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Glossary of Jewish Calendar and Holidays

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“______ ___ ______ ___” attempts to use a neutral term for the period traditionally labeled “BC” (before Christ). Thus 586 ___ is identical to 586 BC. “______ ___” uses a neutral term for the period traditionally labeled “AD” (Latin anno
Before the common era (BCE) and Common era (CE)
In general, Christianity operates on a "solar" calendar based on the relationship between the sun and the earth (365.25 days per year). The Islamic calendar is "lunar," based on the relationship of the earth and moon (354 days in a ye
Calendar
During antiquity, the portion of bread dough which is burned entirely as a sacrifice to God; today, however, the term is used to refer to a braided loaf of egg bread used to celebrate Shabbat.
Challah
The Torah prohibits carrying on Shabbat between a public domain and a private domain; however, the Torah permits carrying within an enclosed “private” area. Public domains are typically non-residential areas including streets, thoroughfares, plazas,
Eruv
The ritual that concludes Shabbat. Includes a multi-wicked candle, spices and wine.
Havdalah
The seventh day of the week recalling the completion of the creation and the Exodus from Egypt. It is a day symbolic of new beginnings and one dedicated to God, a most holy day of rest. The commandment of rest is found in the Bible and has been elaborate
Sabbath/Shabbat
rest (on Shabbat)
menucha
celebration (on Shabbat)
oneg
holiness (on Shabbat)
kedusha
The _________ is the nine branched candelabra/menorah used to celebrate the holiday.
Chanukiah/Hanukkiah
This Hebrew word, meaning “dedication,” refers to the eight day winter celebration said to commemorate a miracle during the Hasmonean revolt against the Hellenized Syrian government. When the Hasmoneans sought to rededicate the Jerusalem temple, they
Chanukah/Hanukka(h)
The Festivals of Passover and Sukkot both have holidays at the beginning and end and “intermediate days” (called ____ ______) in the middle. During these days, much work is permitted, but many holiday laws remain in effect.
Chol HaMoed
Leavened food, which is forbidden during Pesach. The five prohibited grains considered _______ are wheat, rye, barley, spelt and oats. Ashkenazi practice also considers corn, beans, rice and legumes as _______.
Chometz (chametz, hametz)
Ten day period from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, a time for introspection and considering the sins of the previous year.
Days of Awe
Four-sided, top-like toy used during Chanukah.
Dreidel
(Heb. "arma minim"). Fruit and branches used to fulfill the commandment to “rejoice before the Lord” during the festival of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). Included are an etrog (citron), “the fruit of goodly trees” (Leviticus 23.40); an
Four Species
(Heb., “narration”). In a general sense, in classical Jewish literature and discussion, what is not halakah (legal subject matter) is _______. Technically, "the _______" is the liturgical manual used in the Jewish Passover Seder.
Haggada(h) (pl. haggadot)
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and frequently used to refer to the 10-day period between them, as well.
High Holy Days
The Yom Kippur Eve service is referred to as ___ _____, the name of a prominent prayer recited at the beginning of the service.
Kol Nidre
(Heb., “scroll”). Usually refers to the biblical scroll of Esther read on the holiday of Purim.
Megillah
Jewish candelabrum with special religious significance; a nine-branched ______ is used at Hanukkah, while the seven- branched ______ was used in the ancient Temple.
Menorah
The major Jewish spring holiday also known as hag hamatzot (festival of unleavened bread) commemorating the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt (see Exodus 12-13). ________ lasts eight days, during which Jews refrain from eating all leavened foods and pr
Passover/Pesach
A Jewish holiday commemorating the deliverance of Jews in Persia as described in the biblical book of Esther. Held in late winter (between Hanukkah and Passover), on the 14th of Adar.
Purim
(Heb., “beginning of the year”). Jewish New Year celebration in the fall of the year,
Rosh Hashanah
(Heb., for “order”). The traditional Jewish evening service and opening of the celebration of Passover, which includes special food and narratives. The order of the service is highly regulated, and the traditional narrative is known as the Passover H
Seder
(Pentecost; Heb., “weeks”). Observed 50 days from the beginning of Passover; also known as the Festival of First Fruits. Commemorates the giving of the Torah to the Israelites at Mount Sinai.
Shavuot
In Jewish worship, a ram's horn sounded at Rosh Hashanah morning worship and at the conclusion of Yom Kippur.
Shofar
(Heb., “rejoicing with the Torah”). A festival that celebrates the conclusion of the annual reading cycle of the Torah. Occurs at the end of Sukkot.
Simhat Torah
(Lit. booth). The temporary dwellings the Jews use during the holiday of Sukkot. One is supposed to eat meals there and some Jews have the custom of sleeping in the ______.
Sukkah
(Tabernacles, Heb., “booths, tabernacles”). Seven-day Jewish fall festival commemorating the ______ where the Israelites lived in the wilderness after the Exodus; also known as the Festival of Ingathering (of the harvest).
Sukkot
The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur demand atonement or reconciliation between God and humanity which is achieved by the process of repentance (called ________), seeking forgiveness and making amends with other people.
Teshuvah(h)
(Lit. 15th of Shevat). The new year for counting the age of trees for purposes of tithing. Usually falls in January/February.
Tu B'Shevat
Israeli Independence Day. Occurs in the spring.
Yom Ha-Aztmaut
Holocaust Remembrance Day. Occurs in the spring.
Yom Ha-Shoah
Israeli Memorial Day. Occurs in the spring.
Yom Ha-Zikaron
(Heb., “Day of Atonement”). Annual day of fasting and atonement, occurring in the fall ten days after Rosh Hashanah; the most solemn and important occasion of the Jewish religious year.
Yom Kippur
Holiday celebrating the 1967 reunification of Jerusalem by the modern State of Israel.
Yom Yerushalayim

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