The Hebrew Calendar, Jewish History and Culture

‘Israeli’ Hebrew

‘Israeli’ Hebrew

The revivers of the Hebrew language were influenced by European languages (mainly Latin, German and some Russian) on the one

‘A Nation Shall Be Born in a Day’

‘A Nation Shall Be Born in a Day’

Every year, right after the national Memorial Day, the state of Israel celebrates its independence. In Hebrew, this day is

Biblical Closure!

Biblical Closure!

This year we will celebrate the Festival of Purim {פורים} in the upcoming week and that is why this week

Brief history of Biblical Hebrew

Brief history of Biblical Hebrew

From a linguistic perspective, it seems that there is a difference between the two ‘kinds’ of Hebrew in the Bible

Celebrating Purim: Jerusalem Style!

Celebrating Purim: Jerusalem Style!

One of the most interesting things about Purim {פורים} is that there is a difference regarding the time of celebrating

Comfort, comfort my people

Comfort, comfort my people

Every year, the Shabbat after ‘Tishah Be-Av’ {תשעה באב} – the fast day which commemorates the day of the destruction

Counting of the Omer

Counting of the Omer

Every year, while the Temple in Jerusalem was still standing, the second day of Passover was known as the ‘first

Early Modern Hebrew

Early Modern Hebrew

At the end of the 15th century, following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and the migration of Jews

Hanukkah Blessings

Hanukkah Blessings

Today is the first day of Hanukkah – also known as the Festival of Lights. This holiday marks the historic

Hebrew Bible 101

Hebrew Bible 101

The number one best seller of all times, the text that has shaped, designed and influenced the history of humanity

Hebrew Fasts and Feasts: Who was Gedelia?

Hebrew Fasts and Feasts: Who was Gedelia?

The day after ‘Rosh Ha-Shanah’ is known in the Jewish tradition as ‘Tzom Gedaliah'{צום גדליה} which means ‘The Fast of

Hebrew Insights: What is ‘Hoshanah Rabah?’

Hebrew Insights: What is ‘Hoshanah Rabah?’

As we mentioned here before the ‘Feast of Sukkot’ is celebrated for SEVEN days and is the LAST day of

How many candles are on a Hanukkah Menorah?

How many candles are on a Hanukkah Menorah?

Lighting the candles is the main ritual of Hanukkah {חנוכה}. Because Hanukkah lasts eight days, there are eight candles on

How the Mighty Have Fallen: A Tribute to the Fallen IDF Soldiers

How the Mighty Have Fallen: A Tribute to the Fallen IDF Soldiers

Today in the evening begins ‘Yom Ha-Zikaron’ {יום הזכרון} – Israel’s official Memorial Day (it literally means ‘Remembrance Day’ in

Introduction to ‘Rosh Ha-Shanah’ (Part One)

Introduction to ‘Rosh Ha-Shanah’ (Part One)

Today in the evening, Jewish people from all around the globe will celebrate the Jewish New Year which is called

Introduction to ‘Rosh Ha-Shanah’ (Part Two)

Introduction to ‘Rosh Ha-Shanah’ (Part Two)

Today is the second day of the Jewish New Year – ‘Rosh Ha-Shanah {ראש השנה}.’ The reason why this Jewish

Jerusalem Day and the Hebrew Meaning of My Name(Ariel)

Jerusalem Day and the Hebrew Meaning of My Name(Ariel)

Today – by the Hebrew calendar – 51 years ago, the Old City of Jerusalem (and other parts of the

Joyous Sukkot – ‘Feast of Booths’

Joyous Sukkot – ‘Feast of Booths’

Today in the evening is the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month of ‘Tisheri’ {תשרי} and that means that another

Medieval Hebrew – ‘Ashkenazi’ and ‘Sephardi’

Medieval Hebrew – ‘Ashkenazi’ and ‘Sephardi’

By the 10th century and later until the end of the 15th century, the map of the Jewish settlement had

Medieval Hebrew – The rise of Liturgical Hebrew

Medieval Hebrew – The rise of Liturgical Hebrew

The ‘Piyyut’ {פיוט} (from the Greek word ‘poiétḗs’ which means ‘poet’), the Jewish liturgical poem which was recited/sung in synagogues,

Modern Hebrew – ‘The return to Zion’

Modern Hebrew – ‘The return to Zion’

The revival of the Hebrew language in modern times is sometimes considered no less than a miracle. Undoubtedly, it was

Passover 101

Passover 101

Beginning this evening, Jewish people from around the globe will gather their loved ones and celebrate ‘Pesach’ {פסח} which is

Passover and Freedom

Passover and Freedom

Passover is a holiday of many names; one of them is ‘Chag Ha-Che’rut’ {חג החרות} which is Hebrew for ‘the

Rabbinic & Liturgical Hebrew – ‘Mishnah’

Rabbinic & Liturgical Hebrew – ‘Mishnah’

At the end of the Second Temple Period, a new religious institution emerged among the Jews who lived in the

Rabbinic & Liturgical Hebrew – ‘Talmud’

Rabbinic & Liturgical Hebrew – ‘Talmud’

The cultural environment of the first and second centuries CE was characterized by the strong dominance of mainly Greek and

Rosh Chodesh ‘Iyar’

Rosh Chodesh ‘Iyar’

