighth day. And take for yourself on the first day the fruit of a beautiful tree (etrog), palm branches and branches of a leafy tree, and river willows, and rejoice before God, your Almighty, seven days. And celebrate this holiday for the Highest seven days a year: this is an eternal charter for your generations; in the seventh month, celebrate it. Live in the sukkah for seven days ... so that your generations may know that I settled the sons of Israel in the sukkah when I brought them out of the land of Egypt ... "


The Jewish holiday of Sukkot falls in the autumn months when the plowing season is over and all the harvest has been collected from the fields, orchards, and vineyards. And what could be more joyful for the farmer than the contemplation of the abundant fruits of his labor? When contemplating such abundance, he can become proud, forgetting about God: “I have achieved all this myself! All this is only thanks to my work and skill! " In his infinite wisdom, the Almighty commanded it was during this period of autumn abundance to move to temporary huts and live in them for seven days. And, being rich, remember poverty, so that human hearts do not become proud, and believe that even in this fragile refuge, God will protect them and send them prosperity, just like many, many years ago. What deep moral wisdom is contained in this commandment? If Passover is a holiday of liberation, Shavuot is the giving of the Torah, then Sukkot is a holiday of joy for the glory of the Highest.

SUKKOT HOLIDAY TRADITIONS - To fulfill the commandment for the holiday of Sukkot, it is necessary to prepare in advance, it is necessary to build a sukkah (hut) and purchase an etrog and a lulav. On the eve of the holiday, special bazaars are organized where they sell lulaves, Etrogues, material for building a sukkah and its decoration. Sukkot To install the sukkah, they choose a beautiful, windless place in the open air: in the yard, on the veranda, in the front garden, on the balcony, and in other places. Sukkah should not be placed in the shade of trees and nothing should hang over it.

To install the walls, you can use any building material, but the roof should be only of vegetables, for this they use spruce branches, branches of palm trees, bamboo, etc. You can also use mats specially made for this as a roof. It is customary to decorate the sukkah whenever possible. For decoration, seven types of fruits are used for which the Land of Israel is famous (wheat, barley, olives, dates, figs, pomegranates, and grapes), paintings depicting the holiday of Sukkot, and curtains. Throughout the week of the holiday, the hut becomes the seat of the commandment. You cannot enter it with dirty clothes or bring in soil. The whole week is supposed to be spent in the sukkah (eat and sleep). It is forbidden to eat outside the hut, to drink outside the hut only water is allowed to quench your thirst.

The fulfillment of the commandment to live in the Sukkah does not apply to women, as well as to the sick, whose health this can harm. Today, few people really live in the Sukkah all seven days, most often the family only dines there and only a few stay overnight. Children are most happy about the holiday of Sukkot because for them it is a real adventure.


The commandment of the four plants "Arbaat Haminim" is special. For its execution, it is necessary to purchase four types of plants in advance: an unblown shoot of a date palm (lulav), three branches of myrtle, two branches of a weeping willow, and an etrog fruit (citron). Lulav is called both an unblown leaf of a date palm, and a set of three plants - an unblown shoot of a date palm, three branches of myrtle, and two branches of a weeping willow.
All four plants combined are called “Arbaat Haminim”. Arbaat Haminim On the holiday of Sukkot, a special ritual of four plants "Arbaat Haminim" is performed - for this, a lulav (a set of three plants) is taken in the right hand and the fruit of the etrog in the left hand. Then, putting their hands together and slightly shaking the four plants, they tilt them from side to side, pronouncing blessings, thereby symbolizing the entire Jewish people and the omnipresence of God.
Arbaat Haminim embodies four approaches of the Jewish people to life.
1. the fruit of the etrog has good tastes and smell - these are Jews who know Torah and do good deeds.
2. the shoot of a date palm gives a sweet fruit, but does not have a pleasant smell - these are Jews who have knowledge of the Torah but do not do good deeds.
3. Myrtle is a tasteless plant, but exudes an excellent aroma - these are Jews who do good, but do not understand Jewish wisdom.
4. The weeping willow has neither taste nor smell - these are Jews who do not want anything and do not strive for anything. Thus, God united the entire Jewish people into one bouquet, so that they help each other, enlighten each other, hold on to each other, and become a single bundle to fulfill the will of the Highest with all their hearts. In Israel, Sukkot is celebrated for one day. After the first holiday, the so-called semi-holidays come, when schoolchildren and students have a rest, and the working part of the country either takes leave or works half a day.


