Holidays, Fasts, Festivals

The Real Short Version of the Passover Story

Passover or Pesach is the second most important holy day of the Jewish year and The Seder is the most commonly celebrated Jewish ritual, performed by Jews all over the world.   Passover commemorates the Hebrews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt and the “passing over” of the forces of destruction, or the sparing of the firstborn of the Israelites, when…

The Story of Hamantaschen

Every 14th day of Adar on the Hebrew calendar Jewish people celebrate Purim. It’s a joyous holiday that marks the time the Persian Jewish population was saved from genocide. Okay, while Purim does have rather dark underpinnings, it really is supposed to be a fun celebration of survival full of wine, noisemakers and hamantaschen – the triangle cookie-like pastry with…

A Telling of the Purim Story

The Basic Purim StoryA Brief Retelling of the Book of Esther (Megillah)   A Fateful Party It all began in Ancient Persia in the fourth century BCE. The Holy Temple that had stood in Jerusalem was destroyed more than 50 years earlier, and the Jews were subjects of the mighty Persian empire that extended over 127 lands. Three years after…

The Most Important Jewish Holidays

Rosh HashanahThe Jewish New Year, the beginning of ten days of penitence or teshuvah culminating on Yom Kippur. Traditionally celebrated with sweet or round foods such as apples and honey, and the blowing of the shofar, a hollowed-out ram’s horn, during religious services. A customary greeting is shanah tovah or “happy new year!” Yom KippurThe Day of Atonement; a very solemn day devoted to fasting,…