What is Chol Ha-Moed?

‘Chol Ha-Moed’ {חול המועד} is Hebrew for ‘weekdays of the holiday or festival’ and it refers to the days of the week between the first day of Passover and the last (which is the seventh) day.

These days have a special status because they are between the ‘holy’ and the ‘regular.’ According to the Jewish law they are not actual holidays – meaning a day which is similar to the Sabbath, but on the other hand they possess a certain ‘holiness’ in them which separates these days from the normal and ordinary days of the week.

The reason for this special status is found in the following verses from the Bible:

“And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. But you shall present a food offering to the LORD for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.” (Leviticus 23:6-9)

In Israel today it is customary not to work during these days (or to work for a half a day if one must), People usually schedule some time off and spend this special time with their family and friends.