 israel on jewish holidays

And there is no day in the Jewish calendar more serious and solemn than Yom Kippur (Doomsday). When the life of all Israel calms down for a whole day, an elusive, but well-discernible feeling of trepidation hovers in the air, and everything around is plunged into tense anticipation.
Indeed, on this day, assessing the activities of each person over the past year, the Almighty will pronounce his judgment: “Who will live and who will die; who awaits rest, and who - wanderings; some - well-being, and some - torment; who is destined for poverty, and who is destined for wealth.
" TEN DAYS OF PRAYER AND REPENTANCE From the first to the tenth day of the Jewish month of Tishrei in Israel, ten days of prayer and repentance last, ending with Yom Kippur (Doomsday). For ten days, each believer holds before the Almighty a kind of account of his actions, thoughts, and words of the past year. And each believer, analyzing his deeds, tries to weigh and correct his mistakes to regain the trust of the Highest.
Yom Kippur traditions - Yom Kippur is the only day of the year when you cannot do anything except pray, analyze your actions and thoughts, ask for forgiveness, and sincerely repent. On Yom Kippur, according to religious precepts, not only any work is prohibited, but also it is forbidden to eat, drink, wash, drive a car, talk on a mobile phone, wear leather shoes, and enter into intimate relationships. In Israel, television and radio do not work on this day, all enterprises and institutions, public transport does not go, and airports, seaports, and border crossings are closed.
For a day, a regime of isolation is introduced with the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Sector. On the roads, only ambulances, police or firefighters can rarely be found, and only children ride their bicycles freely. On this day, the Jews observe more than 24 hours of abstinence from food, spend a lot of time in intense prayer, and be sure to visit the synagogue. In the evening, it is customary to wear white clothes and go outside for a walk. It is forbidden to fast on the day preceding Yom Kippur because on this day it is necessary to eat a lot to properly prepare for the fast. At the same time, a complete refusal to eat and drink begins half an hour before sunset and ends in the evening of the next day, after the appearance of a third star in the sky.
Before the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday, especially religious Jews perform the rite of "kaparot" (the rite of atonement). Why take hens for a woman and a rooster for a man, then they make rotational movements over the head of each, saying the following words: "This is a replacement for me, this is for me, this is my ransom." It is believed that when performing this rite, the bird "absorbs" all the sins of a person. Then the bird is slaughtered and given to the poor or its value. In this case, the bird is considered a kind of ransom for sins. rite of kaparot After the morning prayer, it is necessary to pay off debts, and in the afternoon to perform ritual ablutions, dipping into the water of the mikvah (ritual pool).
On Yom Kippur, it is customary to put up with each other and ask for forgiveness, donate to charity, light candles, as well as standing, not leaning on anything, say Viduy, and at the mention of every sin, beat yourself in the chest in the area of ​​the heart. Yom Kippur After sunset, with the appearance of the third star in the sky, the gates of mercy will close, through which all the requests and prayers of the people of Israel were addressed to the Almighty. Under the sound of the shofar (ram's horn), the Day of Judgment will end, and every Jew will receive an assessment of his deeds, and on its basis, the judgment, judging by which it will become clear whether his requests for forgiveness have been accepted or rejected by the Almighty. Gmar Hatima Towa! Have a good record in the Book of Life!
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The first Jewish holiday is Rosh Hashanah, the calendar is Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) in 2020 on September 19-20. Like all Jewish holidays, its celebration began the night before sunset on September 18 and lasted until the evening of September 20, 2020.
Significance of Rosh Hashanah - Rosh Hashanah is one of the main Jewish holidays. It is believed that these days God judges the whole world and determines the fate of each person in the next year: who will live and who will die; who awaits rest, and who - wanderings; some - well-being, and some - torment; to whom poverty is destined, and to whom - wealth.
On these days, each believer holds before the Almighty a kind of account of his actions, thoughts, and words of the past year. And every believer, analyzing his deeds, tries to weigh and correct his mistakes to regain the trust of the Highest. And the prayer services performed on these days can influence the decisions of the Creator.
Rosh Hashanah holiday traditions -  Rosh Hashanah is, first of all, for every Jew, days of repentance, introspection, and prayer, and sincere belief that the Creator wishes everyone good and prosperity turns them into a holiday. On these days, it is customary to wear white clothes, symbolizing spiritual purity. On the first festive evening, it is customary to wish each other to be included in the "Book of Life". On the days of the holiday, all work is prohibited, except for cooking. Every believer wants the coming year to be good, sweet, and prosperous for him and his family, so many dishes appear on the festive table symbolizing the wish for a full, sweet, and happy year.
Rosh Hashanah So during a festive evening meal they put on the table: fish - as a symbol of fertility, fish or lamb's head - so that the whole year is "at the head", and not trailing in the "tail", carrots, cut into circles - as a symbol of wealth because in shape and color, it resembles gold coins, round sweet challah with raisins - so that the year is full and healthy, the challah is dipped in honey, pomegranate - to do as many good deeds as there are grains in the fruit, apples with honey - so that life is sweet and happy, apples are dipped in honey.
Rosh Hashanah During the festive meal, they wish each other a good, sweet, and easy year. On the days of the holiday, in synagogues, as well as in crowded places, it is customary to blow the shofar - a Jewish wind ritual musical instrument made from the horn of an animal, most often a ram. This is a very ancient ritual instrument, the history of which dates back to the time of Moses. It is believed that the sound of the shofar calls the people of Israel to rethink their actions, good deeds, and repentance. shofar From the first day of the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, ten days of prayer and repentance begin, ending with Yom Kippur (Doomsday). And it is on Yom Kippur that, evaluating the activities of each person over the past year, the Almighty will issue his verdict.
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One of the hardest Jewish holidays is Tisha-be-Av, Tisha-be-Av (fasting on Av 9) is a day of mourning and the most mournful day in the history of the Jewish people. On this day, the First and Second Jerusalem Temples were destroyed, as well as several other tragic events in Jewish history.
it was decided to make Day 9 Av a day of fasting. On this day, you cannot eat, drink, or wear leather shoes. Tisha be-Av translated from Hebrew means "The ninth day of the month of Av". Av, the fifth month in the Hebrew calendar, usually falls in July-August in the Gregorian calendar. Tisha-be-Av (fasting 9 Av) in 2020 was on July 30. Mourning began the night before after sunset on July 29 and lasted until the first star appeared on the evening of July 30.
Chronology of tragic events - Day 9 of Av is marked by mournful events throughout the history of the Jewish people. This date in Jewish history has become a symbol of persecution, misfortune, and persecution. • 9 Av 2449 from the Creation of the world (1312 BC) On this day the scouts sent by Moses returned to the Promised Land.
Ten of the twelve scouts instilled fear and panic in the Jewish people, describing the difficulties they would have to face in conquering the Holy Land, exaggerating the power and strength of the people inhabiting it. The Jewish people, were frightened, cried, and refused to go to the Promised Land, thereby provoking the wrath of the Almighty. God condemned the Jewish people for their distrust of him and condemned to death all those over 20 years old, except for those two scouts who believed him. And then the Almighty said: “Today you cried in vain. I will establish this day as a day of tears for you in all generations. " And then the Almighty promised that only the next generation, after 40 years, would be honored to enter the Promised Land.
It was a real day of the Most High's wrath. And this was the very first tragic event in Jewish history that happened on the day of Av. Since then, many misfortunes have befallen the Jewish people on this very day.
