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Hebrew for Christians Jewish Holidays Pages (Printer Version)

The Jewish Holidays


Understanding the Appointed Times
This section of the web site provides general
information about the most significant mo'edim (or
"appointed times") that are important to Jews all over
the world. All of the Biblical mo'edim are prophetic and
reveal great truth about the plans and counsel of the
LORD God of Israel.
Note: For Jews living outside Israel, major Jewish
holidays (except for Yom Kippur) are often observed for
an additional day (called yom tov sheni). [more]
se ction m ap

Introduction
The feasts and holidays are part of the larger mosaic of Jewish time that expresses
the corporate life cycle of Jews all of the world.
Introduction to the Jewish Calendar (start here)
A brief overview of the Seven Annual Feasts given to Israel
The Holidays: Weekly, Monthly, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Fast Days

The Jewish Day


Since the Jewish day (yom) begins at sundown, you must remember that a Jewish
holiday actually begins on the night before the day listed in a Jewish calendar. For
example, Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) occurs on Nisan 27, which actually
begins after sundown, Nisan 26:

Thus a given Jewish holiday spans two days on our


Gregorian calendar. Most Jewish calendars do not
indicate the previous night as part of the holiday.
Observance of a holiday begins at sundown on the
day before it is listed in the calendar!

In the example above, Yom HaShoah is observed both on Thursday the 5th (after
sundown) and Friday the 6th (during daylight hours).
Note that if a Jewish holiday were to occur on a Sabbath, it would be moved to the
previous Thursday on the calendar. For example, if Nisan 27 happened to begin on Friday
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at sundown, it would be moved to Nisan 26. Accessing a current Jewish calendar is


essential to observing the mo'edim!

The Jewish Week


The Jewish week (shavu'a) begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday (Shabbat). The
Jewish sages have argued that Shabbat is the most important of the mo'edim, since it is
explicitly commanded to be observed in the Aseret HaDiberot (Ten Commandments).
The Sabbath foreshadows the olam habah (world to come)
and our restored dignity as children of the New Covenant.
Weekly Torah Readings are considered appointments with the
Bat Kol, the Voice of the LORD.

The Jewish Month


The Hebrew calendar is a lunar one, and Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month")
symbolizes the renewal of the new moon (month), when the moon appears as a
sliver in the sky. Rosh Chodesh is marked by special liturgy.
Rosh Chodesh symbolizes renewal and restoration. Just as the
moon wanes and disappears at the end of each month, but
returns and waxes again to fullness, so we suffer until the
return of our beloved Mashiach Yeshua, who will restore the
glory of God fully upon the earth.

The Spring Holidays


Spring is the start of the Biblical Year and is marked by two of the Shelosh
Regalim (three annual pilgrimage festivals): Pesach (Passover) and
Shavuot (Pentecost). Shavuot is held seven weeks (or fifty days)
following the morning after Pesach.

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The spring holidays reveal the first coming of Yeshua (as Mashiach ben Yosef):
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.

Rosh Chodashim - The Biblical New Year [Nisan 1]


Preparing for Passover - Spring Cleaning
Vernal Equinox - Birkat HaChamah
Shabbat HaGadol - The Shabbat preceding Passover
Ta'anit Bechorim - Fast of the firstborn son [Nisan 14]

vi. Bedikat Chametz - The Search for Chametz [Nisan 14]


1. Passover (Pesach) - Celebration of freedom (Major Holiday)
a. The Passover Seder [Nisan 15 (evening of the 14th)]
b. Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot) - Messiah's Burial [Nisan 15-22]
c. Sefirat HaOmer - Counting the Omer [Nisan 16- Sivan 5]; the countdown to
Shavu'ot.
d. Firstfruits (Reishit Katzir) - Messiah's Resurrection; [Nisan 17]
Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Memorial Day [Nisan 27]
Yom Hazikaron - Israel Memorial Day [Iyyar 4th]
Yom Ha'atzma'ut - Israel Independence Day [Iyyar 5th]
e. Lag B'Omer - 33rd day of the Omer [Iyyar 18]
f. Mem B'Omer - Holiday of the Ascension [Iyyar 25]
Yom Yerushalayim - Jerusalem Reunification Day [Iyyar 28th]
2. Pentecost (Shav uot) - The giving of the Torah at Sinai and the giving of the Ruach
HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to the Church [Sivan 6-7] (Major Holiday)

