Jewish Holidays

Celebrate and observe the Jewish holidays: Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Hanukkah, Tu Beshevat and more.

Healing seders, nurturing unity

This year, as most Israelis enjoy mask-less, unsocially distanced but doubly vaccinated Seders, we still need this message. Our election do-over picked at social and political scabs.

23/03/2021

These restaurants around the US offer Passover meal delivery

With menus ranging from brisket and matzah ball soup to chraime and chicken tagine, you’ll be spoilt for choice. We’ve rounded up the best of them below.

By RACHEL RINGLER/JTA
20/03/2021

In new Passover children’s books, a bespectacled lion reads the Haggadah

Other titles feature lighthearted humorous stories and a lively interactive family Hagaddah with tips for this COVID-19 era, when many Seder guests may be joining remotely.

By PENNY SCHWARTZ/ JTA
09/03/2021
Queen Esther's real name was Hadassah but when she became Queen, she was called Esther: the Persian

Purim: Commemorate Me for Future Generations

The Sages understood that Esther’s demand that Purim be established as a national holiday and that the Megillah be included in the writings of the Bible was in fact valid.

By RABBI YECHIEL WASSERMAN
26/02/2021

Amsterdam museum's 'Haman as Hitler' Purim dolls have a storied tradition

The puppets would often get burned, “but in Europe this led to hostility from non-Jews who thought the Jews were burning effigies of Christians, so it stopped [there],” historian Yuval Malachi said.

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ/JTA
26/02/2021

Jerusalem Yeshiva live-streams Megillah reading to US troops in Kuwait

"What an amazing opportunity it is to join together in our yeshiva at the kotel, in the Old City of Jerusalem, with Jews so far away that we have never met," Rabbi Rosman said.

'Ahasuerus and Haman at the Feast of Esther' by Rembrandt, 1660, at Moscow's Pushkin Museum

Queen Esther helped me become the hero of my own Persian Jewish story

When met with a crisis — when the king’s evil adviser, Haman, decreed that all the Jews were to be killed — Esther looked deep within herself and realized she had strength.

By AYLIN SEDIGHI-GABBAIZADEH/JTA
25/02/2021
Crowding into a sealed room during the Gulf War, 1991.

Purim miracles: From Saddam to corona and beyond

If there is a lesson in all this, it is that Purim, its miracles and deliverance are not confined to the distant past.

Hanging a Haman doll in Jerusalem's Mea She'arim neighborhood

Purim’s Haman: Sometimes our enemies get it right

In recognition of this stunning reversal of fortune, the rabbis canonized Esther’s story and decreed a number of mitzvot that are meant to strengthen our sense of camaraderie.

"I'm confused. Who is on the line?"

Purim Shpiel: Sour grapesvine

Purim shpiel: Some holiday humor to brighten up your weekend

By GREYER FATE CASHEW
24/02/2021

This week in Jerusalem – A r̶o̶u̶n̶d̶ ̶u̶p shpiel of city affairs

Purim shpiel: What on earth has been going on in Israel's capital this week?

24/02/2021
PASSING UP this signature Purim meal a year into the pandemic is painful.

How I fell in love with Purim in Israel

How do you boost holiday cheer in such troubling times?

Making merry at a school Purim party in years past

Purim is a time of giving: Some memories to get by

Even in this depressing time we are living through, be happy – it’s Purim!

Street performers will add a splash or two of color to the city streets

Purim parties kick off throughout Jerusalem in city-wide celebration

The advent of Purim offers a perfect opportunity to shake off some of those pandemic blues and get in some high jinks.

24/02/2021
THE WRITER at Key Gate, the major entrance to Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Purim: Looking back and looking forward

A look at Purim in all its dimensions

By DAVID GEFFEN
18/02/2021
Queen Esther's real name was Hadassah but when she became Queen, she was called Esther: the Persian

Purim: Queen Esther has inspired artists through the ages

Queen Esther is depicted as the epitome of feminine modesty, courage and self-sacrifice.

Birya forest

Post chooses new logo for Tu BiShvat

Congratulations to Ian Parkinson of the United Kingdom.