9 Av 3338 from the Creation of the world (586 BC) Almost nine centuries have passed since the first event. The Jewish people lived in the Holy Land, and the First Jerusalem Temple, built by King Solomon, stood for almost four hundred years. But three deadly sins tore apart Judah - bloodshed, debauchery, and idolatry.
As a result, the First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. This was followed by the 70-year Babylonian captivity.
9 Av 3828 from the Creation of the world (70 AD) The wheel of history continued to turn. The Jewish people learned the lesson presented to them, repented, and again received freedom and land. Herod the Great rebuilt the Second Jerusalem Temple, which stood for more than four centuries. But the people of Judah were stricken with the sin of causeless and blind hatred for each other. And when Jerusalem was again besieged, this time by the Romans, a bloody fratricidal war continued inside the city. The tragic events of these days are splendidly described in the novel by Lyon Feuchtwanger "The Jewish War". After the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman general Titus, the Second Temple was destroyed, five hundred years after the destruction of the First. The destruction of the Second Temple became a great misfortune in the life of the Jewish people and marked the beginning of "Galut" - the expulsion of the Jewish people from the Holy Land.
9 Av 3892 from the Creation of the world (132 AD) by order of the Roman governor, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem was plowed up as a sign of outrage. This event was one of the reasons for the Bar Kokhba uprising, which lasted three years. • 9 Av 3895 from the Creation of the world (135 AD), the Romans captured Beitar, the last stronghold of the rebels, and the leader of the uprising Shimon Bar-Kokhba was killed, after which the mass expulsion of Jews from the Holy Land began. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed, and most of the survivors were forced to flee their homeland. Almost all of Judea has become a scorched desert. Jerusalem was destroyed, after which the Romans plowed the city and sprinkled salt on the place so that nothing would grow there. In history, you can find many other tragic events in the life of the Jewish people that happened exactly on Av 9. This list can be very long, but I will give only a few of them:
On the ninth of Av in 1095, the beginning of the first crusade was announced, as a result of which the "soldiers of Jesus" killed tens of thousands of Jews and destroyed many Jewish communities.
On the ninth of Av in 1348, European Jews were accused of organizing one of the largest plague epidemics in history ("Black Death"). This accusation led to a violent wave of pogroms and murders.
On the 9th of Av in 1555 - the Jews of Rome were moved to the first ghetto in history.
On the 9th of Av in 1914, the First World War broke out, and the Jewish people found themselves surrounded by unfriendly neighbors on all sides.
On the 9th of Av in 1942, the deportation of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto began.
Laws of funeral days - Particularly religious Jews begin to observe mourning 3 weeks before the onset of Av 9, intensifying its manifestation on days 1 to 9. On these days, they refuse to eat meat and wine (except for Saturday), do not wear new and festive clothes, do not listen to music, do not shave, do not cut their hair, and do not marry. The last meal before the beginning of the fast should consist of no more than one meal without meat and wine. In the evening, on the eve of the 9 Av fast, all entertainment establishments (cinemas, theaters, concert halls) are closed in Israel. Mourning on Av 9 begins the night before on Av 8 after sunset and continues until the first star appears on Av on the evening of Av 9.
During the daily fast, the following rules must be observed: refrain from eating and drinking; from bathing (for hygienic purposes, only rinsing your hands is allowed); from marital intimacy, you can not laugh, have fun, wear leather shoes, and use perfume, it is forbidden to read the Torah, as it is a source of joy, it is allowed to read-only texts expressing sorrow and grief, You can only sit on the floor or a low bench.
In synagogues, it is customary for only a few candles to burn. On this day, they read the Lamentations of Jeremiah, sections of the Talmud about the destruction of Jerusalem, and special mourning prayers. The curtain, which is usually used to hide the synagogue ark (storage for the Torah scrolls) from prying eyes, is removed on this day. In Jerusalem, thousands of people come to the Western Wall. Hush be aw Why, then, on this day, despite the many tragic events that have occurred over the centuries-old history, is it customary to remember the destruction of the First and Second Jerusalem Temples? Not to indulge in sorrow on this day, and not to solemnly celebrate this day. It's just that the people of Israel need to understand why this happened and be guided by this understanding in their daily lives. Because the walls that have fallen from unreasonable fratricidal hatred can only be restored by the power of unreasonable brotherly love.
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Lag ba-Omer is a Jewish holiday celebrated on the 33rd day of the countdown of the Omer, or 18 Iyar according to the Jewish calendar. On this day, it is customary to burn fires, shoot a bow, and arrange entertainment events. The counting of the Omer is the oral count of 49 days or seven weeks between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot. According to the Gregorian calendar, its celebration is specified every year. Lag BaOmer in 2020 falls on May 12. Like all Jewish holidays, its celebration will begin on the evening of May 11, 2020, after sunset.
History of Lag BaOmer - The history of the Lag B'Omer holiday is surrounded by several legends and traditions. It is believed that the disciple of Rabbi Akiva stopped dying on this day. Rabbi Akiva was the greatest teacher of the law of his time, and the founder of the systematization of the Oral Torah. His fame of went all over the earth and disciples began to flock to him, who, on pain of death, studied the Torah, even though during the reign of Emperor Hadrian, the study of the Torah was strictly prohibited.
The Talmud says that Rabbi Akiva had 24 thousand disciples, but all of them, except five, died due to their disrespectful attitude towards each other. The epidemic that claimed the lives of Rabbi Akiva's disciples raged from Passover to Shavuot for 32 days and ended only on the 33rd day. Therefore, during the first 32 days of the Omer countdown, they observe several mourning traditions:
Man don't shave or cut their hair, they don't arrange weddings and noisy feasts. It is also believed that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai (Rashbi), the greatest disciple of Rabbi Akiba who lived in the 2nd century AD, and the founder of Kabbalah, died on this day. He is credited with the authorship of the Book of Zohar. Kabbalah reveals the mystical secrets of the Torah, and the Zaor book is one of the most famous works of Kabbalistic literature.
Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was one of the five disciples of Rabbi Akiva who survived the epidemic. During his death, a column of fire ascended over his body, hence the tradition of kindling fires on this day. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai instructed his disciples to celebrate the day of his death as a day of great joy. He was buried on Mount Myron near Safed.
Lag BaOmer traditions -  In the evening, after sunset, it is customary to make bonfires in honor of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai, dance, sing, and have fun. At night, many go to his grave, which is located on Mount Myron near Safed. On this day, it is customary to make fires, dance, and have fun There is a tradition of archery.
According to one of the versions, the disciples of Rabbi Akiva, gathering for their meetings, dressed as hunters, took with them a bow and arrow to lull the vigilance of the Roman guards. On this day, archery competitions are organized among schoolchildren. During the day, colorful processions and entertainment events are held. Also on this day, mourning for the disciples of Rabbi Akiva ends and it is allowed to have a haircut, shave, have fun, and arrange weddings.
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Jerusalem Day history -  During the 1948 War of Independence, Jerusalem was divided into two parts. Israel controlled the western part of Jerusalem (New City) and Jordan controlled the eastern part of Jerusalem, including the Old City. According to the armistice agreement concluded between Israel and Jordan, Jordan gave consent for Jews to visit the territory of the Old City and allowed them to pray at the Western Wall (Wailing Wall). However, in fact, for 19 years, this agreement was not implemented and Jews were forbidden to enter the Old City. At the same time, residents of the eastern part of Jerusalem were constantly bombarded by the Arab side.
In 1967, tensions between Israel and Jordan peaked and escalated into the Six-Day War, as a result of which Israel gained control of eastern Jerusalem. The reason for the war was the shelling by Jordanian soldiers of practically the entire Israeli border, which then passed through the center of Jerusalem.
