Book More Jewish Weddings with Pat Blackwell

#26 The Basics of Jewish Holidays

July 21, 2021 Pat Blackwell
Book More Jewish Weddings with Pat Blackwell
#26 The Basics of Jewish Holidays
Show Notes Transcript

Why should you care about Jewish holidays?  Well, if you are a wedding vendor, and these holidays land on a weekend this year, that will likely impact your wedding bookings.
Listen to this podcast to learn about:

  • Rosh Hashanah
  • Yom Kippur
  • Sukkot
  • Simchat Torah
  • Chanukah
  • Purim
  • Passover

Links mentioned in this episode:

  1.   CLICK HERE to get the FREE DOWNLOAD JPM Basic Guide to Jewish Holidays
  2. CLICK HERE to get the FREE DOWNLOAD JPM Top 12 Wedding Words Everyone Should Know!
  3.   For more information, check out the Jewish Party Maven website Click Here

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What are Jewish holidays? And why should you care? Well, if you're in the Jewish wedding business, you are likely very interested in how many of those Jewish holidays happen to fall on Saturdays impacting your Saturday wedding schedule. Or, if you have a new Jewish family, you'd like to know about Jewish holidays because it's fun to be part of celebrations. And just like in the secular or the Christian world, holidays are always cause for celebrations. So let's do it. As a Catholic farm girl in Minnesota, I certainly never expected to ever be the Jewish party maven. But 4400 parties and 26 years later, I am indeed an expert at Jewish party. I am fiercely committed to helping the best vendors book more parties in this amazing, lucrative and incredibly loyal Jewish party market. Let's go. Welcome to podcast number 26. Today we are going to talk about Jewish holidays. In the United States, this is the year 2021. And our calendar starts with New Year's Day on January 1, and runs through December 31. The Jewish calendar however, is Luna solar, meaning it's based on the natural cycles of the moon, lunar and the sun, solar. So a luna solar calendar. Today, July 21 2021, is actually the 12th day in the month of of 5781 in the Jewish calendar. How do you like that? So the holidays follow that same cycle. So if you follow a secular calendar, you'll find that the Jewish holiday dates change every year, and they vary by as much as five weeks from year to year. This year, it seems that the holidays are early. Some years the Jewish holidays are late. You'll find people googling all the time when is Hanukkah this year, when is rashanna this year? Well, in the Jewish calendar, holidays always start the night before and they continue all day until sunset. The evening before the holiday is called Arab which means the eve of so if Hanukkah begins on a Tuesday, then era of Hanukkah would be Monday night. If Passover begins on a Tuesday, then Arab Passover would be Monday night. If you listen to this podcast regularly, and thank you listeners, I sincerely hope you enjoyed them. And I appreciate your time. I know it's precious. If you are a regular listener than likely you've heard me say many times that there is no Jewish language. Instead, there is Hebrew, which is spoken in Israel. And there is Yiddish, which is the ancient Jewish language. If you hear many different pronunciations and spellings for these holidays, don't be surprised. There is no right way to celebrate, or even a right way to pronounce these holiday names. Let's get into these holidays. The most common Jewish holiday is Shabbat. And we had a podcast recently all about Shabbat, which is a weekly HOLIDAY Every Friday from sundown until Saturday after sundown is Shabbat a day of rest. To hear that podcast, go to Jewish party slash 24. Today we're going to talk about the other holidays. So we're going to discuss the seven major holidays of the Jewish community. Just like in the Christian community, there are many minor holidays in the Jewish community. There are many minor holidays too, but we're going to focus on these seven one Rosh Hashanah, two Yom Kippur War Three surcoat for sim cut Torah, five Hanukkah, six parum and seven Passover. As I've said, the Jewish calendar is based on the moon and the sun, and the calendar year begins in the fall with the holiday rashanna. Rush. Rosh Hashanah literally means head of the year. So Rosh Hashanah is the start of the new year, which happens every fall in the Jewish calendar. The 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are often referred to as the High Holidays, or high holy days, depending on who you're talking to. You may have heard me talk about the different branches of Judaism. orthodox, keep lots of rules. reformed Jews who eats decide which rules to follow, and conservative Jews who keep kosher but don't strictly follow all of those 613 rules spelled out in the Torah. reformed Jews celebrate rashanna for one day, conservative Jews Orthodox Jews celebrate Rosh Hashanah for two days. Either way, it's a celebration of the new year and a new beginning. This year 2021 era of Rosh Hashanah the eve of rashanna, falls on Monday, September six. The traditional blowing of the shofar the ram's horn has led to many people referring to rashanna as the feast of trumpets, especially in Europe. It would be polite to greet your Jewish friends with lush Shana Tova meaning may you have a good year. Most holidays in the Christian community have food correlations. Christmas, there's cookies for Easter, there's the Easter ham. for Halloween, there's candy. It's the same in the Jewish community. rashanna is all about wishing for a sweet New Year. So most of the foods associated with rashanna are sweet. Apples dipped in honey are perhaps the most well known, but hollow with raisins is common honey cakes, or pomegranate. Just like many Christians don't go to church every week, but they would never miss Christmas or Easter mass. Almost all Jewish people go to synagogue for the high holiday services. Yom Kippur is the next holiday is the most solemn day of the entire Jewish year. pronounced either Yom Kippur War or Yom Kippur. It is known as the Day of Atonement. This day is devoted to prayer and self examination and asking for forgiveness. Many Jewish people spend the entire day at their school. On the afternoon of Yom Kippur is a yes or service honoring the dead. Yom Kippur is traditionally a day of fasting, and it ends with a breaking of the fast usually with a feast. Many people were white on Yom Kippur symbolizing the purity of how they're starting their new year. You might wish your Jewish friends Shana Tova are happy new year, or you might say have an easy fast. The third major holiday is surcoat or soukous, depending on how you want to say it. surcoat literally means booths or hut. Many families erect a socket