Tu BiShvat: Vote for JPost's.com new 'tree logo'

Help Jewish National Fund-USA and The Jerusalem Post say happy birthday to the trees.

Parashat Bo: Time after time

CORONA HAS been a dramatic game changer in the way we experience time.

By MOSHE TARAGIN
21/01/2021

Tu Bishvat: Happy new year! (That is, if you’re a tree!)

Tree-planting ceremonies are traditional on Tu Bishvat in Israel, where the soil is holy

Modi’in and the hanukkiah: The Jewish right to light

Those of us fortunate enough to live in Israel can personally visit the archaeological finds of the Maccabee period and walk through the modern city from which stemmed the revolution.

By DAVID GEFFEN
22/12/2020

On zealousness, peace and Hanukkah

Zealotry and fundamentalism are among the greatest dangers to modern society.

By RONEN NEUWIRTH
22/12/2020
The sphinx at the Great Pyramidsof Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo.

Hanukkah: Our ancestors’ legacy

When we examine Joseph’s personality in light of Scriptures and Midrash, we can discern different traits.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
13/12/2020

Wherefore the Hanukkah scroll?

Most Jews know only the legend about the miracle of the cruse of oil and very little about the actual military victories of the Maccabees.

The exodus from Israel

This year on Rosh Hashanah, it was pure prayer with no background noise, and even the Shofar blowing was perfect.

By SHOSHANA TITA
08/11/2020

Yom Kippur under corona

The coronavirus pandemic was certainly going to make a very different Yom Kippur for me and probably every other Jew on the globe.

By BASIL PORTER
08/11/2020

On Sukkot, a sense of belonging and true resilience

In this 2020 fall season, let us try to develop a true inner joy that is based not on our external assets but rather on our vulnerability, faith and resilience.

By RONEN NEUWIRTH
18/10/2020

Simhat Torah and the lockdown’s legacy

As we bid farewell to one of history’s most unusual, unorthodox Sukkot, the very soul of Simhat Torah has been winnowed down to a shell of its former self.

From the backwoods to Israel’s Torah

With the joy that is the theme of this holiday, Bracha's children have found their way home.

Simhat Torah: The joy of mission impossible

Once we start to read the Torah all over again, we need to be reminded of its absolute holiness, rendering it nearly inaccessible and unapproachable.

Rejoicing with the Torah

This celebration encompasses all layers of society, young and old, rich and poor, learned and less learned.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
08/10/2020

Simhat Torah in the corona age

The holiday's celebratory dancing is a custom which is not required to fulfill any of the core obligations.

By RABBI SHLOMO BRODY
08/10/2020

Expressing happiness on Simhat Torah in the US

Being an American by birth, it has been important to me to search resources to find out how my forebearers there observed the holiday in the traditional manner.

By DAVID GEFFEN
08/10/2020

Simhat Torah: The joy of the Torah

A special feature of the service is calling all children under 13 years to the Reading of the Law.

Birkat Kohanim at the Western Wall in the shadow of coronavirus

Normally thousands of people attend, praying and singing to God.

Sukkot of innocence and experience

The original sukkah-huts in the desert provided the first appreciation of human vulnerability.

By MOSHE TARAGIN
01/10/2020

Sukkot: a time of joy and unity

Sukkot externalizes the internal joy of the purified person, the atoned, the person celebrating the beginning of the new year with a clean heart and good will.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
01/10/2020

Thoughts on Sukkot

One needs to enter the sukkah and be fully encompassed by it to fulfill his or her obligation to dwell in the sukkah.

By AHARON WEXLER
01/10/2020
 IDF medical crew evacuating an injured soldier from the battle field during Yom Kippur War

Marching and crying on Yom Kippur

The haftarah for Yom Kippur begins with these action-filled words of Isaiah. We must act; we must cut the road through; it is up to us clear the way for my people, God’s people.

By DAVID GEFFEN
30/09/2020

Taking responsibility on Yom Kippur

The coronavirus may compel people to look at the world and their place in it this year in a very different way.

27/09/2020

Passing on kindness

In rabbinic literature, the biblical ideal of hessed encompasses mitzvot such as visiting the sick, burying the dead, comforting the mourner, and helping a bride and groom rejoice.