The 1967 six-day war between Israel and the Arab coalition (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Algeria) lasted from 5 to 10 June. On June 7, 1967, IDF soldiers reached the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) for the first time. This date has become unforgettable in the history of the Jewish people. For almost two thousand years of exile, the Jews, no matter where they were in the world, turned their eyes with the entreaty to this Wall in the hope of returning.
The Wailing Wall has become a symbol of the return of the city to the Jews and a symbol of the unification of the entire Jewish people into one state. Immediately after the capture of East Jerusalem, Israel made every effort to unite the two disparate parts of the city into one. The walls and fences separating the city were destroyed, military fortifications were dismantled, roads were restored, and the ruins of houses were demolished. Jerusalem is no longer a border city.
For the first time in nearly two thousand years, Jerusalem has once again become the undivided capital of the Jewish state. On March 23, 1998, the Knesset passed a law according to which the Day of Jerusalem was declared a national holiday in Israel. There is an agreement between all the political forces in Israel, according to which neither the unity nor the sovereignty of Jerusalem can be negotiated.
As General Moshe Dayan said: "Jerusalem is united and will never be divided." 
Jerusalem Day Celebrations begin in the morning at Arsenalnaya Hill (Givat-ha-Takhmoshet). It was here that the main battle for Jerusalem took place between the wars of the Arab Legion and the Israeli paratroopers. A solemn ceremony is held on Mount Herzl in memory of the wars that fell during the 1967 Six-Day War. The victory in the war came at a high cost, in the battles for Jerusalem, 183 soldiers of the IDF were killed. The Kolel prayer and holiday psalms are read in the synagogues.
The youth "March with Flags" is taking place in the central streets of Jerusalem. Columns of representatives of various youth movements singing, dancing, and waving flags of the State of Israel, converge from different parts of Jerusalem and head towards the Old City. Their path leads to the Western Wall, where the central meeting takes place. Festive performances are held in the city squares throughout the day. In 2020, the celebrations timed to coincide with Jerusalem Day, by the decision of the High Court of Justice (BAGATZ), were held in a limited format due to the coronavirus epidemic.
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Shavuot is the celebration of the giving of the Torah. In Judaism, it is also called "Pentecost" and is celebrated on 6 Sivan, on the 50th day of the countdown of the Omer. Shavuot - the holiday of the giving of the Torah According to the Gregorian calendar, the date of the holiday is updated every year. Shavuot in 2020 fell on May 29. Like all Jewish holidays, its celebration will begin the night before sunset on May 28 and last until the evening of May 29, 2020.
Outside Israel, the Jewish holiday of Shavuot was celebrated for two days from the evening of 28 to the evening of May 30, 2020.
HISTORY OF SHAVUOT HOLIDAY -  The religious meaning of the holiday lies in the fact that on this day the Highest on the 50th day of the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egyptian slavery gave Moses on Mount Sinai a moral law - the tablets of the covenant with the ten commandments. Also, Moses received oral commandments, some of which he wrote down - the Written Torah (Pentateuch of Moses). Another part of the oral commandments is the Oral Torah, its content was passed down from generation to generation orally for 15 centuries and was written down after the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple, forming a multivolume work of the Talmud.
In fact, on this day, an agreement was signed between the Jewish people and the Almighty, according to which the Jews swore to accept the Torah, study and fulfill its commandments, and the Almighty that he would never exchange his chosen people for any other.
the Jewish holiday of the giving of the Torah Translated from Hebrew, Shavuot means weeks. So what is the countdown of the omer? Omer is the biblical unit for measuring the volume of grain. The counting of the omer is the oral count of the 49 days or seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot. The requirement to count the omer is contained in the commandment of the Torah and requires the counting of 49 days, starting from the day of the sacrifice in the Jerusalem Temple on Passover, consisting of an omer of barley, to the sacrifice of wheat on Shavuot.
PESAH - OMER - SHAVUOT The countdown of the Omer reflects the spiritual growth of the Jewish people and their work on themselves in anticipation of the gift of the Torah. After all, the Jewish people were liberated from Egypt to receive the Torah and fulfill its commandments. The process of spiritual growth and formation of the Jewish people is illustrated by the example of two types of grain.
On the second day of Pesach, an omer of barley from a fresh harvest was brought to the Temple, and after 49 days on Shavuot, already wheat. It is believed that in those ancient times, barley was food for animals, and what was the food for humans? During the period of Egyptian slavery, the Jewish people were at the lowest point of spiritual development, but the Exodus, given to them by the Almighty, and spiritual work on themselves, in the period of preparation for accepting the Torah, led to its spiritual formation. That is why on Shavuot, “human food” was already brought to the Temple as a sacrifice. The holiday of Shavuot coincides with a specific agricultural cycle - the harvest of wheat. In ancient times, two loaves of bread were baked on this day and carried to the Temple, along with the very best first fruits and vegetables.
SHAVUOT HOLIDAY TRADITIONS - Shavuot is a public holiday in Israel. It is customary to devote the festive night to reading the Torah and prayers. Thousands of believers in the evening come to Shavuot to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and pray there. In synagogues, they carry out a Torah scroll and read the story of how it was given, the text of the Ten Commandments, and a prescription for how to celebrate Shavuot in the Temple.
Be sure to read Ruth's book. Ruth was a Moabite (her homeland is the ancient country of Moab), who converted to Judaism and later became the great-grandmother of King David. Hence there is a custom to visit the tombs of the kings from the house of David in Shavuot. Graduates of Jewish religious schools, as well as higher educational institutions, finish their studies and receive their certificates and diplomas on the eve of Shavuot.
In agricultural settlements, kibbutzim and moshavs are a real harvest festival when grains, the first fruits, and fruits ripen, including those mentioned in the Torah: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, dates, and olives. It is customary to decorate houses and synagogues with greenery on this day, in memory of the greenery on Mount Sinai, as well as garlands of flowers and fruits.
The windows of the houses are decorated with paper applications, some of which are real masterpieces. A festive meal must include dairy and flour dishes: sour cream, cheese, cottage cheese, pancakes, dumplings, gingerbread with honey, pies, cakes, etc. This tradition is because on the day of the giving of the Torah, located at the foot of Mount Sinai, content with dairy food.
The Jews, having accepted the Torah at the foot of Mount Sinai, vowed to always and everywhere follow its commandments. And they kept their promise, because even being scattered all over the world, they were able to remain a single people all this time. Chag Shavuot Sameach!
Yom Hazikaron - Day of Remembrance for the Fallen in Israel's Wars State mourning date Yom ha-Zikaron - the day of remembrance of those who fell in Israel's wars is celebrated on the 4th of the month of Iyar according to the Jewish calendar, one day before the celebration of Israel's Independence Day. On this day, the whole country honors the blessed memory of the soldiers who died in the Arab-Israeli wars and gave their lives for the independence of Israel.
According to the Gregorian calendar, its celebration falls on the period from April to May and is specified every year. Yom Hazikaron in 2020 was celebrated on April 28. Like all Jewish holidays, it will begin to be celebrated on the evening of April 27, right after sunset. 
HISTORY OF YOM HAZIKARON -  The date was not chosen by chance, it was on this day 4 Iyar 5708 according to the Hebrew calendar (May 13, 1948) that the defenders of the province of Gush Etzion, located near Jerusalem, died, never knowing that ten hours later it would be announced the proclamation of the State of Israel.
