Congregation Solel

Religious School

Congregation Solel
Religious School
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Jewish Holidays

In the Jewish Year we have many Hi Holidays. We have been celebrating these holidays for thousands of years.

On these holidays we celebrate finishing the torah, and when the Jews left Egypt.

In this page you will read a bout all the fall and winter holidays. We will talk about Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kipper, Sukot and Hanukkah.

Rosh Hashanah: Rosh Hashanah comes in the Hebrew month of Tishrei (September.) When Rosh Hashanah approaches we like to wish our relatives and friends a happy, healthy and joyous New year. After the Kiddush for Rosh Hashanah we recite a blessing over apples that are dipped in honey. Even the Challah which we eat on Rosh Hashanah does not look the like the usual braided challah we eat on Shabbat. This is because it is the shape of a round circle. The circle represents the year going a round and round. We are now starting to go around once more on this new year.

On Rosh Hashanah we eat sweet foods because we want to have a sweet new year. One of the Rosh Hashanah foods is Tzimmes which is made with carrots, honey, yams and sometimes meats. Another traditional food is sweet noodle pudding, honey cakes, and Tayglech. This is how the Jews celebrate the new Jewish year.

Yom Kipper: On this holiday we are asking God for forgiveness for all of our Sins. The sins are from the year past. On the Eve of Yom Kipper most Jews have an early dinner then hurry off to the temple in time for Kol Nidre, the first prayer of the holiday. The next morning there won’t be a drop of water, whiffs of French toast, or pancakes from the kitchen. For many adults and teenagers Yom Kipper is a day of Fasting.

On this holiday we usually go to temple all day and then at the end of the day we have a huge feast. This big dinner is for all of the people who have been fasting all day.

Sukot: On Sukot we build a sukot to remind us of the shelters the Jews had during the forty years when they were in the deserts. They were leaving Egypt. Then when the Jews became farmers in Israel they had temporary houses during harvest time.

On Sukot we have an Etrog and a Lulav. The Etrog is a cirteon, yellow and fragrant. it nestles in a box filled with flax to protect the good contents.

The Lulav is a sheaf of long palm fronds, fastened with myrtle and willow twigs. The Lulav we shake in four directions. We shake it because we are showing god is everywhere.

We have these things because the holiday is harvest. these things are good things to harvest.

Simchat Torah: At the end of Sukot we celebrate Simhat Torah. This is when we finish reading reading the torah and start all over again. On this holiday children march in the synagogue with flags. This is to celebrate the Torah and it celebrates we are happy.

Hanukkah: Hanukkah is a time where we remember when the Jews were leaving Egypt. Hanukkah is a happy festival. it is marked by the lighting of candles in the home, beginning with the first candle on the first night. We add a candle everynight. We always light one candle a night that marks the Shammash (which means "one who serves")

The oldest historical sources that deal with the festival of Hanukkah are ancient works known as the books of the Maccabees. They tell us how Judah and his brothers came to desolate Temple, how they cleansed it and re-dedicated it on the twenty-fifth of the month. Slowly the custom of lighting Hanukkah lights in every Jewish home was developed until Hanukkah became the widespread festival that it is today.

A favorite Hanukkah food is Latkes, or potato pancakes. Originally the pancakes were made of cheese. From the costom of eating cheese delicacies grew the costom of eating pancakes of all kinds. We drink a lot of wine on Hanukkah because thousands of years ago the cheese made the people thirsty so they needed something to drink. They drank the wine that they made.

A favorite costom is giving gifts. Hanukkah is also a time for giving gelt. (money) When the Maccabes returned to Jerusalem they re-lit the Menorah and stuck coins to show they were free people. Ancient coins of Israel still exist, but we have our own version of Hanukkah.

So on Hanukkah be nice to your friends and family it is a time for giving and celebrating.

We hope you have learned from this article. We hope you have a great time on these holidays.