The echoes of Yom Kippur

As the Ne’ila service closes out Yom Kippur, we become a better and more refined version of who we are.

A lone soldier on a mission in Syrian territory during the Yom Kippur War

The Yom Kippur War was characterized by ferocious firepower that cost our country 2,656 soldiers, at a time when our population was less than three million.

By JONATHAN DAVIS
27/09/2020

Are Israelis going hungry?

Two million Israelis have reported loss of income due to the crisis, and about 510,000 citizens have not yet returned to the labor market since the beginning of the corona crisis.

A Yom Kippur in Copenhagen

The Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen presents 400 years of Jewish life in Denmark.

By HOWARD BLAS
27/09/2020

IsraAid – fixing the world, one disaster at a time

IsraAid is different from other aid organizations that focus primarily on relief in the immediate aftermath of a humanitarian disaster.

By LINDA GRADSTEIN
27/09/2020

Israelis and Palestinians speak their minds through the Ask Project

Corey Gil-Shuster is trying to present a fresh, unadulterated view of the conflict through his YouTube channel.

By AARON ENGELBERG
27/09/2020

Victor or victim? Time to celebrate creativity

Creativity has emerged as as the most sought-after human asset.

27/09/2020

The confession of an ardent Zionist

Am “Al het” of the shortcomings of a people returned to its land.

An around-the-world adventure

How a young Israeli family went off the grid and spent nearly a year crossing 4 continents and visiting 11 countries

A call to revolt, 90 years on

The presence of a prayer partition separating men and women at the Western Wall sometimes caused some contretemps and Muslim protestations.

Sukkot goes glitzy

Experts share their fave family projects for fun DIY decorating

By SHARON FEIEREISEN
27/09/2020

One morning in Maine

What if these people who believe in the Book of Life and prayers and the evil eye and salt over your shoulder are right and I’m wrong?

Corona and Kippur

Saving the world first begins by saving oneself.

‘Living with’

No matter how much we move toward peace, sadly, we’ll have to live with terror.

Corona, coronation and Yom Kippur

If the coronavirus crisis has taught us anything, it is that the assumptions we make, whether consciously or not, shape much of how we experience the world.

Hourly charity

Some twenty years before the third cholera pandemic hit Russia, the inhabitants of Orsha (today in Belarus) turned to the Tzemach Tzedek with a plea for spiritual assistance.

By LEVI COOPER
27/09/2020

The giving tree

On Rosh Hashanah you eat apples and honey, you hear the shofar, you spend long hours in shul. Giving gifts?

27/09/2020

How did Jews get by under Byzantine rule?

A look at surprising Jewish pastimes in past times

Brno boasted a large and imprewssive synagogue, the "large temple" later destroyed by Nazis

Rosh Hashanah of 1939: A holiday in the middle of the Holocaust

How did Jews celebrate the Jewish New Year in the midst of the most horrendous period in Jewish history?

By CHARLES TICHO
17/09/2020

I’m going to miss singing in synagogue, what does that say about prayer?

Since I’m Orthodox, I can’t use technology during the holiday, so I’m left with toughing it out alone at home or braving what will certainly be a pared-down in-person service.

By YOSEF LINDELL/JTA
17/09/2020

Days of Awe - A time for reflection and a call to action

Will any of the prayers and poems that we recite on these holidays help us deal with these issues?

By RON KRONISH
15/09/2020

How to blow the Shofar in the coronavirus age

Priority should be given to hearing the shofar blowing over attending the rest of communal prayer.

By SHLOMO BRODY
03/09/2020

The blessing of Elul

Soon, each of us will begin our heshbon nefesh, our soul-searching.

By DAVID GEFFEN
02/09/2020
Jerusalem Post virtual Shabbat experience

Jerusalem Post virtual, global Kabbalat Shabbat - Watch Now!

Get into the Shabbat spirit with prayer, song, mysticism, meditation and words of Torah from around the world.

Reflections on Yom Yerushalayim

Why can’t we create a Yom Yerushalayim ritual that contrasts the suffering and the redemption, the dream and the fulfillment?

By RABBI RAYMOND APPLE
18/06/2020

Shavuot in American history

By being confirmed on Shavuot, a teenager in the 1940s was receiving and accepting the Torah as one of the chosen people.