The first in the province of Gush Etzion was captured in the village of Etzion, almost all of whose inhabitants were brutally killed by the local Arabs, only one managed to escape. Moreover, this happened not during the battle, but after they surrendered. The rest of the settlements and there were 4 of them in the province, received recommendations to surrender their positions. But instead of showing loyalty to the captives, the Arabs, with the support of the Arab Legion, brutally dealt with most of the residents in front of the rest.
Every year, a count is made of Jews who died in the Arab-Israeli wars, among which are servicemen of the Israel Defense Forces, police officers, security services, foreign intelligence, activists of Jewish underground organizations, etc.
The countdown has been going on since 1860, this year is considered the date of the beginning of the struggle of Jews for the country of Israel. In Israel, there are practically no nameless soldiers and the Israelis do not know what it is like to bring flowers to the grave of an unknown soldier. Here everyone who died is anxiously referred to the memory, everyone is remembered here. In Israel, the memory of every deceased is anxious In the country, each one who gave his life for the independence of Israel is anxiously remembered In recent years, the memory of those who died at the hands of terrorists began to be honored on this day.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of such innocent victims, and every year their lists are inexorably replenished by women, children, old people, and just young people. Increasingly, this day is called the Day of Remembrance of Israel's Fallen Wars and Victims of Terror. In the entire history of Israel, 23,816 people died in wars and terrorist attacks, and 4166 of them became victims of terrorist attacks.
In the year that has passed since the last Yom ha-Zikaron, the number of those killed has increased by 70 people - 44 died, 37 IDF disabled have died. The celebration of the mourning day of Yom Hazikaron on the eve of Israel's Independence Day once again makes us understand what price the entire Jewish people had to pay for this very Independence.
TRADITIONS OF YOM YAZIKARON -  On the eve, at eight o'clock in the evening, a minute alarm sounds throughout the country, and every inhabitant, having heard it, bows his head as a sign of great sorrow and respect for the memory of the fallen. Usually, official commemoration ceremonies are held at the Wailing Wall (Western Wall) and the Memorial War Cemetery on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, with the participation of representatives of the authorities, the army, and the families of the victims. On this day, the flags in Israel are at half-mast.
Memorial ceremonies and mourning processions are organized at the battle sites and military cemeteries. Over the graves of their dead comrades in arms, representatives of all branches of the Israel Defense Forces take an oath, pledging to continue their noble cause to defend their Fatherland. Memorial ceremonies are organized at military cemeteries on this day memorial ceremonies are organized at military cemeteries Traditionally, on this day, a small blue and white flag on a metal stand is placed on the grave of every person killed as a result of hostilities or terrorist attacks.
The next day at 11-00 o'clock in the afternoon the siren sounds again, and again for two minutes all traffic in Israel stops, and again the whole country freezes for two minutes. Usually, on Yom Hazikaron, solemn commemorative events are held in all educational institutions, memorial museums, and other government organizations. Towards the end of the Jewish day, after sunset, all flags in the country are raised to maximum height again, and the celebration of Israel's Independence Day begins. Israel is probably the only country in the world where immediately after the most mournful day comes the most joyful day.
In 2020, for the first time in the history of Israel, the Day of Remembrance of the Fallen in Wars and Victims of Terror was celebrated in a special, quarantine regime. No mass commemoration events, no permission to visit military cemeteries. The main memorial ceremony was held at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem without invitees. It will be broadcast live on television and social media. Memorial events on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem were also without spectators and will be broadcast live.
Yom Hashoah is the day of the Holocaust and the heroism of the Jewish people. On this day, Israel remembers the six million Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis during the Second World War. Yom Hashoah has been the National Day of Mourning since 1951.
The term itself denotes hostility towards Jews. Gradually, anti-Semitism is becoming an integral part of the programs of political parties and a weapon in the political struggle. With the exaltation of "race", "blood" and other nationalist symbols, it spreads among a wide part of the German public, and by the 30s of the 20th century, it begins and take on more and more extreme forms.
The extermination of Jews during the Second World War is called the "Holocaust" in many languages. In Hebrew, however, there is another term - Shoah (calamity, catastrophe). In Israel, the Day of Disaster and Heroism (Yom Hashoah) was established by the Knesset in 1951. It is celebrated according to the Jewish calendar on the 27th of the month of Nisan. This date was proposed by the first Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion; it was on this day in 1943 that the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto began.
Moreover, if Nisan 27 falls on Friday or Saturday, then it is transferred to the 26th, and if it falls on Sunday, it is transferred to the 28th. According to the Gregorian calendar, its celebration falls between April 7 and May 7 and is updated every year. Yom Hashoah in 2020 was celebrated on April 21. 
TRADITIONS OF YOM HASHOAH -  This holiday, like all Jewish holidays, begins on the evening of April 20, 2020, just after sunset. For the entire people of Israel, Yom HaShoah is a national day of mourning. On this day, all flags in Israel are at half-mast. This is a day of mourning, prayer, and remembrance.
Yom Hashoah - National Day of Mourning In some synagogues on Yom Hashoah, a special memorial service is held, at which six memorial candles are lit in memory of the six million who died during the Holocaust of European Jewry. At 10 a.m., a siren sounds, on which the whole country freezes for two minutes "at attention" in silent silence, paying tribute to the memory of those killed in the Holocaust.
It does not matter where people are at this moment: at work, at home, walking down the street driving by car, or in public transport. All traffic and all public transport at this moment stop, people go out into the street and stand while the siren sounds. Siren signal One minute of silence on Yom Hashoah And, probably, at this moment, every Israelite is praying that this horror will never happen again.
The official ceremony is held at Yad Vashem - Israel's National Holocaust and Heroism Memorial. It is located in Jerusalem on Har ha-Zikaron (Mount of Remembrance) at an altitude of 854 meters above sea level. The memorial was founded in 1953 by the decision of the Knesset, to perpetuate the memory of the Jews who became victims of Nazism in the period from 1933 to 1945 and the destroyed Jewish communities.
The name of the complex is translated from Hebrew as "Memory and Name". The official ceremony is held at Yad Vashem - Israel's National Holocaust and Heroism Memorial, Yad Vashem - The Memorial is an 18-hectare complex that includes the Holocaust Museum and many other memorial sites, the most impressive of which is the Hall of Names. Its main hall consists of two cones: one - ten meters high, which is associated with a mirrored cone in the form of a well, carved out in an underground stone massif; the base of the latter is filled with water. The upper cone houses an exhibition displaying 600 photographs of Holocaust victims and fragments of Testimony Sheets. This exhibition is reflected in the water at the bottom of the lower cone, thus paying tribute to the memory of those victims whose names remain unknown.
The Yad Vashem Memorial Complex is visited by over a million people annually (admission is free). It is the second most visited tourist attraction in Israel, after the Western Wall (Western Wall). The Israeli Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem proposed to mark Holocaust Day remotely this year. Although traditional events will not take place this year, the names of the victims should not be forgotten. According to The Jerusalem Post, the museum's management offered everyone who wants to honor the names of the victim's free access to the list of names of men, women, and children who became victims of the Holocaust. Everyone can choose names, make a video and post a video on one of the global social networks under the hashtag #RememberingFromHome #ShoahNames. On the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day, which was celebrated in 2020 from the evening of April 20, Yad Vashem will collect videos from all over the world and organize an online ceremony. To know ... To remember ... So that this NEVER happens again ...




