Jewish Holy Days

8 August 2016

Roy Rehberg Jewish Holy Days Paper Many different religions celebrate holidays of all kinds. Throughout history, each religion has developed their own traditions. These traditions are important as they have been traced back through our ancestors and provide a valuable lesson on how important traditions are. Judaism is no different. Although Judaism was the base of Christianity, the traditions are very different.

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Those of Jewish faith celebrate three major holy days in succession; Rosh Hashanah, ten days later is Yom Kippur, and finally five days after that is Sukkot. Time of the Year of Holy Day It all starts in the fall with the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Following that is the most sacred day of the year, Yom Kippur. Although these days are now celebrated on specific days, it was not always like that. They used to just base it off of the harvest season. Yom Kippur is referred to as the Day of Atonement, which means to make up for faults.

It is during this time that the Jewish people stick to a strict regime of prayer and fasting. Occurring in late autumn is Sukkot, which marks the end of the wandering period by the Jewish after their departure from Egypt. Altogether, this whole period in time is called the Days of Awe because of the effect it has on the people (Molloy, 2010). Historical Origin of Holy Day In order to fully understand Sukkot, we must first go back in the Bible to Exodus, more specifically the book of Numbers. In the book of Numbers, we are told of the Israelites being led out of Egypt by Moses.

They were led out because 400 years before that, they had been made slaves. Moses led the Israelites to Mount Sinai where God handed down to him the Ten Commandments. After this they made their way to the Promise Land. Once they found the Promise Land, God told them they could enter; however, no one trusted God enough to go in. As part of a punishment for not having faith in God, they were forced to wonder for forty years. Sukkot commemorates the end of the Jewish wandering by giving thanks for a plentiful harvest.

It is now one of three pilgrimage festivals that those of Jewish faith celebrate. Religious Practices Associated with the Days In the Torah, it states that on this holiday we should “live in booths seven days…in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 23:42-43) (“History Of Sukkot”, n. d. ). Sukkot means “booth” and refers to what the Jewish people were required to live in during this time.

These booths must have 3 walls and be covered with some kind of material that will not allow for the building to be easily knocked down. In order for the roof to fulfill the commandment, the roof needs to be made of a material from the earth, has to be something that allows for rain to enter and the stars to be seen (“Jewish Virtual Library”, 2014). Theological or Cultural Differences Throughout all the different religions, people have made small changes or adjusted things to better fit their lives.

For example, Christmas is a Christian holiday, but the way every family celebrates it may vary quite a bit. Theologically speaking, there is a definite difference between Orthodox Jews and Liberal Jews. Orthodox Jews believe in complete acceptance of the Torah, whereas liberal Jews believe that Torah laws are more lenient or adapt to the modern world. The cultural difference will not be as significant when it comes to Jews in different countries. For example, one difference would be the food served on Holy Days. Conclusion

Sukkot is a very important holy day to those who are practicing Jews. The booths they build during this time are also significant to this day because they are a symbol of a more humbling time. Not only does Sukkot remind the Jews about bountiful harvests, but it is also a reminder of the faith they should have had in God at the promise land. Traditions such as these are handed down through ancestors and are an important part of our heritage and religious beliefs. References History of Sukkot. (n. d. ). Retrieved from

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