Celebrating the Holidays: The Sacred Flow of Jewish Time
The Jewish year begins with the Days of Awe (yamim noraim). We celebrate the creation of the world on Rosh Hashanah, and ten days later, Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). We not only have services that speak to adults on their level, but also services aimed at toddlers, school age children, and teenagers.
On each of the three pilgrimage festivals (chagim) — Sukkot, Pesach and Shavuot — services are held at 9:00am on both the first and concluding days. Yizkor (memorial prayers) are included on the last day of Sukkot (Sh’mini Atzeret-Simchat Torah) and Pesach.
Leil Selichot is September 9, 2023 (21 Elul, 5783)
Prayers for forgiveness, or Selichot, are recited in preparation for the coming new year.
For more information on the High Holydays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), please see our High Holyday Page
Sukkot is September 29-October 6, 2023 (15 Tishrei–22 Tishrei, 5784)
Beginning five days after Yom Kippur, Sukkot is named after the booths or huts (sukkot in Hebrew) in which Jews are supposed to dwell during this week-long celebration. According to rabbinic tradition, these flimsy sukkot represent the huts in which the Israelites dwelt during their forty years of wandering in the desert after escaping from slavery in Egypt. The festival of Sukkot is one of the three great pilgrimage festivals (chaggim or regalim) of the Jewish year. For more information, see Sukkot 101 (courtesy of MyJewishLearning.com).
Simchat Torah is October 7-8, 2022 (23 Tishrei, 5784)
Simchat Torah celebrates the conclusion of one and the beginning of another annual cycle of readings from the Torah. It is celebrated at Temple Beth Abraham by unrolling the Torah scroll and wrapping it around all the children in the synagogue
Chanukah is December 7, 2023-December 15, 2023 (24 Kislev, 5784-3 Tevet, 5784)
Chanukah, the Jewish festival of rededication, also known as the festival of lights, is an eight day festival beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev.
Tu B’Shevat is January 25, 2024 (15 Shevat, 5784)
Tu B’Shevat or the “New Year of the Trees” is Jewish Arbor Day. The holiday is observed on the 15th (tu) of the Hebrew month of Shevat. Today, many Jews hold a seder where Israeli fruits, nuts, and seeds are exhibited and eaten. The holiday also has become a tree-planting festival in Israel, in which Israelis and Jews around the world plant trees in honor or in memory of loved ones and friends. You can do so here: Jewish National Fund Tree Planting Center
Purim is March 23, 2024 (13 Adar II, 5784)
Purim commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, a Persian Empire official who was planning to kill all the Jews in the empire, as recounted in the Book of Esther. Haman was the royal vizier to King Ahasuerus. It is customary for Temple Beth Abraham to perform a Purim Shpiel, or comedic dramatization of the Book of Esther. On this holiday there are four Mitzvot, or commandments, that Jewish people should fulfill: Reading the Megillah, (The Book of Esther), sending mishloach manot (gift baskets), eating a festive meal, and Matanot La’evyonim (giving to the poor)
Passover is April 22 through April 30, 2024 (14 Nissan-22 Nissan, 5784)
The first two days of Passover (from sundown of the first date listed, until nightfall two days later) are full-fledged, no-work-allowed holiday days. The subsequent four days are Chol Hamoed, when work is allowed, albeit with restrictions. Chol Hamoed is followed by another two full holiday days.
Passover is a major Jewish spring festival, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt over 3,000 years ago. The ritual observance of this holiday centers around a special home service called the seder (meaning “order”) and a festive meal; the prohibition of chametz (leaven); and the eating of matzah (an unleavened bread). Jews gather with family and friends in the evening to read from a book called the haggadah, meaning “telling,” which contains the order of prayers, rituals, readings, and songs for the Passover seder.
Yom HaShoah Commemoration-Holocaust Remembrance Day is May 6, 2024 (28 Nisan, 5784)
Yom Ha’Atzmaut – Israel’s Independence Day is May 14, 2024 (6 Iyyar, 5784)
This day was created in memory of those who lost their lives creating and defending the State of Israel (Israel’s Memorial Day – יום הזכרון)
Shavuot is June 11-12, 2024 (6-7 Sivan, 5784)
Shavuot is the festival that marks the giving of the Torah