Israel's Independence Day is the birth date of the state and the only holiday outside of religion. Annually, approximately 5 Iyar of the Jewish calendar, the day of the proclamation of the state of Israel is celebrated, which is called Yom ha-Atzmaut. Yom Hatzmaut - Israel Independence, Day There is no fixed holiday date.

It falls on the day next to the 5th Iyar in the middle of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) and should not fall on Shabbat and the Friday preceding it.

 According to the Gregorian calendar, its celebration falls on the period from April to May and is specified every year. Israel's Independence Day in 2020 was celebrated on April 29. Like all Jewish holidays, it's celebration began on the evening of April 28, after sunset.

The fate of modern Israel was decided on Saturday, November 29, 1947. The UN voted on Resolution No. 181 on the creation of 2 independent states in Palestine. Arabs opposed the division of Palestine, and Palestinian Jews dreamed of regaining their own country. The historic decision in favor of partitioning Palestine was taken by a majority vote (33 to 13). On May 14, 1948 (5708 5 Iyar), the first in the history of Israel, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, 8 hours before the end of the British mandate, signs the main state document - the Declaration of Independence of Israel, thereby announcing the creation of a new country (Medinat Yisrael ).

The Jews rejoiced, and the Arabs took military action. The soldiers, who did not get stronger after the big war, again had to take up arms and defend the new state. Israel managed to repel the attack, but the fighting continued for fifteen months, during which more than six thousand Israelis were killed. They gave their lives to make the existence of the State of Israel a reality.

The following year, the Knesset issues new law on the 5th day of Iyar, Israel's Independence Day. one day before Israel's independence, Israel has been fighting for its independence from the very beginning, every year not only soldiers die in battles and clashes, but also civilians as a result of terrorist attacks.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of such innocent victims, and every year their lists are inexorably replenished by women, children, old people, and just young people. Therefore, the public holiday is preceded by the mourning day of Yom ha-Zikaron - the Day of Remembrance for those who fell in the wars for Israel's independence and the victims of terror.
The mourning day on the eve of Israel's Independence Day once again makes us understand what price the entire Jewish people had to pay for this very Independence. In the entire history of Israel, 23,816 people died in wars and terrorist attacks, 4166 of them became victims of terrorist attacks.

In the year that has passed since the last Yom ha-Zikaron, the number of those killed has increased by 76 people - 44 died, 37 IDF disabled have died.

CELEBRATION OF THE DAY OF INDEPENDENCE -  Israel is probably the only country in the world where immediately after the most mournful day comes the most joyful day. Barely wiping their tears, people gather in the squares, in the central cities such as Tel Aviv - this is the former Kings of Israel Square, thematic performances are arranged. The sky lights up with fireworks in honor of the existence of the Jewish independent state. Israel Independence Day Celebratory fireworks in honor of Israel's Independence Day Festive performances and fireworks in honor of Israel's Independence Day The official ceremony begins in the evening after sunset in the square on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, where 12 torches are lit in the presence of the Speaker of the Knesset, symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel. Thus, completing Yom Hazikaron and opening the celebration of Israel's Independence Day.

Yom ha-Atzmaut is the only non-religious holiday in the country when ordinary life flows, public transport runs, people shop, secular institutions, and enterprises work, and the religious population drives cars and lights a fire. Cities, houses, cars are everywhere decorated with national flags. Not only military awards are presented. The prizes are awarded to the field of science and the field of art. Guided tours of military bases, parades, and demonstrations of military equipment.

On a holiday, the country turns into one mega picnic, grouping in the company of relatives, friends, or colleagues. In every courtyard, on lawns and embankments, and in any free place where you can put a grill, vegetables and barbecues are prepared. And in the evening, city streets are transformed into dance floors. In 2020, for the first time in the history of Israel, the holiday was celebrated in a special, quarantine regime. Without mass performances in squares and streets, without parades and demonstrations of military power, without fireworks and picnics. Peace to you, Israel! Let the 12 torches, symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel, shine with a bright light. And let the words of the prayer "Hallel" for the happiness and prosperity of the country sound gracious.

This is definitely one of the happiest Jewish holidays in the Jewish calendar.



