Jewish Practices and Holidays
- Observation of the Sabbath (day of rest), starting at sundown on Friday evening.
- Strict discipline, according to the Law, governs all areas of life
- Regular attendance by Jewish males at Synagogue
- Celebration of the annual festivals:
- New Years Day (Rosh Hashanah), it occurs in September or October. This festival celebrates God's creation of the world and of his judgement of the world.
- The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), it is considered the holiest day in the Jewish relgion. It comes as the conclusion to the period of penitence that began on New Years Day. This day is characterized by prayer, fasting and public confession of sin.
- Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), a week long harvester festival, giving thanks for God's goodness, and his care for the Jews on their forty-year journey from Egypt to the land of Isreal.
- Rejoicing of the Torah (Simchat Torah), at the End of the Sukkot. A joyful celebration, giving thanks for the Torah- The first five books of the Hebrew Bible.
- The Festival of Lights (Hannukah), an eight day festival which commemorates the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem, and the victory of Judas Maccabeus over the Syrians. During this time many Jewish famlies light a nine branched candlestick (Menorah). The nineth called the "Servant", is used to light the others. One candle is lit on each day until all are alight. Most Jewish famlies also give out presents each day to one another.
- Purim, a joyful celebration which commemorates the events of the book of Esther when the Jews in Persia were saved from massacre.
- Passover (Pesach), a family festival which celebrates the deliverance of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The week-long Passover festival ends with a spring harvest festival.
- Pentecost (Shavuot), a period of seven weeks of mourning, associated with the failure of the Jewish revolt aganist Rome in the 2nd century CE. This festival also celebrates the giving of the Torah to Moses.