in their yard. It would be open on one side but it would have three sides and a roof. A socket would be decorated with gourds or pumpkins or bales of straw or corn stocks. Many people eat a special meal with their family or friends in their soccer. It's a very joyous holiday shared with friends. You might greet your Jewish friends with hog cemac which means Happy Holidays. The next holiday another fall holiday is sim cut Torah. It's the next major holiday, but it's not really so major, but it is celebrated by children. So those of you with a new Jewish family might be invited to see your family at some cut Torah services. In reformed temples, children are invited to a special service where they sing and dance with little mini Torah scrolls. Some cut Torah celebrates the end of the Torah reading. On this day, the Torah is rerolled and tomorrow starts all over again. There is no special food associated with some cateura but many temples use donuts and cider or other harvest type foods. The next major holiday which you've probably all heard about is usually in December. It's Hanukkah. This is another one of those words that spelled lots of different ways. Hanukkah with the CA or Hanukkah with an A or Hanukkah ending with an A or Hanukkah ending with an H all of those are workable options. You can't really go wrong there. When the Jews rededicated the temple in Jerusalem all those years ago, they thought they had enough oil for the lamp to burn just one day. Amazingly, however the oil lasted for eight days, so Hanukkah less for eight days. Hanukkah candles are lit each night in a special candle holder called a menorah. The first night you light just one candle the second night to light two candles all the way up to the eighth night where you light eight candles. Kids love Hanukkah, they often play games with a little four sided toy called a cradle kind of like a little top. It's also common to have chocolate coins or chocolate gelt. Almost all of the food related to Hanukkah is something fried in oil, again to symbolize the miracle of that oil lamp lasting eight days. So fried potato pancakes, some people call them Latinos, or fried jelly doughnuts, they're really common. Hanukkah for many centuries was a very Minor holiday in early December, but these days to compete with Christmas, and with the gift giving of Christmas, many Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah with gift giving to, but they do it better than we do. They do it for eight days. The next major holiday is usually in March or April, and it's called Purim. It is yet another celebration of the survival of the Jewish people. The big story is that the villainous Haman was determined to kill all the Jews. There's an old joke about how every Jewish holidays the same old story. They tried to kill us. We survived. Let's eat. I love that one. And it speaks to the dedication and perseverance of our Jewish friends. The food usually associated with perm is hamentashen. Remember, I said the villainous Haman was determined to kill all the Jews. hamentashen is a triangle shaped cookie named after the evil Haman. Drinking often plays a big part in celebrating Purim two. Kids dress up in fun costumes, especially like that evil Haman or the beautiful Esther or her cousin Mordecai. Purim is the closest thing Jewish people have to Halloween. Halloween, if you don't know, is really called St. hollows. That's a Christian holiday. Kids carry noisemakers called greggers. to drown out the name Haman when they're reading from the Mughal poem is known for costumes and silly skits. When you meet your new Jewish friends, you can say Happy Purim, or Purim Semitic. Alright, we're onto Passover. The last major Jewish holiday I want to talk about today is Passover, and Hebrew pisaq literally means to pass over. This holiday is yet another celebration of survival. Passover is a spring holiday generally March or April. Today Passover is a very significant holiday. It's filled with rituals and special foods. The biggest rule of Passover is that Jewish people should not consume any leavened bread during Passover. Back 3000 years ago, the Jews escaped from Israel. They took off in such a hurry that their bread did not have time to rise. So today, Jews across the world honor that time by not eating leavened bread, anything that's risen with yeast there for Britain from eating anything with yeast, that includes breads or grains or beer. As you know beer is fermented made with the yeast. The most commonly known food during Passover is called Mata, which is basically a big flat cracker. It is not love and not raised bread. I have a crazy story for you on that one. When I first moved to West, Bloomfield, Michigan some 34 years ago, West Bloomfield, at that time was a very heavily populated Jewish community. I didn't understand anything about Passover. The local band director asked me to pick a date for their pizza friend raiser. I chose a Thursday in the spring, in fact, that will work. The band showed up. But two people showed up, but nobody ordered any food. Oh, well, silly me. It was during Passover, I chosen date during Passover. It was a huge failure as a fundraiser all because I did not understand the traditions and customs of my audience. As a vendor, you should understand that likely there won't be any parties during the eight days of Passover because of the special food requirements. If you have a new Jewish family, you should understand that your Jewish grandchildren will not be coming over for pizza during Passover. If you have a new Jewish family, perhaps you'll get to experience a traditional Passover Seder. Seder is a meal filled with ritual and prayer. It involves a bunch of special food, there's matzah, there's horseradish. There's her Rossa, there's parsley, there's salt, water, grape juice, and quite often there's a lamb shake. This is a meal filled with rituals and prayers from a special book called A Haggadah. There are special games for the children where they hide a prize. I'll have a whole podcast on Passover this spring. But for now, that's it. These are the major Jewish holidays in a year. Lots of rituals, lots of meaningful family times, lots of celebrations for the children. What holidays or life cycles. Would you like to learn more about? Send me an email to pat at Jewish party Maven, or sign up to take one of my classes where we go into much more depth. We are here for you. Thank you for listening. We hope you tune in next week and every week where we keep learning. We've got some new cheat sheets coming out about these jewish holidays. Go to my website, Jewish party we've got a new cheat sheet For your coming out about the Jewish holidays. See you next week. Thanks for listening