The Summer Holidays


In the summer there occurs a three week period of mourning that begins
with the Fast of Tammuz and ends with tragic holiday of Tishah B'Av. The
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last nine days of this three week period (i.e., from Av 1 until Av 9th) are
days of increased mourning. After this somber time, however, the romantic
holiday of Tu B'Av, the 15th of Av occurs. Originally a post-biblical day of
joy, the 15th of Av served as a matchmaking day for unmarried women in
the Second Temple period.
The summer ends with the 30 days of the month of Elul, a yearly season of teshuvah
(repentance) that anticipates Rosh Hashanah and the fall holidays. The days of Elul are
combined with the first ten days of the month of Tishri to create the Forty Days of Teshuvah
that culminate with the holy day of Yom Kippur.

The summer holidays help us prepare for the second coming of the Messiah:
Fast of the 17th of Tammuz - Start of the three weeks of sorrow [Tammuz 17]
Tish'ah B'Av (Summer) Last day of the three weeks of sorrow [Av 9]
Tu B'Av - Harvest and Romance [Av 15]
Elul and Selichot - Preparing for teshuvah and the fall holidays

The Fall Holidays


The Jewish civil year begins in the fall (though the Biblical year begins in
spring: see Exod. 12:2). Preparations for the fall holidays begin with a
thirty day period of teshuvah (repentance) during the entire month of Elul.
The following ten days begin with the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah,
on Tishri 1) and end with the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur, on Tishri 10).
These first ten days of the new year are called the "Ten Days of Awe" (i.e.,
aseret ye'mei teshuvah:

).
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The fall festivals prophetically reveal the rapture of the kellat Mashiach (Bride of Messiah),
the second coming of the Savior, the national conversion and atonement of Israel, God's
original-covenant people, and - especially regarding Sukkot - the final restoration of the
earth in the olam habah (world to come):
Elul and Selichot - preparing for teshuvah
Yamim Nora'im (Days of Awe):
i. Rosh Hashanah and Trumpets (Yom Teru'ah) [Tishri 1] - The rapture of the
kellat Mashiach (i.e., the church or Bride of Christ).
ii. Tzom Gedaliah (Fall) [Tishri 3]
iii. Day of Atonment (Yom Kippur) - [Tishri 10] Israel's national salvation
3. Tabernacles (Sukkot) - [Tishri 15-21] A picture of the millennial kingdom
a. Hoshana Rabbah - [Tishri 21] The seventh day of Sukkot
b. Shemini Atzeret - [Tishri 22] The 8th day of assembly following Sukkot
c. Simchat Torah - [Tishri 23] Celebration of the giving of the Torah

The Winter Holidays


The winter festivals remember special times when God acted on behalf of
His people so that they would triumph over their enemies, and therefore
they prophetically picture the final victory in the world to come.

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The winter holidays help us anticipate the final victory to come:

Chanukah (Dedication) [Kislev 25 - Tevet 3]


Asarah B'Tevet [Tevet 10]
Birth of Messiah...
Tu B'Shevat [Shevat 15] - The New Year for trees
International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27th)
The Fast of Esther [Adar 13]
Purim (Lots) [Adar 14]

National Holidays of Israel


Since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has
established four new Jewish holidays (three of which occur in the month of Iyyar (Apr/May):
1. Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Memorial Day [Nisan 27]
2. Yom Hazikaron - Israel Memorial Day [Iyyar 4th]
3. Yom Ha'atzmaut - Israel Independence Day [Iyyar 5th]
4. Yom Yerushalayim - Jerusalem Reunification Day [Iyyar 28th]

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Fast Days (Tzomim)


In addition to Yom Kippur, The Talmud (Tractate Rosh Hashana 18b) discusses four fast days
(based on Zechariah 8:19) that commemorate the destruction of the First and Second
Temples and the exile of the Jewish People from their homeland. In addition, two other fast
days are mentioned in the Rabbinical literature, yielding a total of six tzomot (seven if Yom
Kippur is included).
Fast Days of the Jewish Year

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