Article Discussion: Jewish Holidays Cheat Sheet

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June 28, 2011 at 3:23 am #5909


I am teaching on Esther to my Kindergartners for the next four weeks and was curious on dates. I am not Jewish so I am not familiar with any holidays but I looked up Purim expecting it to be celebrated on the 14th or 15th of December, can you please educate me on the significance of the dates? Thank you 🙂

June 28, 2011 at 1:15 pm #5910

Benjamin Maron

Purim is celebrated in the spring. The Hebrew date is Adar 14, which usually falls in March by our calendar. (In specific places, according to ancient rules, the holiday is celebrated on Adar 15 instead.)

If you let us know why you thought it would be December, we might be able to help explain that.

You can find more of our Purim resources here.

I hope this helps.

September 20, 2011 at 4:08 pm #6129


Yom Teruah (The day of sounding) is the holiday the Christians refer to as the Feast of Trumpets.

October 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm #6207


I’m an african american and really do not know about the jewish tradition, but it is always nice to learn about other religions, I have been seeing the men in my neighborhood carrying a long stem plant wrapped in plastic for the past couple of days is this a tradition or some sort of religious activity? just curious

October 14, 2011 at 5:50 pm #6209

Ed Case

You’re seeing people carrying a lulav which is used during the holiday of Sukkot. Check out our video to learn more about it: … ideo.shtml

November 12, 2011 at 9:44 pm #6284


what are the names of all the months in the jewish calendar and does this date back to the bibical days?

November 14, 2011 at 2:24 am #6287

Benjamin Maron

Only four months were given a name in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh); none of those names are used today. The Hebrew months are:

Nisan (was known as “Aviv” – various places in the book of Exodus), Iyar (called “Ziv” in 1 Kings), Sivan, Tamuz, Av, Elul, Tishrei (called Etanim in 1 Kings), Marcheshvan (called Bul in 1 Kings), Kislev, Tevet, Shvat, and Adar.

December 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm #6361


Thank you! This was so incredibly helpful. I am a clueless Gentile and I want to say the right thing and be considerate to Jewish colleagues observing holidays. It’s not always easy to find all this information explained in a down-to-earth, easy to understand way. Thank you so much!

December 18, 2011 at 8:23 am #6418


what is the date YEAR …2011
as I reviewed calendars could not discover YEAR???

December 19, 2011 at 12:26 am #6420

Benjamin Maron

According to the Hebrew calendar, the year starts in the fall (with Rosh Hashanah). As a result, the year 2011 (of the Gregorian calendar) overlaps with both the year 5771 and 5772. It’s currently 5772.

January 21, 2012 at 5:35 am #6505


Thank you, for the great info. I love the site. Are there any known short plays that incorporate the story of Purim? We want to have the kids “act out” the story. Let us know.

January 26, 2012 at 10:47 pm #6525


You all have great holidays! I work in an area with a large Jewish (Orthodox) population, and love to see entire families walking to the Synagogue.

January 29, 2012 at 9:21 pm #6530

Debbie B.

To the author of reply #40 above:

The classic Purim play is called a “Purim shpiel”. Here is a webpage about the Purim shpiel which lists links to several “Scripts for Purim Plays” at the bottom:

At my synagogue (and many others), every year a group of members composes a new Purim shpiel. At my congregation, it is usually done as a farcical musical based loosely on the Purim story, but interweaving stories from our congregation and current world events in a humorous way. They use well-known songs from musicals and change some of the words. On the evening of Purim, after the reading of Megillat Esther, this play is performed for the entertainment of the congregation. One year, my children were part of an all-children’s shpiel that they wrote and performed completely on their own—the children ranged from ages 7-11. It was better than the adult shpiel that year!

February 8, 2012 at 10:14 am #6554


I am a christian but I observe the Shabbat

April 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm #6707


I just put up a profile on JDate and I wanted to catch up on everything I’ve forgotten since the dreaded days I had to go to Hebrew School, prior to my Bar Mitzvah… I think I’m prepared for a date!! Happy passover, and thank you Ruth for putting together such a simple yet thorough review of the Jewish traditions = )

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