Today is ‘Rosh Chodesh’ {ראש חודש}  (‘head of the month’ in Hebrew, meaning the beginning of the month) of the

Shavuot the ‘Feast of Weeks’

Shavuot the ‘Feast of Weeks’

Today is the sixth of the Hebrew month of Sivan {סיון} and that means we are celebrating the Festival of

Shemini Atzert or Simchat Torah: A Brief Explanation of the Hebrew

Shemini Atzert or Simchat Torah: A Brief Explanation of the Hebrew

About a month ago, the holiday season  started in the Jewish world. It began with Rosh Ha-Shanah {ראש השנה} (the

Song of Songs and the Exodus

Song of Songs and the Exodus

‘Shir Ha-Shirim’ {שיר השירים} – Hebrew for the biblical book of ‘Song of Songs’ (AKA ‘Song of Solomon’) is part

The Biblical Holiday of the Rain: Shemini Atzert

The Biblical Holiday of the Rain: Shemini Atzert

“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, on the fifteenth day of this

The Gathering: End of Shemitah Torah Readings

The Gathering: End of Shemitah Torah Readings

Every seven years, right when the year of the Shemitah {שמיטה} ends, during the Feast of Sukkot of the following

The Hebrew Calendar and the Annual Cycle of the Torah Reading

The Hebrew Calendar and the Annual Cycle of the Torah Reading

Over the last year we have mentioned many times the annual cycle of the Torah reading which is manifested in

The Hebrew Meaning of Shabbat Teshuvah

The Hebrew Meaning of Shabbat Teshuvah

As discussed on Friday, last Shabbat, which takes place right after ‘Rosh Ha-Shanah’ {ראש השנה} and just before ‘Yom Kippur’ {יום

The Hebrew Meaning of the Four Species: A Message of Unity

The Hebrew Meaning of the Four Species: A Message of Unity

Beside sitting or ‘dwelling’ in the Sukkah the other main ‘Mitzvah’ (biblical commandment) of the ‘Feast of Sukkot’ is the well-known

The novelty of the Exodus

The novelty of the Exodus

As mentioned in the first post about Passover, one of the main rituals of the first night of this holiday

The Sabbatical year and the number seven

The Sabbatical year and the number seven

The sabbatical year has two names in Hebrew -‘Shenat Shemitah’ {שנת שמיטה} and ‘Shenat Shabbathon’ {שנת שבתון} (‘Shenat’ }שנת} means

The siege of Jerusalem

The siege of Jerusalem

Today is the 10th of the Hebrew month of “Tevet” {טבת}. It is one of the six fast days in

Tishah Be-Av

Tishah Be-Av

Today is Tishah Be-Av {תשעה באב}, which is the ninth day in the Hebrew month of Av. The day the

To Seat or To Settle? – That is the Hebrew Question

To Seat or To Settle? – That is the Hebrew Question

The main ‘Mitzvah’ {מצווה} (commandment) of the ‘Feast of Sukkot’ is to of course be inside of the ‘Sukkah.’ {סוכה}

Today is Purim!

Today is Purim!

Today is the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar {אדר} (the twelfth and last month in the Hebrew calendar).

What are the ‘Ushpizin’? Hebrew Etymology lesson for ‘Sukkot’

What are the ‘Ushpizin’? Hebrew Etymology lesson for ‘Sukkot’

The basic commandment of the ‘Feast of Sukkot’ is to sit/dwell in the Sukkah {סוכה} (tent or booth) for seven

What is ‘Aseret Yemei Teshuvah’?

What is ‘Aseret Yemei Teshuvah’?

The days between ‘Rosh Ha-Shanah’ (the Jewish New Year) and ‘Yom Kippur’ are called in Hebrew ‘Aseret Yemei Teshuvah’ {עשרת

What is ‘Birkat Kohanim’ and how it is related to Leonard Cohen?

What is ‘Birkat Kohanim’ and how it is related to Leonard Cohen?

Every year on the second day of ‘Chol Ha-Moed’ {חול המועד} (‘weekdays of the holiday or festival’) of Passover the

What is ‘Lag Ba-Omer’?

What is ‘Lag Ba-Omer’?

Today is the 33rd day in the count of the Omer {עומר}  (or as we call it in Hebrew ‘Lag

What is ‘Shabbat Chazon?’

What is ‘Shabbat Chazon?’

Tomorrow we will commemorate ‘Tishah Be-Av’ {תשעה באב} – Hebrew for ninth of the month of Av – which is

What is “Sevivon”?

What is “Sevivon”?

“Sevivon” (סביבון) is the Hebrew name for a four-sided spinning top (also known as dreidel) which is the most popular

What is “The Great Shabbat”?

What is “The Great Shabbat”?

Passover will take place this year beginning next Friday (evening). Because of that, is it customary to read a special

What is “Tu Be-Shevat?

What is “Tu Be-Shevat?

Today is “Tu Be-Shevat”{ט”ו בשבט}  – Hebrew for the fifteenth of the month of Shevat {שבט} (which is the eleventh

What is Chol Ha-Moed?

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

What is the Connection Between the Book of Jonah and ‘Yom Kippur’?

What is the Connection Between the Book of Jonah and ‘Yom Kippur’?

As we have mentioned here before, part of the service at the synagogue during every Shabbat and Jewish holiday is publicly