For many Jews, Volodymyr Zelensky is a ‘modern Maccabee ’ as he fights Ukraine’s war Leading his country in battle against Russian invasion, Jewish president is being compared to storied heroes, while also seen as dispelling notions of Jews as unpatriotic
In the Gregorian c alendar, the leap year is no big deal, just an extra winter day (unless you happened to be born on Feb. 29) But the Jewish people are not ones to do things in halfmeasure, so we add an entire month to our leap year. And, what’s more, whereas the rest of the world has a leap year every four years like clockwork, in the Jewish world it comes whenever it’s needed, seven times in 19 years (more on the math later).
Tu B’Shevat is a holiday about the land of Israel and our connection to the land. For those of us who do not live in Israel, Tu B’Shevat is an excellent opportunity to find ways to plant Israel at home, in our lives and hearts. In Jewish tradition, Tu B’Shevat, the New Year of Trees, is celebrated on the 15th (TU=ט”ו) day of the Jewish month of Shevat טבש.
Hanukkah in Israel is a magical time. There are events happening all over the country, schools are on hol iday, and families are busy exploring the country and celebrating the ‘festival of light’. This year, Hanukkah will begin on November 28 and continue for 8 nights, ending on December 6th.
In a rare alignment of calendars, Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah both fall on the same holiday weekend this year. And Americans planning to celebrate this double holiday have dubbed it Thanksgivukkah like in 2013.
On Wednesdayand Thursdayof this week, we markthe arrival of the month that is usually referred to as either חֶשְׁוָןor מַרְׁ חֶשְׁוָן. It is common knowledge that the second name developed from the first: the word מַר, which means “bitter,” was added to חֶשְׁוָןbecause it is the only month in the Jewish calendar with absolutely no holidays or other out-of-the-ordinary days —not even a fast day.
Although the High Holidays —the two days ofRosh Hashanah(the Jewish New Year) andYom Kippur(the Day of Atonement) —occupy three days only, they lie within a web of liturgy and customs that extend from the beginning of the preceding Hebrewmonth of ElulthroughYom Kippur. The focus of this entire period is the process ofteshuvah, or repentance, whereby aJew admits to sins, asks for forgiveness, and resolves not to repeat the sins.
The “Three Weeks” between the 17th of Tammuz and the Tisha B’Av have historically been days of misfortune and calamity for the Jewish people. During this time, both the First and Second Temples were destroyed, amongst other tragedies.