RELIG 210: Lecture 5 January 26, 2009 Name two Jewish Holidays and write one sentence about a concept/theme each celebrates/commemorates What are the 39 Categories of Forbidden Work?
Provide a basic overview of the structure of Jewish holidays and festivals Discuss the historical sources and religious significance of major festivals
Illustrate key ritual objects and practices associate with festivals The catechism of the Jew consists of his calendar. Sampson Raphael Hirsch
Building Sacred Time Jewish memory Ritual Structure/Advance Preparation Weekly cycle of reading Why make Torah part of the liturgy?
History vs. Memory Prayer, Ritual and Halakhah construct Jewish time Shabbat is most central time-marker Major theme: Recognizing Creation
Genesis 2:2-3 Exodus 20:8 39 Categories of Forbidden Work Actions imbued with liturgical significance All acts of labor are prohibited
God rested, so should the Jews Cannot bring anything into existence Any action used in building Tent of Meeting is forbidden Creating distinctions in time Liturgy goes beyond communal prayer into daily life
Shabbat Rituals 29.5 Day Cycle 12 months of (29 or 30 Days) 354 Days in a year Leap Month Day begins at Sunset 1.
2. 3. Pilgrimage Festivals New Year Cycle Commemorative Celebrations and Fasts Origins of the Festivals
Agricultural holidays Rabbis add layers Tied to national/theological narrative
Temple sacrifice Ritual Reenactment Passover - Leave Egypt (8 Days) Shavuot - Receive Torah (2 Days) Sukkot - Enter the Promised Land (8 Days) Biblical Roots: Spring harvest festival Commemorates liberation from
Egyptian slavery You shall observe the feast of unleavened bread, for on this very day I brought your ranks out of the land of Egypt; you shall observe this day throughout the ages as an institution for all time. (Exodus 12: 1718) The Haggadah
Commanded to retell Exodus narrative Ritual reenactment-Imagine personal deliverance from slavery Symbols
Maror The Passover Seder Meal Biblical Source: You shall observe Shavuot, of first fruits of the wheat
harvest. (Exodus 34:21) Rabbinic Reading: Commemorates giving of Torah at Mt. Sinai Fewer home rituals than Passover or Sukkot All night studying
Biblical Source: Exodus: the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in the result of your work from the field. (Exodus 23:16) Leviticus:You shall live in booths (sukkot) seven daysin 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. (Leviticus 23:40) Sukkah- Temporary structures for harvest Significance
Experience of wandering and exile Liberation and Gods protection Fragility vs. Gods presence Ritual Commandment to be happy Live in the Sukkah (temporary structure) Four Species-lulav and etrog
19th Century German Sukkah A Sukkah Lulav and Etrog On the first day you shall take the product of hadar trees (traditionally identified as the etrog/citron tree), branches of palm trees,
boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days (Leviticus 23:40) Eight Day of Assembly-last day of
Sukkot Simhat Torah-Rejoicing in the Torah Completion of the Torah reading cycle Dancing and celebration High Holidays or Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe)
Rosh Hashannah (New Years Day) Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) Sukkot (Tabernacles)
You shall observe complete rest, a sacred occasion commemorated with loud blasts. (Leviticus 23:24) Anniversary of Creation-New Year Theme of repentance and self-examination Trial Metaphor
May you be inscribed Tip the scales of divine judgment 10 day period until Yom Kippur Mark the tenth day of the seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a sacred
occasion for you; you shall practice selfdenial, and you shall bring a gift to the lord For it is a day of Atonement, on which expiation is made on your behalf before the Lord your God. (Leviticus 23:27) High priest performs rite to expiate peoples sins A Note about sin in Judaism (falling short of the mark) Rabbis call it Day of Judgment
Climax of trial God decides fate of individual and Israel Excellent replacement for Temple Clean slate every year
Focus on spiritual concerns Abstention from food, drink, luxury, sexual activity Imagery of Death Mythic narrative remains central in
yearly calendar Commemorate great moments and tragedies through rituals No reference in Hebrew Bible Victory of Maccabees over Syrian
domination in 135BCE Rededicate the Temple Miracle of jar of oil added in Talmud Menorah Latke-Fried Potato Pancake Dreidel
Birthday of the Trees Mystical Significance Zionist Symbolism Environmental Holiday-Jewish Earth Day Book of Esther
Jews of Persia saved from destruction Draws lots to determine day to kill Jews Diaspora story No mention of God
Ritual Read Scroll of Esther Rowdy celebration 4 minor fast days
Daylight and full-day 3 connected to catastrophe of Temples destruction Tisha BAv-saddest day on the calendar
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