By DAVID GEFFEN
27/05/2020
THE MISHNA describes people presenting their first fruits with the fanfare of a majestic parade thro

Israel and the Diaspora share a new song for Shavuot

This active opportunity to learn Torah and ask questions is the essence of what receiving the Torah is about.

By ILANA FODIMAN-SILVERMAN
27/05/2020
The Israeli flag is displayed on the Tel Aviv municipality building on Rabin Square, as Israel celeb

Israel still stands strongly on 72nd Independence Day

It has not been easy, it has not been without pain and incredible sacrifice, but it has worked.

29/04/2020

Meet Naomi Stuchiner winner of the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement

Stuchiner is a beacon of light in a world darkened by the coronavirus outbreak.

Our Common Destiny: The ties that bind Israel and the Diaspora

“Many people are deeply concerned that the challenges with which our people are wrestling today are leading to greater friction and division than ever before.”

Remembering the stories of Israel's military heroes on Independence Day

In the 222 pages of the paperback, Peter Bailey tells the fascinating and heroic stories of all 40 recipients of the Medal of Valor

27/04/2020

After 72 years, Israel's Declaration of Independence still stands

It is not easy for any society to maintain consistent adherence to the demands of its constitution.

By JANE BIRAN
27/04/2020
WILL THE bonds with the Diaspora break?

The 5 million members of the Palestinian Jewish Diaspora

Jews from Palestine – including my own father Harry – formed a Palestinian Jewish Diaspora in other parts of the world.

‘TODAY THE State of Israel’s identification with Jewish nationhood is under attack from all sides.’

What does ‘a Jewish state’ mean?

Should there be a separation between shul and state?

27/04/2020

Remembering why we are in Israel on the 72nd Independence Day

We found here a beautiful country, unique in the variety of its scenery and climate.

Remembering the surprising history of Israeliana

The uniqueness of Israeliana seems to be that it is the collection of material items produced by a society that may not have been wealthy, but had a powerful sense of ideology.

A murder-mystery story from the British Mandate era

The curious case of Major Farran’s Hat

27/04/2020

The changing face and focus of Zionism 72 years after Israeli independence

As old connections to Judaism fade, Zionism is turning into a primary manner Diaspora Jews relate to their Judaism.

27/04/2020

Meet Prof. Noam Vered, the 1st woman to win the Israel Prize for Talmud

As a child I felt that Talmud is a conversation that links people and creates joy and also has something different from everyday life, something higher and beautiful.

By LINDA GRADSTEIN
27/04/2020

Rivlin's telediplomacy during the coronavirus pandemic

Rivlin says the coronavirus crisis ‘has made us feel more than ever that we are one family with a shared history, shared values and a shared destiny’

IDF intelligence’s constant eye on coronavirus and Iran

While the enemy may be different, “this is very similar to our usual work.”

Clock

Iyar: Making days count‏

The month of Iyar is filled with rich ideas focusing on time, making time count and improving who we are.

By DEVORAH KUR
23/04/2020

‘Serenade for Nadia’: Can people live without knowing their past?

Why is it so important to face and embrace the past when it is filled with atrocities and pain? This is one of the main questions of the book.

By HILLA PALMON
15/04/2020

Making sense of Passover (from a non-Jewish point of view)

The Israeli philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz described Jewish practices in ways that made sense to me.

By TERRANCE MINTNER
14/04/2020
A Giant Dream (Howard Fox)

A tourist in Utopia – The bizarre realist art of Howard Fox

A painter of cities since the age of nine, Howard Fox combines Jewish art with a deep fascination with the realistic art tradition.

Sea at sunset

Counting my COVID-19 blessings

The key to survival right now (besides social-distancing and handwashing) is to ensure that the positive thoughts overwhelm the negative.

By KEN GRUBER
13/04/2020

The Art of Saying Todah

We frequently lack a sense of gratitude because we lack a proper sense of perspective.

Olim standing together in the fight against coronavirus

What are aliyah organizations doing to help and how are olim coping?

Part the Red Sea and pass the matzah: Passover on screen

A guide to some depictions of Passover on the big and small screen

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