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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


Jewish and Christian
Liturgical Readings

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.


02 May / Iyar 13 / Parashat Aharei Mot-Kedoshim
03 May / Iyar 14 / Pesach Sheini
07 May / Iyar 18 / Lag Ba'Omer
09 May / Iyar 20 / Parashat Emor
16 May / Iyar 27 / Parashat Behar-Behukotai
  [Read a commentary on this week’s parashah (Torah potion)
  from Bat Kol Institute or Light of Torah.]

03 May / 5th Sunday of Easter
10 May / 6th Sunday of Easter
14 May / The Ascension
[The Ascensionmay also be used on
The Seventh Sunday of Easter.]

17 May / 7th Sunday of Easter
17 May / Ascension Sunday
   [Read a commentary on the gospel from Bat Kol Institute.]

02 May / 5th Sunday of Easter
10 May / 6th Sunday of Easter
14 May / The Ascension
[The Ascensionmay also be used on
The Seventh Sunday of Easter.]

17 May / 7th Sunday of Easter

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

03 May 2015


Pesach Sheni, meaning 2nd Passover, is a minor observance instituted for those who, because of reasons associated with the laws of ritual purity, were unable to celebrate Passover on 14th Nisan. Celebrated on the 14th day of Iyyar, Pesach Sheni is mentioned in the Torah [Num. 9:1-14] and makes allowance for those who being ritually impure could not participate in the Passover sacrifice of the lamb, Korban Pesach, and so were unable to fulfill the mitzvah [commandment] of Passover.

Today no one is able to fulfill the commandment of Korban Pesach because there is no longer a Temple or sacrificial cult. Therefore, Pesach Sheni is remembered as a memorial, some keeping the custom of eating matzah [unleavened bread].

An Hasidic philosophic approach to Pesach Sheni is found in the understaing of "second chances." God wants everyone to have the opportunity to profess their belief in the great significance of the Passover offering, which the Sefer Chinuch says is a sign of acceptance that our destiny is in the hands of God.

24 MAY 2015

PENTECOST [in Christianity]

Christianity, arising as it does from its Jewish spiritual foundations, draws upon its roots in Judaism in order to articulate it's understandings.

More about Pentecost...Download this Pentecost and Christianity Study Page

It is in the early Pentecost experience of the Church that a Christian understanding of Jesus’ divinity and presence with the Church can begin to emerge communicated in and through the Holy Spirit who is experienced at Pentecost as “tongues of fire” (Acts 2:3) and at other times as “a burning within” (Lk. 24:27, 32).

A Christian understanding of Pentecost is rooted in the disciples’ understanding of tradition and scripture and the teaching of Jesus.


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




for 2014-2015 | 5775-5776



Weekly Readings
for Christians and Jews
this 16 month interfaith calendar covers
Jewish Year 5775 & Christian Cycle:
Advent 2014–Advent 2015

The Jewish and Christian Liturgical Calendar 2014-2015/5775-5776






| More



Quick Links



According to the Torah the days between Passover and Shavuot are to be counted (Lev. 23:15-16; Deut. 16:15-16). These 49 days of counting, which relate to the offering of an omer of barley, (called in Hebrew Sefirat Ha'Omer) are likened to a connecting thread between the Passover from Mitzrayim [Egypt] and the Giving of the Torah at Sinai.



Lag Ba'Omer (falling on 18th Iyyar) is the 33rd day of counting and, according to a tradition recorded in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (120:1-10), signals a small break in the counting to celebrate the ending of the "great plague," a perceived "divine sent" plague, during the Counting of the Omer [Sefirat Ha'Omer] in Rabbi Akiva’s time (2nd Century). The Talmud relates (Yevamoth 62b) that 2400 of Rabbi Akiva's disciples died at the same time because they did not treat each other with respect and the "world" remained desolate of learning until R. Akiva taught new masters. These new masters [R. Meir, R. Judah, R. Jose, R. Simeon, and R. Eleazar b. Shammua] revived the Torah. Sefirat Ha'Omer

The word "lag" is a shorthand way for writing 33, a number which is written in Hebrew as lamed gimel [ לייג ]. Lag Ba'Omer is thus the 33rd day of the "counting" of the omer. An omer is a measure of barley. The counting of the days in the omer [ba omer = meaning, in the omer—Shephardic Jews call the days la omer meaning, of the omer] is a practice which dates from biblical times (Lev. 23:15-16) when, from the second day of Passover through to Shavuot [seven weeks,] a sheaf of barley the size of an omer was brought to the Temple in Jerusalem. After Shavuot the offering changed from barley to wheat. It is because Shavuot marks the end of the 49 days of counting of the omer that Shavuot is also referred to as the Feast or Festival of Weeks. Shavuot, being the 50th day after Passover was named Pentecost by Hellenic Jews.
Read more: Sefirat Ha'Omer, The Counting of the Omer.

Approaching Dates


The Ascension of the Lord, celebrated forty days after Easter Sunday (Resurrection Day), commemorates the ascension of Jesus bodily into heaven according to biblical accounts (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:50 and Acts 1:2; 6-11), and affirmed in the Apostles and Nicene Creeds.

The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord is a solemnity in the Catholic Church and in many places its celebration is moved from the Sixth Thursday of Easter to The 7th Sunday of Easter.

Theologically the Ascension marks the definitive time of Jesus’ humanity entering into the “hidden” realm of God from whence Jesus will be revealed in glory in the time to come (Acts 1:11), along with those who have been “raised with Christ” and whose lives are “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:1-4).

The Church understands that Jesus as the Christ and “head of the Church” precedes the faithful into God’s Kingdom towards which they, as members of Christ’s Body, hope and aspire. Jesus becomes the mediator and intercessor assuring the faithful of the constant outpouring of the Holy Spirit (CCC. 665-667).

The weekdays that fall in the octave between the Ascension and Pentecost are a preparation time for the coming of the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit.



The days of Counting the Omer [Sefirat Ha'Omer] conclude with the celebration of the Jewish festival of Shavuot.

Shavuot, falling on 6th Sivan is one of the three Jewish PILGRIMAGE feasts. Shavuot, also called Hag Hashavuot [שבועות חג] meaning “the Festival of Weeks,” has agricultural roots in the “first fruits” of the late harvest, and, in post Temple spirituality, spiritual links to the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. Shavuot is often called Hag Matan Torateinu (The Festival of the Giving of Our Torah).

While Shavuot has harvest links it is, at the same time, a festival which has always incorporated an “encounter” spirituality. As with all three Pilgrim festivals this encounter was one in which all people who were able were required to participate. shavuot download Practically, this encounter between the person [nefesh|soul] and God took place at the altar of the Temple in Jerusalem.

The importance of the spiritual encounter with the LORD is only fully realized in the later transformation of Shavuot by the rabbis (after the loss of the Temple) into a festival which links the Exodus from Mitzrayim (The Passover) with the Gift of the Torah at Sinai.

Read more about SHAVUOT...


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     Page Updated: 27 April, 2015      
    Last Site Update: 17 March, 2015 | 26 Adar, 5775
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