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Jewish Holidays

The Jewish calendar is filled with holidays. Next time you celebrate, have a deeper understanding into the why.


Jewish Holidays

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Apples and Honey at Rosh Hashanah

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The most famous tradition around Rosh Hashanah is to eat apples and honey. We say we eat them so we will have a sweet new year, but do you know the reason why we specifically use apples and honey? Why not use strawberries and sugar? They're just as sweet too! Rachael explains the meaning behind the delicious tradition.

Rosh Hashanah: The Jewish New Year

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Rosh Hashanah is called the "Jewish New Year" but really it is a new year for everyone. Since we believe that all of humanity was created on this day, it is a universal day.

Shofar, Sho Good

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The Shofar has always been a means of communication for the Jewish people. Today, we use is as an alert to remind us that the High Holidays are upon us.

Yom Kippur: Our Day of Atonement

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The holiest day of our year, Yom Kippur is also known as the Day of Atonement.

Whats Not Allowed on Yom Kippur

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There are a number of prohibitions we have on Yom Kippur. We all know we're supposed to fast, but there are some that you might not know about.

Why do we shake the Lulav and Etrog?

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During Sukkot, we take the Lulav and the Etrog, bring them together and shake them. Why do we do it? What's the reason? This answers them all.

Why Build a Sukkah?

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The Torah commands us to build a temoporary hut called a Sukkah, on the holiday of Sukkot. Putting this commandment aside, why would someone want to build one today? Rachael explains.

Shemini Atzeret: The Forgotten High Holiday

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After the rush of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and caught in the middle between Sukkot and Simchat Torah, Shemini Atzeret is the forgotten High Holiday. How is this holiday so important to the Jewish people?

Its Not a Menorah, Its a Chanukiah

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Rachael expands on one of the commonly misunderstood Jewish symbols. Learn more about the branched candelabra that has its origins rooted in the story of Chanukah.

The Dreidel Game: Preserving the Tradition

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Get into the game! Rachael explains the meaning behind the four-sided spinning top that has several songs in its honour.

Jewish Holidays: More Than Surviving & Eating

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There's a popular joke that says that all Jewish holidays can be summarized in three points, "They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat!"

Forgiving and Really Forgetting

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Around Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we are told we should ask for forgiveness to anyone whom we may have hurt or offended over the past year. So what if you are on the receiving end of an apology? Are you able to forgive the person and forget it happened? Rachael explains why you should forgive and forget.

NEW: Owning the Torah Without Paying a Cent

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Shavuot is a time to reflect on the lessons of the Torah as we celebrate the Jewish people receiving the Torah. This video has nothing to do with actually buying a Torah scroll and more about how you can take a few elements of the Torah and apply them to your life, without feeling bombarded with all the laws at once.

NEW: Standing at Sinai: I was there, were you there too?

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The Rabbis say that the entire Jewish people, past, present and future, were there at Sinai when Moses received the Ten Commandments. So what does that mean? We obviously weren't there physically since this event occurred thousands of years ago. There's a hidden meaning in this message and Rachael explains what it is.

NEW: Personal Judaism - How Shavuot can make an impact on your life

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Shavuot is all about the Jewish people receiving the Torah and becoming a nation. But in this installment of "Personal Judaism," Rachael looks at the meaning and themes of Shavuot and shows you how to relate them to yourself as an individual.

Rachael's Centre for Torah, Mussar and Ethics is a not-for-profit pluralistic website dedicated to online Jewish learning. We offer video and audio classes on Jewish themes such as Family, Lifecycle Events, Torah, Jewish Laws and much more. We also feature a Jewish Calendar, Interactive Blog, Video Reflections, Torah Podcasts, and Holiday Insights. We invite you to subscribe to Pathways to Learning and join our growing online community today.