HISTORY OF YOM KIPPUR The Jewish High Holy Days begin with Rosh Hashana and continue until Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur , which begins and sundown this evening, also known as the Day of Atonement , or more correctly Yom ha-Kippurim (Leviticus 16) goes back to Jewish antiquity almost 4,000 years to the time of Moses.…

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HISTORY OF ROSH HASHANA Rosh HaShana designates the beginning of the Jewish new year, starting at sundown this evening. “Rosh” is Hebrew for “head” and Rosh HaShana refers to the head of the year on the 1st day of Tishri, the seventh month. Judaism has a solar/lunar calendar system, in which the lunar reckoning predominates.…

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MAY DAY May Day is many things to many people. Etymologically, it is a homophone for the international call for help. It is a corruption of the French imperative “M’aidez” meaning “Help me!” As a holiday it is claimed by many. It is known in the pagan world as Beltane, a fertility celebration, one of…

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PASSOVER This year, the evening at sunset April 19 marks the beginning of Passover. Exodus 12 in the Bible tells the story of Passover from the life of Moses. Ten plagues were visited upon the Egyptian pharaoh (starring Yul Brenner, but he was much better in “The King and I”) to get his attention to…

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HISTORY OF CHANUKAH Also spelled hanukkah, means “dedication”. This Jewish holiday traces its roots back more than 2,000 years. At that time the Jewish people were living under the oppressive government of the Syrian ruler Antiochus Epiphanes IV, (a rather ironic name — Epiphanes means “God made manifest”) who was a descendant of Seleucus, the…

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YOM KIPPUR The Jewish High Holy Days begin with Rosh Hashana and continue until Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, or more correctly Yom ha-Kippurim (Leviticus 16) goes back to Jewish antiquity almost 4,000 years to the time of Moses. This most solemn occasion of the Jewish Festival cycle was the season for…

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ROSH HASHANA Rosh HaShana designates the beginning of the Jewish new year. “Rosh” is Hebrew for “head” and Rosh HaShana refers to the head of the year on the 1st day of Tishri, the seventh month. Judaism has a solar/lunar calendar system, in which the lunar reckoning predominates. The first in the cycle of months…

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PASSOVER This evening at sunset marks the beginning of Passover. Exodus 12 in the Bible tells the story of Passover from the life of Moses. Ten plagues were visited upon the Egyptian pharaoh (starring Yul Brenner, but he was much better in “The King and I”) to get his attention to release the “children of…

Read More

HISTORY OF CHANUKAH Also spelled hanukkah, means “dedication”. This Jewish holiday traces its roots back more than 2,000 years. At that time the Jewish people were living under the oppressive government of the Syrian ruler Antiochus Epiphanes IV, (a rather ironic name — Epiphanes means “God made manifest”) who was a descendant of Seleucus, the…

Read More