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25

I have faced this problem several times - sometimes a holiday and sometimes Shabbat (directly, or not having time to get home). How I handle it depends in part on whether the plans can still be changed, but the broad outline is the same. It goes roughly like this: (Name), I'd really like to be able to attend this event. (Something about why it's important....


15

In Judaism, there are three types of "Grand Festivals" We have what are called the "Shalosh Regalim". These are three holidays where the Jewish people used to all come to Jersulem and are also known as the Pilgramige holidays. Pesach - Passover (Exodus 12:3-51, 23:15, Leviticus 23:4-8, Numbers 28:16-25) Shavuot - Pentecost (Ex.23:16, Lev. 23:15-21, Num. ...


15

For the entirety of Jewish History, Judaism has kept to a day that begins at sunset on the previous 'secular/non-Jewish date'. Therefore, all meals eaten after sundown would be considered to already be eaten on that day, not on the previous day. What is very interesting about your question is that the Torah specifically mentions the eating of a Passover ...


14

I have faced this issue many times myself - or advised younger colleagues facing the same. A few thoughts I have found it critical to be very clear, direct and consistent. If you can explain that you are a religious Jews, never work/use electricity/travel on Shabbat and religious holidays, and consistently take off all holidays, then most non-Jews will ...


12

HebCal is a full Hebrew calendar that provides lists of all the Jewish holidays, for any year. In the interest of full disclosure, i have done volunteer programming for them, but am not officially affiliated. Here is a list of all the Jewish holidays for the year 5775 (this year). Note that not every item on that list is a full holiday where work is ...


12

Yeah, especially when a diaspora yom tov is adjacent to Shabbat, it sometimes feels like a long slog. I sometimes feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle because I didn't do this from birth -- it isn't a life-long routine. Here are some things that help me. (Some of these are dependent on your family and community situations, which I don't know.) Board ...


11

You are right as to the reason why we don't have two days of Yom Kippur is because it is dangerous and we don't decree on people decrees that they can't handle. As to the other two, see 9 Days of Chanukah?


11

The Shulchan Arukh rules (OC 48) that one should include the verses related to the Shabbat offerings in the morning because they, unlike the verses for Rosh Chodesh and Yom Tov, are not going to be read later as Maftir. The Rama notes the Ashkenazi custom of adding the verses related to Rosh Chodesh as well in order to publicize that it is Rosh Chodesh. ...


11

I believe that what you are referring to is part of the daily break-down of the Torah, Sefer Tanya and the book of Psalms that Lubavitchers refer to as Chitas (which stands, of course, for "Chumash, Tanya, Tehillim"). According to Hayom Yom for Nisan 21st (see here), the daily reading from Tehillim that day is Psalms 104-105.


10

See the Mishna in Chagigah (Perek 1 - Chapter 1) : פרק א - משנה א הַכֹּל חַיָּבִין בָּרְאִיָּה, חוּץ מֵחֵרֵשׁ, שׁוֹטֶה וְקָטָן, וְטֻמְטוּם, וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוֹס, וְנָשִׁים, וַעֲבָדִים שֶׁאֵינָם מְשֻׁחְרָרִים, הַחִגֵּר, וְהַסּוּמָא, וְהַחוֹלֶה, וְהַזָּקֵן, וּמִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַעֲלוֹת בְּרַגְלָיו. אֵיזֶהוּ קָטָן, כֹּל שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִרְכּוֹב ...


10

The current fixed calendar is arranged (by adding or taking out an extra day in Marcheshvan or Kislev) such that Yom Kippur can't fall on Friday or Sunday (so there won't be two days in a row where no work at all can be done) and such that Hoshana Rabba can't fall on Shabbat. Most months are of fixed length, so this effectively limits all holidays in some ...


10

Holidays don't begin before the date they are on. They are only on the date they are on. That date starts and ends at sundown. Many holiday rituals occur after sundown at the beginning of the holiday. Modern common calendars by popular convention begin and end dates at midnight, so the holiday's date overlaps partially with two of the modern common calendar'...


9

I will start with the disclaimer that when I became religious, Yom Tov was a highlight for me, so I don't know how you will relate to what makes Yom Tov exciting for me. I am generally more of an intellectually-stimulated person, but something I found exciting about many mitzvos, but perhaps more so by Yom Tov, was understanding the meaning of the theme and ...


8

The Talmud in Megillah 16b expounds the verse (Esther 8:16) in the following way: לַיְּהוּדִים, הָיְתָה אוֹרָה וְשִׂמְחָה, וְשָׂשֹׂן, וִיקָר The Jews had light and gladness, and joy and honour Light = Torah Gladness = Holidays Joy = Brit Milah Honor = Tefillin From this the Maharil (as quoted in the Darkei Moshe OC 693 sk 4) says that one should ...