Passover is the oldest and most important Jewish holiday, symbolizing the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egyptian slavery. This event took place about 3300 years ago, in the middle of the 13th century BC. Passover personifies the chain of events as a result of which the Jews became free people, found the Promised Land, and created their own state.
After all, they came to Egypt as the family of Jacob, numbering about 70 people, and left as a whole nation of 600 thousand. The Jewish holiday begins on the eve of the 15th day of the spring month of Nisan according to the Jewish lunar calendar and lasts 7 days in Israel and 8 days outside Israel (diasporas). The holiday date according to the Gregorian calendar is updated annually. Passover in 2021 falls on the dates from March 28 to April 4, and its celebration begins, as is customary in Israel, from the evening of March 27, immediately after sunset.
The beginning of Passover 2020 was from the evening of March 27 First Passover Day 2020 - March 28 Passover 2020 ended - April 4.
HISTORY OF THE PASSOVER HOLIDAY -  Pesach translated from Hebrew means "bypass" or "pass by." According to the book "Exodus" (the second book of the Torah), Moses, in the name of God, demanded from Pharaoh to release his people, who were in Egyptian slavery, vowing that otherwise, God would punish Egypt, to which Pharaoh refused.
After which, ten plagues (ten plagues of the Egyptians) fell upon Egypt: the transformation of all the waters of Egypt into blood; invasion of toads; an invasion of blood-sucking insects (midges, lice, bedbugs); the invasion of dog flies (gadflies); pestilence of cattle; terrible ulcers and abscesses; thunder, lightning and fiery hail; locust infestation; three days of Egyptian darkness; the death of the firstborn. Disasters struck Egypt one after another, with each new punishment following the Pharaoh's refusal to release the Jews.
On the eve of the last of the ten Egyptian executions - the death of the firstborn -, God commanded the Jews to slaughter the lambs, roast their meat, and mark the doorframes with their blood. On the night of Nisan 14, God “passed by” the houses of the Jews, and they were saved, in the rest of the houses all the first-borns died, including the son of Pharaoh. And only after that Pharaoh surrendered and allowed the Jews to leave Egypt. Thus began the Exodus.
PASSOVER HOLIDAY TRADITIONS - The order of celebrating Pesach is strictly defined in the Holy Scripture (Torah). On all days of the celebration of Pesach, it is strictly forbidden to eat wheat products (chametz) - any flour dish in respect of which the fermentation process has occurred. Moreover, it is impossible not only to use it but even to keep it in the house. wheat includes pasta, bread, cakes, pastries, cookies, wheat vodka, beer, whiskey, as well as other malt and yeast products. Therefore, the hostesses, long before the start of the holiday, conduct an audit of everything leavened in the house, trying to have time to eat up the accumulated stocks.
On the last morning before Passover, all leaven in the house of a Jew must either be burned or sold to a non-Jew. The only bread that can be eaten on the days of the holiday is matzah (unleavened bread). It is believed that the entire process of making matzo, from adding water to flour to baking, should not exceed 18 minutes, in which case the fermentation process does not occur.
The Matza (unleavened bread) Matzah is a reminder to the Jews of how, having received permission from the Pharaoh to leave Egypt, they were going in such a hurry that they had to bake bread from the dough that had not yet come. The rush was not in vain, the Egyptian army led by Pharaoh was chasing them on their heels. But on the seventh day of the Exodus, the Red Sea parted before the Jewish people, to then close its waves over the head of the Egyptians. The main event of the holiday is the Seder (order) Easter meal, which is held on the first evening of the holiday. The whole family gathers at the festive table. The best dishes are placed on the table, silver, candles, kosher wine or grape juice, three large pieces of Matza, and a separate goblet for Elijah the prophet.
Seder Passover meal - The Seder is strictly regulated, on this night it is necessary to read the story of the Exodus from Egypt and hold the Passover meal in a strictly established order, where each action has its own place. During the Seder, special symbolic dishes are eaten:
1.Matzah in fulfillment of the commandment of the Torah
2.Haroset - a mixture of grated apples, nuts, dates, and wine as a reminder of how the ancestors had to sculpt clay bricks to build the Egyptian pyramids
3.Maror - bitter herbs (from horseradish to lettuce leaves) and Hazeret (grated greens), symbolizing all the bitterness of slave life and complete lack of rights.
For the Seder, a special Easter dish is used - Kear. On the Keara, in a certain order, there should be three symbolic dishes that are not eaten:
1.A piece of fried lamb with bone or a chicken wing in memory of the Easter sacrifice
2.A cool chicken egg to commemorate temple service
3.Carp - a piece of any spring vegetable that is not bitter, most often potatoes. 
Each of those present must complete five mandatory steps (mitzvot):
1.Eat at least a piece of matzo the size of an olive
2.Drink four cups of wine or grape juice, which symbolize the four promises given by the Highest to the Jewish people: "and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians"; "And I will deliver you from their bondage"; "I will save you"; “I will take you for My people”; each bowl drunk serves as an introduction to the next part of the Seder:
Eat maror (bitter herbs), while, while eating, the herbs are dipped in saltwater to remind them of how many tears were shed during their lifetime in Egypt and of the waters of the Red Sea, which parted before them during the Exodus.
Read the story of the Exodus from Egypt
Read praise psalms. According to tradition, it is customary to fill the fifth, special glass and leave it for the prophet Elijah, who will return to earth on the eve of Passover to announce the advent of "the great and terrible day of the Lord." This glass is not drunk but is left on the festive table.
At the end of the ceremony, the phrase “Next year - in Jerusalem!” Is sure to sound, which is associated with the completion of the “dispersion” among the rest of the nations and the return to the Promised Land. The day following the Passover Seder is the first day of the holiday. For religious people, this is a day of prayer and rest, when all work is prohibited. For the rest of the Israeli population, this is a day off, which is usually spent in the circle of relatives and friends. This is followed by five days, the so-called half-holidays when some institutions work half a day, and some do not work at all. And the Easter weekends with another holiday. According to the Torah, on that day, the waters of the Red Sea parted before the Jews and swallowed up the Egyptians who were pursuing them. On this day, it is customary to come to the sea, river, or any other body of water and read there an excerpt from the Torah "Song of the Sea".
Purim is a fun carnival Jewish holiday in honor of the deliverance of the Jewish people, who lived in the Persian Empire, from the extermination of the Amalekite by Aman. The holiday is celebrated on two days on the 14th and 15th of Adar; it was these days, according to the decree of Mordecai and Esther, were designated as days of "feast and fun." Almost always the dates of the holiday fall in March or February, only the numbers always change. As you know, in Israel, holidays are celebrated according to the Jewish calendar, which is distinguished by the shift of dates relative to the Gregorian one. Purim in 2021 is celebrated on February 26. Its celebration will begin on the evening of February 25th and end on the evening of February 26th, 2021.
In Jerusalem, Purim is celebrated a day later, so some Israelis celebrate it twice.
THE MEANING OF PURIM HOLIDAY - Often the dates for the celebration of Purim by Jews fall on the days of Lent among Christians. And when the Jews were scattered throughout the world, without their own state, their celebration often provoked fierce protests from Christians. Sincere unbridled gaiety gave rise to the superstition that the holiday was anti-Christian in nature. But in fact, if we turn to the history of the holiday, it becomes clear that everything is completely wrong.
HISTORY OF PURIM HOLIDAY - The name of the holiday comes from the word "Pur", which means a lot. Events associated with the history of the holiday date back to the reign of the Persian king Artaxerxes, who ruled from 486 to 465. BC. In those days, the Jewish people were held captive by the Persians and were scattered over the vast territory of the Persian Empire, stretching from India to Ethiopia. Artaxerxes, who loved to arrange magnificent feasts, was famous for his cruelty, irascibility, and despotism, and had a weak character. He easily succumbed to the influence of others and was unable to make serious decisions without his advisers.
