Yom HaShoah

Tisha b’Av

This is a day of commemoration for a series of tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people, some of which happened on this day, such as the destruction of the first and second temples in ancient Jerusalem. Also commemorated on this day are the Holocaust and the beginning of World...

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Shavuot

Shavuot : Two

The Festival of Weeks is basically a harvest celebration. Historically, at this time of year the first fruits of the harvest were brought to the temples. Shavuot also marks the time that the Jews were given the Torah on Mount Sinai. Shavuot is a time when we thank G-d for the...

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Shavuot

Shavuot : One

The Festival of Weeks is basically a harvest celebration. Historically, at this time of year the first fruits of the harvest were brought to the temples. Shavuot also marks the time that the Jews were given the Torah on Mount Sinai. Shavuot is a time when we thank G-d for the...

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Shi Hashirim

Pesach

This is one of the most important festivals. During Passover or Pesach, we remember the story of the Israelites liberation from slavery in Egypt. G-d unleashed ten plagues on the Egyptians, culminating in the death of every family’s eldest son. The Israelites were told to sacrifice lambs and mark their doors...

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Purim

Purim

A celebration of the events told in the Book of Esther, in which a wicked Persian nobleman named Haman plotted to murder all the Jews in the land. The Jewish heroine Esther, wife of the king Ahasuerus, persuaded her husband to prevent the massacre and execute Haman. Because Esther fasted before...

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Tu b'Shevat

Tu b’Shevat

Tu B’Shevat is the New Year for Trees. The Torah forbids Jews to eat the fruit of new trees for three years after they are planted. The fourth year’s fruit was to be donated (tithed) to the Temple. The festival was counted as the birthday for all trees for tithing purposes,...

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Shemini Atzeret

Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah means “Rejoicing in the Torah”. A passage is read from the Torah scrolls every week, completing one read-through each year. We read the last passage of the scroll on Simchat Torah and then begin again by reading the first passage from Genesis. This is a joyous festival with...

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Sukkot

Sukkot

The Book Of Exodus tells the story of the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land. Sukkot commemorates the years spent wandering in the desert, living in makeshift dwellings. At Catford a sukkah, a temporary building, is decorated with fruits. Services are held in the main synagogue and in the sukkah, often accompanied...

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