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Jewish Holiday Calendar—2014 (5774)

The Jewish calendar begins with Rosh Hashanah (New Year), which usually occurs in September or October. Thus, the Jewish Year straddles two years of the civil calendar.

The Jewish day begins and ends at sundown. Thus, all holidays begin at sundown of the day preceding the date shown and end at sundown of the (last) day shown.

 

Tu B’Shvat
Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Jewish New Year for trees – For religious accounting purposes all trees have their anniversaries on this festival, regardless of when they were planted.

 

Purim

Begins sunset of Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ends nightfall of Sunday, March 16, 2014
Purim commemorates the time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination by the courage of a young Jewish woman, their queen, Esther.

 

Blood Red Moon

Occurs nightfall Tuesday, April 15, 2014

This date is the first of a tetrad of blood red moons appearing on Jewish holy days.  This particular occurrence will be on the Feast of Unleavened Bread during the week of Pesach (Passover).  Lunar eclipses bode ill for Israel.  Solar eclipses bode ill for the nations.  On April 29, a total solar eclipse will occur.

 

Pesach (Passover)
Begins sunset of Monday, April14, 2014

Ends nightfall of Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Passover celebrates the miraculous deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.  The blood of the sacrificial lamb was applied over the door posts of the Jewish homes, and the death angel “passed over” them, sparing them from God’s judgment against their captors.

When Pharaoh freed the Israelites, the Bible records that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread dough to rise. In commemoration, for the duration of Passover, no leavened bread is eaten, for which reason it is called “The Festival of the Unleavened Bread.”

According to Leviticus 23: 9-14, the day following Shabbat is First Fruits, the day in which the first sheaf of harvest is to be brought to the cohen, and he is to wave the sheaf before the Lord.

 

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)
April 28, 2014
Holocaust Memorial Day is the solemn occasion marking the murder of 6 million Jews during WWII at the hands of the Nazis and the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

 

Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day)

Begins sunset of Sunday, May 4, 2014

Ends nightfall of Monday, May 5, 2014
Yom HaZikaron is the Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day.

 

Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day)

Begins sunset of Monday, May 5, 2014

Ends nightfall of Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Yom HaAtzmaut is celebrated as the day in which the State of Israel (Eretz Israel) was established.  David Ben-Gurion made the declaration on May 14, 1948.

 

 

Lag B’Omer (33rd Day of the Omer)

May 18, 2014
A minor holiday on the 33rd day of the Omer commemorating a break in the plague during the lifetime of Rabbi Akiva; celebrated as the birthday of Jewish mysticism; also carries the theme of the imperative to love and respect one another; often celebrated with bonfires.

 

Shavuot (Pentecost)

Begins sunset of Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ends nightfall of Thursday, June 5, 2014

Shavuot is a two-day festival celebrating the spring harvest.  It is the completion of 50 days of counting the omer, that marks the time when the first harvest was taken to the Temple; also known as the Festival of Weeks.  It marks the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai.  The Ten Commandments are read in synagogues, just as they were in the desert over 3300 years ago.  Also, among Messianic Jews and Christians, Shavuot is celebrated as the time of the giving of the Holy Spirit.

 

 


Tish’a B’Av (the Ninth of Av)

Begins sunset Monday, August 4, 2014

Ends nightfall Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tish’a B’Av is a solemn fast day that commemorates a series of tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people on this date, including the destruction of both the first and second Temples and the years in exile.

 

Rosh HaShanah  (Feast of Trumpets)

Begins sunset, Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ends nightfall Friday, September 26, 2014

Rosh Hashanah literally means “head” of the year”—or the Jewish New Year, although the real name for this Feast of the Lord is called Yom Teruah (“day of blowing”), or the Feast of Trumpets. In actuality, the two days are counted as one long day, and during this time, the trumpet is sounded 100 times.

It is the first of the High Holy Days, or 10 Days of Awe.  It is believed to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, and a day of judgment, and coronation of God as king.

It is customary to eat apples dipped in honey for a “sweet new year.”

 

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)

Begins sunset Friday, October 3, 2014

Ends nightfall Saturday, October 4, 2014

Yom Kippur is the most solemn day of the Jewish year, and is commemorated with a 26 hr. absolute fast.

The purpose of Yom Kippur is to bring about reconciliation between people and between individuals and God.

According to Jewish tradition, it is also the day when God decides the fate of each human being. Although Yom Kippur is an intense holiday, it is nevertheless viewed as a happy day.  Why?  Because it is believed that if one has observed the holiday properly, by the end of Yom Kippur they will have made peace with others and with God.

 

Blood Red Moon

Occurs nightfall Wednesday, October 8, 2014

This date is the second of a tetrad of blood red moons appearing on Jewish holy days in 2014-15.  This particular occurrence will be on Erev Sukkot (Tabernacles Eve).  Lunar eclipses bode ill for Israel.  Solar eclipses bode ill for the nations.  On October 23, a partial solar eclipse will occur.

 

Sukkot (Festival of Booths, Feast of Tabernacles)

Begins sunset Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ends nightfall Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sukkot or Succoth is an 8-day biblical pilgrimage festival, also known as the Feast of Booths, the Feast of Tabernacles, or Tabernacles. It commemorates the years the Jews spent in the desert on their way to the Promised Land, and celebrates the way in which God took special care of them under impossible conditions. Sukkot is the plural for sukkah, meaning booth.  It is customary for individual families to construct sukkahs, booths or shelters with a roof of branches and leaves that are used especially for meals during Sukkot.

 

Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah

Begins sunset Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ends nightfall Friday, September 17, 2014

Shemini Atzeret (the assembly of the eighth) is a Jewish holiday dedicated to the love of God, while Simchat Torah (Rejoicing in the Torah) marks the end of Sukkot and celebrates the completion of the yearly cycle of weekly Torah readings.

 

Hanukkah (Festival of Lights)

Begins sunset Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Ends nightfall Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights and marks the restoration of the temple by the Maccabees in 164 BCE. Hanukkah is celebrated at roughly the same time as Christmas, but there is no connection at all between the festivals.

 

 


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