During one of the feasts of Artaxerxes' wife, Queen Vashti refused to appear before Artaxerxes and his guests. And then Artaxerxes decided to find a replacement for her. He opted for the Jewish orphan girl Esther. She grew up in the house of her cousin Mordecai, who saved Artaxercus from a conspiracy of two king's servants who intended to kill the ruler. So Esther becomes a queen. After these events, Artaxerkus appoints the fierce enemy of all Jews, the Amalekite Haman, as his first adviser. The lineage of Haman comes from Amalek, the historical enemy of Judea. Before Haman, all the inhabitants of the city bowed their heads in fear and reverence, except for the Jew Mordecai. Such "arrogance" became the reason for the terrible revenge that Haman prepared for the entire Jewish people.
On the 14th day of the month of Adar, the Jews, having learned that the danger had passed, organized a real feast, which lasted the whole day. After this, Mordecai, becoming the first adviser to the king, commanded that this day be made special to remind all subsequent generations of the fateful events that took place and the miraculous rescue of the Jewish people from extermination that followed.
PURIM HOLIDAY TRADITIONS -  The celebration begins with the reading of the Scroll of Esther (Book of Esther), which describes the events that took place. This happens in the synagogue during the evening or morning prayer. When reading the scroll, at the moment the name of Haman is mentioned, all those present begin to make noise, whistle, twist special rattles, and stamp their feet, thus expressing their contempt. A festive meal is an obligatory part of the holiday. It should be rich and rich. Of the treats, it is customary to serve - "Haman's ears", which are open pies with sweet or meat filling. Haman's ears These days, noisy carnival processions are organized in all cities of Israel, reminiscent of Brazilian or Venetian carnivals. And in Jewish communities in other countries, it is customary to stage theatrical performances. It is customary to celebrate the holiday in an atmosphere of lightness and fun, without holding back your joy and emotions.
THE MEANING OF THE HOLIDAY OF TU BY-SHVAT - They say that the trees, having learned that God had given people the New Year's holiday, were filled with envy and asked to grant them the same day. And since in the month of Shevat the rainy season comes to an end and the trees begin to wake up from hibernation, that is why this month was chosen to celebrate the New Year of the trees of the land of Israel.
Tu Bishvat Tu Bishvat is a celebration of the renewal of nature. It is noteworthy that the fruits that ripen after this holiday are considered the fruits of the new harvest. On this day, it is customary to plant trees.
WHEN TO CELEBRATE TU BY-SHVAT? This holiday is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month of Shevat. As you know, in Israel holidays are of a religious nature and are celebrated according to the Jewish calendar, which is distinguished by the shift of dates relative to the Gregorian calendar. In 2021, Tu Bishvat, or New Year of the Trees of the Land of Israel falls on January 28. Like all Jewish holidays, its celebration will begin the night before after sunset on January 27, and will last until the evening of January 28, 2021.
HOW TO CELEBRATE THAT BY-SHVAT? On this day, it is customary to decorate the festive table with all kinds of fruits of the land of Israel, and seven of them must be present on the festive table without fail - wheat, barley, olives, dates, figs, pomegranates, and grapes. Celebrating the New Year of the Trees, Jews remember the words given in the Torah about fruit trees. According to the Torah, fruit trees should not only be cut down but also broken, as they bear fruit for man. It is also generally accepted that the fruit tree symbolizes a person. After all, just like a tree, a person is strong by its roots. The crown of a tree is human life. Fruits are like children. And true faith is so intimate that, like the roots, it is never displayed. But a tree can symbolize not one person, but a whole people - the tree of Jewishness. And together with other trees, it personifies the garden of humanity.
Hanukkah is a traditional Jewish holiday of candles and light. The holiday begins on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev and lasts for eight days. In 2020, Hanukkah fell on the dates from December 11 to 18. Like all Jewish holidays, its celebration will begin on the evening of December 10 after sunset, with the appearance of the first star in the sky, and lasted until the evening of December 18, 2020.
HISTORY OF THE HANNUKAH HOLIDAY - It is customary to light candles on these days in honor of the miracle that occurred during the illumination of the Second Jerusalem Temple after the victory of the army of Yehuda Maccabeus over the troops of the Greek king Antiochus in 164 BC.
The Greek king Antiochus Epiphanes, under whose rule Judah was at that time, oppressed the faith of the people of Israel in every possible way. Studying the Torah and fulfilling its commandments was prohibited and considered a serious crime. The Second Jerusalem Temple was plundered and turned into a place for the pagan worship of the Greeks. In response, a revolt led by the Maccabean family began in Judea.
The size of the rebel army was insignificant in comparison with the troops of Antiochus. Also, she was poorly armed and poorly trained. However, they chose the correct tactics of warfare, avoiding open battles, and suddenly attacking small and scattered groups of Greeks. As a result, the rebel army, which won one victory after another, after three years, managed to oust the Greeks from the territory of Judea and liberate the Jerusalem Temple.
Climbing the Temple Mount, the Jews found only one jug of not-defiled temple oil. This amount was enough to maintain the fire in the Jerusalem Temple for just one day. However, despite everything, the fire in the menorah burned for eight whole days. Thus, the Second Jerusalem Temple was re-illuminated, and this time was enough to prepare new reserves of oil. Since then, it has been customary to light the lights on Hanukkah, and the holiday itself symbolizes "solemn purification".
HANUKKAH HOLIDAY TRADITIONS - Chanukiah is a special ritual candlestick with eight lamps. The luminaires are aligned and the same height. If possible, it is better to fill the lamps with refined olive oil for long and clean burning. But you can also use candles. The distance between the luminaires should be such that each luminaire burns separately, without merging with others.
The ninth lamp in the candlestick is called shamash (servant). In Chanukiah, shamash occupies a special place - it is located either below or above all other lamps. The Chanukah flame cannot be lit from a match, therefore, the shamash is first lit, and then the rest of the lamps are lit from its flame. They put a candlestick on the window or at the entrance to the house opposite the Mezuzah. The purpose of this particular location is to glorify the miracle that happened in the Temple so that as many people as possible can see the Chanukiah.
Chanukah lamps are lit after the appearance of the first stars, because, as is known in the Jewish calendar, a new day begins at sunset, and not at midnight. While the Hanukkah lights are on in the house, any work is prohibited. On the first festive evening, only one lamp is lit, on the second - two, on the third - three. And only on the eighth evening, all eight lamps are lit. Lamps are set from right to left and lit from left to right. That is, the last lamp exposed is always lit first. This routine of lighting Hanukkah candles reminds Jews that each candle is more expensive than the last.
Hanukkah is a real holiday for Jewish children. In terms of the degree of expectation, it can be compared, perhaps, with Orthodox or Catholic Christmas. On these days, it is customary to give children toys or money so that they can buy gifts for themselves (Hanukkah money). The game of the Hanukkah spinning top (Sevivon- Draddle) - reminds you of the events of days gone by.
The top has four sides, each of which is written with a letter from the Hebrew alphabet: "nun", "gimel", "hey" and "pei" or "shin". These are the first letters of the Hebrew words that make up the phrase “a great miracle was here” if the players live in Israel, or “a great miracle was there” if the players live outside Israel.
They play the spinning top according to certain rules for small coins or sweets. Delicious fried donuts (sufganiyot) and potato pancakes (latkes) appear on the tables. Traditional wish for Hanukkah - Chag Hanukkah Sameach! Happy Hanukkah!
I hope you enjoyed my full list of the Jewish holidays, come visit Israel and celebrate with us! 


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