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The Jewish Calendar 2014
Major holiday dates for Judaism

Jan Thu 16

Tu B'Shevat

The Jewish New Year for trees - For religious accounting purposes all trees have their anniversaries on this festival, regardless of when they were planted.

Mar Sat 1

Fast of Esther (Taanit Esther)

A fast in commemoration of the fast of Mordechai and Esther. This is not a major Jewish fast.

Mar Sun 16


Purim commemorates the time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination by the courage of a young Jewish woman called Esther.

Mar Mon 17

Shushan Purim

In some places Purim is celebrated one day later. In this case it is called Shushan Purim.

Apr Mon 14

Fast of the Firstborn

Observed only by firstborn males, on the day before Passover. This fast celebrates the survival of Jewish firtborn sons from the 10th Plague of Egypt.

Apr Tue 15

Passover (1st day)

The start of the season of Passover when Jews commemorate the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses. Work is not permitted on the first two and the last two days of Passover.

Apr Wed 23

Passover (final day)

The eighth and final day of Passover. Note that Passover lasts for seven days in Israel.

Apr Sun 27

Yom Hashoah

The Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day. The date is chosen as the closest date (in the Jewish calendar) to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

May Sun 4

Yom Hazikaron

A day of remembrance on the day preceding Israel's Independence Day.

May Mon 5

Yom Ha'atzmaut

Israel's Independence Day

May Sun 18

Lag B'Omer

A minor holiday on the 33rd day of the Omer commemorating a break in the plague during the lifetime of Rabbi Akiva.

May Wed 28

Yom Yerushalayim

Jerusalem Day

Jun Wed 4

Shavuot (1st day)

Shavuot is a two-day festival that marks the time when the first harvest was taken to the Temple. Also known as the Festival of Weeks. Work is not permitted for the duration of the festival.

Aug Tue 5

Tisha B'Av

A solemn day that commemorates a series of tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people over the years, many of which have coincidentally happened on this day.

Sep Thu 25

Rosh Hashanah (1st day)

Jewish New Year. A two-day festival during which work is not permitted.

Sep Sat 27

Fast of Gedalliah

Fast in memory of the assassination of Gedalliah Ben Achikam, the Governor of Israel during the days of Nebuchadnetzar, King of Babylonia.

Oct Sat 4

Yom Kippur

Day of Atonement - the most solemn day of the Jewish year.

Oct Thu 9


Sukkot or The Feast of Tabernacles, commemorates the years that the Jews spent in the desert on their way to the Promised Land, and celebrates the way in which God took special care of them under impossible conditions. Sukkot lasts for seven days, and work is not permitted on the first two days.

Oct Wed 15

Hoshanah Rabbah

The 7th day of Sukkot.

Oct Thu 16

Shemini Atzeret

Shemini Atzeret can be translated as "the assembly of the eighth (day)." In Israel the festival is combined with Simchat Torah.

Oct Fri 17

Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah means "Rejoicing in the Torah." This holiday marks the completion of the yearly cycle of weekly Torah readings.

Dec Wed 17


Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights and marks the restoration of the temple by the Maccabees in 164 BCE. Hanukkah is celebrated at roughly the same time as Christmas, but there is no connection at all between the festivals.


Charles Henderson

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and Executive Director of
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).  
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here.
God and Science (Hypertext Edition, 2005).
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion:
Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).

Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.  

For more information about Charles Henderson.