8

Rashi to Shabbos 24a s.v. ואמר מעין המאורע בעבודה says that Ya'aleh Veyavo is to request mercy on Israel and Jerusalem to return the Temple service to its place and to be able to do the sacrifices of the day. (I suppose you could try to push back a bit on if that is Rashi's exact intent, but that is how Encyclopedia Talmudis understands it in the entry of ...


8

The Tur (O.C. 625) indicates that you are correct in your question, as he explains why Sukkos isn't in the spring, since we got the huts after we left Egypt in the spring, and it should be then that we celebrate. But it was moved to make it more obvious that we are doing it for the Mitzvah, and not to appreciate the nice weather. This seems to imply that ...


7

The Rambam rules in Chagigah 2:1 that someone who is tamei is exempt from ri'iyah. A metzora' would seem to be included in this category.


7

Abarbanel explains (in my own loose translation): …and so gave another rule related to Sukos, saying "You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk".… It seems to me… that idolators would do this when they got together: that is, they'd boil kids in milk when they harvested grain, thinking that they would thereby appeal to their ...


7

Yom Kippur -- they realized that most people can't handle a 48-hr fast, so they didn't enact it. Purim and Chanukah -- came much later in history, and aren't "no-work" holidays. Never mind they're entirely of post-Mosaic origins, which means we're more lenient with them in cases of doubt.


7

The Gra (commentary to Canticles 1:4) explains that the Clouds of Glory returned to the Jewish camp on 15 Tishrei after leaving due to the sin of the Golden Calf. (He reasons that Moshe came down with the second set of tablets on 10 Tishrei. He immediately gave the command to build the Mishkan on 11 Tishrei. The people brought gifts for two mornings. On 14 ...


7

Daf Al Hadaf brings this question from Kovetz Bais Hillel He brings a few answers, two of them are below. Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach answers that when Jews went to Jerusalem for Succos they were still wearing summer clothing and were unprepared for rain. However when they went for Pesach they wore winter clothing and were able to travel even in the rain. ...


7

I don't think there's a formal English terminology what people would call "festival" vs. "holiday", but there certainly are distinctions. The Jewish holidays such as Passover, Sukkot [booths], Rosh Hashanah (new year) and the like are spelled out in the Five Books of Moses. They all include "no-work" days. So you will not see an observant Jew at the office ...


7

Between Purim and the next Shemini Atzeret the calendar is completely fixed (no leap years, leap days, etc.). The four possibilities are: Purim (F), Pesach (S-Sh), Shavuot (M), Tisha b'Av (S), Rosh haShana (T-W), Yom Kippur (R), Sukkot (T-T). That's 15 weekdays. (6 of complete Issur Melakha) Purim (S), Pesach (T-M), Shavuot (W), Tisha b'Av (T), Rosh haShana ...


7

myjewishlearning.com has an article titled "How Do I Ask for the High Holidays Off?" which addresses how to handle this: First, provide straightforward information. Say, “You probably know I’m Jewish, and the High Holidays are coming up in a few weeks.” Mention the exact dates you’ll need to have off, and explain that you’ll be at services/ observing the ...


6

FWIW, I can give you an idea that I developed with a friend of mine. I don't have an actual source, though this idea is based (however loosely) on the Ramban. In short: Ya'aleh Veyavo is a prayer asking for God to judge us favorably, which is appropriate for the holidays and Rosh Chodesh because they are all mini-judgement days. By referring to Rosh ...


6

The word mahzor means "cycle" (the root Ħ-Z-R means "to return"). It is applied to the festival prayer book because the festivals recur annually. from Wikipedia


6

Artscroll's סידור יצחק יאיר is a good choice, as a good, complete siddur with a clear print. It is the standard siddur used in most shuls. You can buy them in practically any Jewish book store, or online (for example, here). There is a pocket-sized edition of the siddur. (Note: this siddur is nusach Ashkenaz; the Artscroll nusach Sefard equivalent is the ...


6

The first day of the seventh month is the holiday Rosh Hashanah. It is known as the day when the world was created, and is also the Day of Judgement. It is still a festive holiday, with many unique customs. You can learn more about it on Wikipedia, or by browsing Mi Yodeya's 90+ Rosh Hashanah questions.


6

According to most philologists/etymologists, the Biblical Hebrew word חג means something similar to a festive pilgrimage or gathering. It is thus related to the modern similar-sounding Arabic word Hajj, which refers to the Islamic obligatory pilgrimage. In that case, חג is only applicable for the three Biblical holidays when there's an obligation to make a ...


6

My parents were observant from before I was born, and I have been Shabbat- and Yom-Tov-observant my whole life. I can honestly say that I don't believe I have ever intentionally violated either. So no, based on one counterexample from personal testimony, for what that's worth, not everyone cheats. I do find that observance of Shabbat and Yom Tov, especially ...


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