Israel Celebrations and Holidays

Israel Celebrations and Holidays

Sabbath – rest is a must!

The Sabbath is called Shabbat in Hebrew. That means rest day. According to Jewish belief, this is the seventh day of the week. No work should be done on this day. It is calculated according to the Jewish calendar. The Sabbath begins on Friday evening and lasts until dark the next day.

On Friday there is a feast in Jewish families to usher in the Sabbath. The house is cleaned beforehand and the meals for the Sabbath are prepared. On Saturday morning, the family goes to the synagogue to pray. Religious families continue to pray at home. But this is not done in the same way everywhere.

Orthodox Jews are not allowed to do anything on the Sabbath. No electrical devices may be used, not even the light switch. Many people make do with time switches here. But not everyone strictly adheres to these rules. Jews who are not quite so strict don’t take it that seriously. It’s no different with us. Some go to church every Sunday, others only on public holidays. Incidentally, Sunday is also a day of rest for Christians and is based on the Jewish Sabbath. In Islam there is Friday prayer.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

Christmas is not celebrated in Judaism because, according to their faith, the Jews are still waiting for the Savior. Unlike Christians, they do not believe in the birth of Christ, which Christians celebrate at Christmas. However, the Jews celebrate a New Year festival called Rosh Hashanah. This festival is not celebrated on January 1st, but in October. That is how the Jewish calendar determines it. It is reminiscent of the creation of the world. On this day all people should reflect on their actions. Not a bad idea, is it? This festival lasts ten days and there are many services in the synagogues. For more information about Israel and Asia, please visit softwareleverage.

Yom Kippuris the highest Jewish holiday. According to Jewish belief, on this day God decides whether people have led a godly life. That day is ten days after Rosh Hashanah. Adult believers then fast and pray for a full day. The ending is initiated by blowing a ram’s horn. You can see what that looks like in the photo on the left.

Passover and delicious crispbread

Another important festival in Judaism is the Passover festival, which lasts seven days. It is one of the highest festivals celebrated in Judaism. It is intended to commemorate the time of slavery when Israel was still in Egyptian captivity and always takes place in March / April.

At the time of the feast of Passover, only certain foods are allowed. For example, bread baked with yeast must not be eaten. Instead, you eat a bread without yeast called matzo. Matzo consists only of flour, water and salt. That reminds a bit of crispbread. It is said that when you flew from Egypt, the bread could no longer rise and you had to pack it up very quickly. So it stayed flat and got hard. The Feast of Passover is therefore also called “Feast of Unleavened Bread”.

By the way, our Easter egg has its roots in the Jewish festival of Passover. Sometimes you will also find the term Passover or Passover. Pasha comes from the Greek and means “to pass”.

Hanukkah – the festival of joy

Hanukkah is Hebrew and means “initiation”. And what was inaugurated? After the first temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar, a second temple was built, which was built in 515 BC. Was inaugurated. This temple was also destroyed in AD 70. The Western Wall, which today is an important symbol of their faith for many Jews, is a reminder of this temple. And Hanukkah is supposed to commemorate the dedication of this second temple.

On this day the seven-armed temple chandelier called Monara was lit. Although this candlestick only had oil for one day, it burned for eight days. An eight-armed candlestick, which is always lit for the Hanukkah festival, reminds of this. Another light is lit every day. Hanukkah is the festival of joy. At this festival, by the way, the children like to eat donuts, which we also know as “Berliner”.

What are bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah?

If you are baptized Catholic, you will be confirmed around the age of 13. Evangelical children are confirmed at the age of 14. In Christianity, these are important festivals for religious people. The children are accepted into the parish. There is something similar in Judaism.

Here it is called bar mitzvah for boys and bat mitzvah for girls. The boys become full members of their community at the age of 13 and the girls at the age of twelve. On this feast they are allowed to read from the Torah for the first time, that is the holy book of the Jews. They must live the commandments of the Torah and take responsibility for their lives. Translated, the term means “son of the law” or “daughter of the law”. On the day of the celebration, the children wear the prayer clothes in the synagogue. The families then have a big party.

Israel Celebrations and Holidays