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The Festivals of the Jews — Study and teaching Resources for the Jewish Festivals

GO TO: JEWISH FESTIVALS: ROSH HASHANAH | The DAYS of AWE | YOM KIPPUR | SUKKOT | HANUKKAH | PASSOVER | The COUNTING of the OMER | SHAVUOT | CHRISTIAN PENTECOST
JEWISH FESTIVALS downloads ~ A5 PARISH NEWSLETTER INSERTS | A4 GROUP STUDY SHEETS
The links above will navigate to resources on the Jewish Festivals including downloadable materials
for parish newsletters, study groups, schools and educational purposes.


QUICK LINKS to STUDY DOWNLOADS
Download Study sheets: see below

The Festivals of the Jews 

Central to the religious practice of the Judaism is the observance of festivals that occur at fixed times throughout the year. It is by means of these festivals, these “fixed times”, that the people are made holy. We are sanctified in the observance of fixed moments in Time.

You shall be holy as I, your God am Holy.
You shall proclaim my festivals as sacred occasions.
(Lev 19:1-2)

How are we to be Holy as God is Holy?

Keep track of the Jewish festivals and readings with the Jewish and Christian Liturgical CalendarKeep track of the Jewish festivals
and readings with the Jewish and
Christian Liturgical Calendar

The Book of Leviticus suggests the way…

  • We are made holy in Time
  • We are made holy in Place
  • We are made holy in our relationships with one another
  • We are made holy through our relationship with the Divine

Made Holy in Time...

The Story of the creation sets up the rhythm of Time.
Scripture tells us:

‘And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years”’ (Gen 1:14)

There is, here in this text at this point, an indication that in the creation God created something more than the physical world. When the Jewish mind [the rabbinic mind] looks at the text it sees more that that which first ‘meets the eye’.

When one reads this verse of scripture (Gen 1:14) one begins at what is called the peshat reading. The word peshat means the simple meaning—the meaning that is immediately and literally apparent. This verse at a first reading speaks of the creation of day and night; the separation of the two by the heavenly bodies (the lights), and the subsequent effects on the world created by the interaction of these heavenly bodies that results in seasons, tides, weather patterns, etc. Our knowledge and experience of these facts enables us to make ‘sense’ of the text.

However, a deeper revelation is revealed in a closer examination. The nuances of the Hebrew words of the creation text create for us a spirituality of time that is developed in the Jewish festival traditions. The “lights” in the sky, created well after and distinct from the creation of Day and Night (Gen. 1:4-5), become a "sign". They are markers in time, pointers to something more ...for festivals (the Hebrew word mo’adim "mo'adim" /seasons, fixed times, translated "set times", is also the word for festivals.) Thus these lights are a witness to something more—“Witness”, in Hebrew ed/"ed" /witness, is hidden within "mo'adim" /seasons, fixed times /set times, moa'adim.

Here, right from the beginning of the biblical text, we find the sanctity of Time integral to the creation story and pointing to fixed “windows” in the days and the years as “fixed times”. In the realm of everyday are built-in sacred times—festivals to witness to the sacred for the days and the years.

Read More about The Jewish Festivals...

LINKS...
The Month of Elul ~ A Month of Mercy and Forgiveness
Rosh HaShanah (English); Rosh HaShanah (Portuguese)
The Days of Awe
Yom Kippur
The Festival of Sukkot
Hanukkah, The Festival of Lights
Passover
The Counting of the Omer
Shavuot
Pentecost - Christian roots and Jewish Shavuot

Downloadable Teaching and Parish Resources ~Adobe Acrobat required Get Acrobat Reader [TOP]

Study Group Sheets
A4 Study Sheets
Parish Newsletter inserts
Parish News Sheets
Rosh Hashanah (English) A4 for Study Groups Rosh Hashanah A5
Rosh Hashanah (Portuguese) A4 for Study Groups Rosh Hashanah (Portuguese) A5
The Days of Awe A4 for Study Groups  
Yom Kippur A4 for Study Groups Yom Kippur A5
The Festival of Sukkot A4 for Study Groups Sukkot|Tabernacles A5
Hanukkah A4 for Study Groups also
Hanukkah Blessings and the Hanukkah Menorah
 
Pesach | Passover A4 for Study Groups Passover A5
Shavuot |The Festival of Weeks A4 for Study Groups  
Pentecost | Christianity and Shavuot A4 for Study Groups  

Etz Hayim—“Tree of Life” welcomes the use of these study materials for education purposes in parishes, study groups, universities and schools. All materials are copyright to Etz Hayim—“Tree of Life”. Reuse permissions terms require that materials are unedited, presented in original formats, and include acknowledgement and copyright information.

Resources for Jewish Festivals

Entering the High Holy Days
~Reuven Hammer
The Jewish Holidays:
A Guide and Commentary

~Michael Strassfeld
The Jewish Holidays: A Guide and Commentary ~Michael Strassfeld
Jewish Traditions: A JPS Guide
~Ronald L. Eisenberg
The Splendor of the High Holydays
Audio CD

 

 

Etz Hayim—“Tree of Life” © 2015
Resources for Christian-Jewish relations and dialogue, and a joint biblical, spiritual
and liturgical self-consciousness and cooperation.

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