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Etz Hayim—"Tree of Life" exists to promote Christian-Jewish relations and dialogue, and a joint biblical, spiritual and liturgical self-consciousness and cooperation.

As Christians, we cannot consider Judaism as a foreign religion; nor do we include the Jews among those called to turn from idols and to serve the true God (cf. 1 Thes 1:9). With them, we believe in the one God who acts in history, and with them we accept his revealed word...

—Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium
24 Nov. 2013. Read the Document HERE



The readings list provided by Etz Hayim—"Tree of Life" follows the Torah Portion of the Week (Parashat Hashavuah) read by Jews every Sabbath, and the readings for Masses and Sunday liturgies used throughout the Christian world.


23 February / Adar I 18 / Parashat Ki Tisa
02 March / Adar I 25 / Parashat Vayakhel
02 March / Adar 1 25 / Shabbat Shekalim
09 March / Adar II 2 / Parashat Pekudei
16 March / Adar II 9 / Parashat Vayikra
16 March / Adar II 9 / Shabbat Zachor
21 March / Adar II 14 / Purim
23 March / Adar II 16 / Parashat Tzav
30 March / Adar II 23 / Parashat Shemini
30 March / Adar II 23 / Shabbat Parah
  [Read a commentary on this week’s parashah (Torah potion)
  from Bat Kol Institute.]

24 February / 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time
03 March / 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time
06 March / Ash Wednesday
10 March / 1st Sunday of Lent
17 March / 2nd Sunday of Lent
19 March / St Joseph, Husband of BVM
24 March / 3rd Sunday of Lent
25 March / Annunciation of the Lord to Mary
31 March / 4th Sunday of Lent
    [Read a commentary on the gospel from Bat Kol Institute.]

24 February / 7th Sunday after Epiphany
03 March / 8th Sunday after Epiphany
03 March / Transfiguration Sunday
06 March / Ash Wednesday
10 March / 1st Sunday in Lent
17 March / 2nd Sunday in Lent
24 March / 3rd Sunday in Lent
25 March / Annunciation of the Lord
31 March / 4th Sunday in Lent

[LINK HERE to Liturgical Readings citations
for the dates above]


Scripture through Torah
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FOR 2018–2019 5779–5780


Weekly Readings
for Christians and Jews
this 16 month interfaith calendar covers
Jewish Year 5779 & Christian Cycle:
Advent 2018–Advent 2019

The Jewish and Christian Liturgical Calendar download


20 March 2019 | ADAR II 13

תַּעֲנִית אֶסְתֵּר
תענית = "fast" ;  אסתר = Esther

Ta'anit Esther [trans. Fast of Esther] observed on the 13th day of Adar, the day preceding Purim, commemorates the three day fast observed by Queen Esther and the Jewish people prior to Esther pleading the cause of the Jews before King Ahasuerus [when threatened with death by the evil Haman.] The Fast of Esther is followed by the celebratory festival of Purim.

Ta'anit Esther is a fast which appears to be of late origin being mentioned in halakhic literature only in the 8th Century. Rabbinic notes suggest the fast was at one time held in Nisan soon after the time when Haman cast lots.

Ta'anit Esther is a counterbalance in Rabbinic literature to the celebratory nature of the holiday of Purim.


21 MARCH 2019 | ADAR II 14

Purim celebrates the miracle of the deliverance frompersecution and suffering wrought for the Jewish people in Persia. The story is told in the Book of Esther (Megillat Esther) c. 4th Cent. BCE.

Purim is celebrated on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar. [In leap years (i.e. this year) Purim falls in Adar II.] Traditionally, the date of Purim marks the first day following the victory/deliverance of the Jews in Persia.Dreidel

"They [the Jews in the provinces] rested on the fourteenth day and made it a day offeasting and merry making" (Esther 9:17)

In cities that were surrounded by a wall in the time of Joshua Purim is celebrated on the 15th day of Adar, also called Shushan Purim.

The story of Purim which is recounted in the Hebrew Bible, in the Megillat Esther [Scroll of Esther], dates from the 4th Century BCE. [Megillat Esther is the last of the canonical texts to be determined for inclusion in the Tanakh.] The Talmud attributes the account given in Megillat Esther to a redaction of an original text written by Mordechai (Baba Bathra 15a). The Book of Esther in the Septuagint [Greek Bible] differs from Megillat Esther and is understood as an interpretive adaptation. The Greek Esther (c. 2nd Century BCE) adds additional traditions, e.g., Ahasuerus is identified with Artaxerxes.Purim blessings - an image from 'Images from Megillot' in the HUC-JIR Library Collection

Jerome's Latin text [Vulgate] of the Book of Esther is a translation of the Hebrew text with additions based upon the Greek version.





     Page Updated: 06 December, 2018      
    Last Site Update: 4 November, 2018 | 26 Cheshvan, 5779
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