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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 9 / Parashat Tetzaveh
23 February /Adar 9 / Shabbat Zachor
28 February / Adar 13 / Ta'anit Esther
01 March / Adar 14 / Purim
02 March / Adar 15 / Shushan Purim
03 March / Adar 16 / Parashat Ki Tisa
10 March / Adar 23 / Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei
17 March / Nisan 1 / Parashat Vayikra
24 March / Nisan 8 / Parashat Tzav
30 March / Nisan 14 / Ta'anit Bechorot
31 March / Nisan 15 / Pesach I Shabbat
  [Read a commentary on this week’s parashah (Torah potion)
  from Bat Kol Institute or Light of Torah.]

25 February / 2nd Sunday of Lent
04 March / 3rd Sunday of Lent
11 March / 4th Sunday of Lent
18 March / 5th Sunday of Lent -Passion Sunday
19 March / St Joseph, Husband of BVM
25 March / Palm Sunday
29 March / Holy Thursday
30 March / Good Friday
31 March / Holy Saturday
01 April / Easter Sunday
08 April / 2nd Sunday after Easter
09 April / Annunciation of the Lord
    [Read a commentary on the gospel from Bat Kol Institute.]

25 February / 2nd Sunday of Lent
04 March / 3rd Sunday of Lent
11 March / 4th Sunday of Lent
18 March / 5th Sunday of Lent

25 March / 6th Sunay of Lent - Passion or Palm Sunday
29 March / Maundy Thursday
30 March / Good Friday
31 March / Holy Saturday
01 April / Easter
08 April / 2nd Sunday of Easter
09 April / Annunciation of the Lord

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


[See Etz Hayim's glossaries for more information on
Jewish or Christian Feasts, Festivals and Events.]

Learn more about the Jewish Festivals...
  Recommended reading (Available, –click image)

The Jewish Holidays:
A Guide and Commentary

~Michael Strassfeld
The Jewish Holidays: A Guide and Commentary ~Michael Strassfeld

JPS Guide
Jewish Traditions

~Ronald. L. Eisenberg
JPS Guide: Jewish Traditions ~Ronald. L. EisenbergJPS Guide: Jewish Traditions ~Ronald. L. Eisenberg

Search The Book Depository
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Scripture through Torah
Resources for Christians from

Link to Light of Torah website
Ancients texts, through fresh eyes,
alive for today.

Light of Torah provides weekly insights on the Torah in an easy to use format for parish study groups and individuals.

Light of Torah
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28 FEBRUARY 2018 | ADAR 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.

Note: This year, because Ta'anit Esther (Adar 13) falls on a Sabbath, Ta'anit Esther is observed on the preceding Thursday.



1 MARCH 2018 | ADAR 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.




30 March–7 APRIL | 14 NISAN–22 NISAN

The Jewish festival of Passover [Pesach] begins at sundown on the evening of 30th March. Read more about Pesach HERE.

[Download PASSOVER STUDY INFORMATION sheets and PARISH NEWSLETTER inserts by clicking on the images below.]

Download Passover Study Sheet Parish Newsletter insert for Passover



FOR 2017–2018 5778–5779


Weekly Readings
for Christians and Jews
this 16 month interfaith calendar covers
Jewish Year 5778 & Christian Cycle:
Advent 2017–Advent 2018

The Jewish and Christian Liturgical Calendar 2017-2018/5778-5779

     Page Updated: 23 February, 2018      
    Last Site Update: 23 February, 2018 | 8 Adar, 5778
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