18 Jewish Holidays (Explained)

There are many Jewish Holidays that are celebrated throughout the year.

Each Holiday can be an entire article in themselves!

So, let this be a concise explanation of each Holiday and their significance in Judaism..


G-d created the World in 6 days and on the 7th Day, He rested.

Incase you are confused,

The 7th Day in Judaism is Saturday.

That is why Israelis work from Sunday to Thursday.

Shabbat begins on Friday night and goes on until Saturday Night.

To welcome Shabbat, Jews go to Shul and then have a Friday Night Dinner with family and friends.

Once Shabbat comes in, there are many things you can no longer do as it is a day of rest.

There are many Jewish Laws of what is allowed and not allowed so stay tuned for a full length article on this.

On the Saturday, Jews go to Shul in the morning and will have Kiddush at the Shul after the Service.

Kiddush will likely feature some delicious food.

Then after Kiddush, Jews in the community will go spend time with their families and friends.

And the Service to commemorate the end of Shabbat is called "Havdalah".

Shabbat is a very special time to strengthen your relationship with The Master Creator

And also to spend quality time with family and friends.

We often get so caught up in our day to day lives that it is important to put the technology to one side and focus on what really matters.

Rosh Hashanah

The Jewish New Year is a very auspicious time for Jews.

It is known to be the day of Judgement and the month leading up to The Jewish New Year is spent asking for forgiveness from G-d

The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah and Jews celebrate it with different customs to ask The Creator for a Sweet New Year.

Here are some of the Jewish Customs:

Yom Kippur

There is a 10 Day Period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur known as "The Ten Days of Repentance" and in Hebrew as "Aseret Yemei Teshuvah"

Jews spend this time doing Teshuvah which is asking G-d for forgiveness.

On Yom Kippur, Jews do not eat food or drink for the entire day.

Yom Kippur is one of the most powerful days of the year.

The reason why it is so power is because:

Yom Kippur has the ability attone for 'most' of your sins.

The sins it does not attone for as the following:

It is important to understand that Yom Kippur is a time where Jews can have forgiveness from G-d

But to remove any punishment will require Teshuvah (asking for forgiveness)


You need the Bracha (blessing) of G-d

Without the Blessing, the road is very bumpy.

And the steps to receive the Bracha are the following:

Celebrating Sukkot with a lot of joy will REALLY annul the sins.

Jews spend the week of Sukkot in a Sukkah.

A Sukkah is a hut where Jews sit inside during Sukkot and celebrate with lots of dairy products.

During Sukkot, Jews shake a Lulav and Etrog.

The Etrog is resembling a Heart.
The Hadas is resembling an Eye.
The Arava is resembling Lips.
The Lulav is resembling The Spinal Cord.

Shaking the Lulav and Etrog is a Tikun (rectification) of impure thoughts that are coming from the heart.

Hosha'ana Raba

Hosha'ana Raba is the 7th Day of Sukkot.

Hosha'ana Raba is "The Sealing of the Deal"

Hosha'ana comes from two Hebrew words:

Hosha - Save Us

Na - Please

Jews are asking for G-d to save them and accept all their Prayers

Shemini Atzeret

Shemini Atzeret is on the 8th day of Sukkot.

Jews celebrate with joy for one last day before we reach Simchat Torah.

Some questions why we celebrate Shemini Atzeret..

Rashi says that The Master of the Universe is saying goodbye as we have celebrated with Him for the past 7 days of Sukkot.

Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah is a day of spiritual ecstasy.

The joy on Jews' faces during the celebrations on Simchat Torah is very special.

When you are in a state of happiness, nothing can affect you.

The reason for such huge celebrations on Simchat Torah is because this is the day when Jews begin the start of the next cycle of reading the Torah.


Chanukah is the Jewish Holiday of spreading light around the world and shining the world with the beautiful light of The Torah

Chanukah is a month of miracles.

On Chanukah, Jews light the Chanukiah (Menorah) and the candles should be lit with pure olive oil.

A festival celebrating liberation from oppression, freedom of worship, and finding light in the darkest of times.

Tu B’Shevat

Tu B’Shevat is a Festival where Jews eat different fruits and plant a seed in the ground.

The rule is:

If you don't elevate what you eat,

Then what you eat pulls you down.

Tu B’Shevat is a special day to start growth.

Just like how a tree grows.

You can grow and reach the success you can achieve.

You constantly want to renew your energy so Tu B’Shevat is a time where you can plant a new seed and keep growing.


They say when your kids start looking for costumes, you know it's close to Purim.

Purim is one of the most special holidays that Jews celebrate throughout the year.

Purim is connected to the Redemption and the coming of Moshiach.

On Purim, Jews read Megillat Esther (The Scroll of Esther) and there was a miracle.

The miracle allowed for the decree to be sweetened and to change.

Jews dress in fancy clothes on Purim and give out Mishloach Manot.

Mishloach Manot are so special between Jews are share gifts with each other.

This is special because it shows we are all equal.

Pesach (Passover)

Pesach is celebrated by Jews for the time when they left Egypt.

Jews have a Seder on Pesach that involves many customs to represent different things while leaving Egypt.

When the Jews left Egypt,

They did not have time to bake bread.

So they walked with the dough on their backs and it became Matzah.

The concept of Pesach is a Jew going out of their limitations.

So, once a year, you charge yourself with energy that allows you go out of your limitations.

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day)

Yom HaShoah is Holocaust Memorial Day.

It is on Yom HaShoah that Jews and others from all over the world, take the day to remember the Holocaust that killed 6 million Jews.

Yom HaZikaron (Israeli Memorial Day)

Yom HaZikaron is the Israeli Memorial Day.

On Yom HaZikaron, Jews and others in Israel and all over the world, take the day to remember all the soldiers who fought for Israel's independence.

Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)

Yom HaAtzmaut is Israel's Independence Day.

Yom HaAtzmaut is a day where Jews from all over the world celebrate being brought back to Israel.

Many Jewish schools from all over the world celebrate this day with wearing blue and white clothes to school.

It is a very joyous day.

Lag B’Omer

Lag B’Omer happens on the 33rd day of the Omer.

Lag B’Omer commemorates the passing of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rashbi)

When Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was alive, there was not a single rainbow in the sky throughout his entire life.

Why is this siginificant?

When Noah came out of the Ark,

G-d made a promise that He is never going to destroy the world again.

And, when He is upset, there will be a beautiful rainbow in the sky.

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai had such a powerful merit during his life that the entire world sustained.


The Mitzvah (Commandment) to do on Shavout is to not do any labour.

On Shavout, the Jews are given The Torah by G-d.

On the night of Shavout, you can open all the Gates of the Heavens.

The Gates of Abundance.

On Shavout, some Jews will stay up all night and learn Torah!

The reason for this is to celebrate receiving The Torah.

Shavout is one of the most powerful nights of the year.

Tisha B’Av

Tisha B’Av is the day when both of the Jewish Temples were destroyed.

On this day, Jews do not eat or drink.

It is considered one of, if not the saddest day in the Jewish calendar.

Tu B’Av

Jewish Sages say in The Talmud that there are no days happier for the Nation of Israel than:

Yom Kippur and Tu B’Av.

Tu B’Av was the day when the World was Conceived.

It is a very powerful day of Prayer for Jews.

There you have it..

The Jewish Holidays, explained.

There are more Jewish holidays which will be added to the list as time goes on but these are the main ones that are celebrated/remembered.

Till next time!


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