9.06.2017

Jewish High Holy Days

Jewish New Year

Jewish New Year (Rosh HaShanah) starts at sundown on Wed. Sept. 20.

The ten days starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur are commonly known as the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim) or the Days of Repentance.




Rosh Hashana is the beginning of the High Holiday season. 










Did you know that there are 5 names for Rosh HaShanah?

1. Rosh Hashana literally means "Head of the Year" because Rosh Hashana marks the point when we begin the new calendar year (e.g. from 5772 to 5773).
2. Yom Harat Olam means "The Birthday of the World."
3. Yom Hazikaron means "The Day of Remembering."
4. Yom Hadin means "The Day of Judgment."
5. Yom Teruah means "The Day of Sounding (the Shofar)." This is the actual name that the holiday is called in the Torah.*

The Jewish High Holidays mean: 
  • We get a chance for teshuvah (return to G-d), turn over a new leaf and begin again doing the right thing. 
  • We hear the shofar – a wake-up call to jostle us, to seriously taking stock of what we’ve done all year and make sure we are worthy of being written into the Book of Life. “God sits in judgment, deciding whether or not we have merited to be inscribed in the divine book of life.“ **
  • We eat apples dipped in honey to celebrate the sweetness of life. 
  • The challah is round symbolizing the circle of life. 
Shanah Tovah u’meitukah, 
Happy and Sweet New Year! 

Linda B. 

Check out the items created by EtsyChai team members. Visit each shop!  
Originally published in 2014.*Source: Jewish Treats
** Source: A Taste of Torah, by Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz
Linda Blatchford
Jewelry Designer
www.LinorStore.com
www.lindab142.etsy.com

3.05.2017

Purim begins March 11 at sundown

What is Purim?

Purim is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. It commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination.

In the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, on its thirteenth day ... on the day that the enemies of the Jews were expected to prevail over them, it was turned about: the Jews prevailed over their adversaries. - Esther 9:1
And they gained relief on the fourteenth, making it a day of feasting and gladness. -
 Esther 9:17

[Mordecai instructed them] to observe them as days of feasting and gladness, and sending delicacies to one another, and gifts to the poor. - Esther 9:22

The story of Purim is told in the Biblical book of Esther. The heroes of the story are Esther, a beautiful young Jewish woman living in Persia, and her cousin Mordecai, who raised her as if she were his daughter. Esther was taken to the house of Ahasuerus, King of Persia, to become part of his harem. King Ahasuerus loved Esther more than his other women and made Esther queen, but the king did not know that Esther was a Jew, because Mordecai told her not to reveal her identity.



In 2017, the Fast of Esther is March 9, 2017 and Purim begins the evening of March 11 through March 12. All Jewish holidays begin at sundown the night before. The word "Purim" means "lots" and refers to the lottery that Haman used to choose the date for the massacre.

hament_ear1

The villain of the story is Haman, an arrogant, egotistical advisor to the king. Haman hated Mordecai because Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman, so Haman plotted to destroy the Jewish people. In a speech that is all too familiar to Jews, Haman told the king, "There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your realm. Their laws are different from those of every other people's, and they do not observe the king's laws; therefore it is not befitting the king to tolerate them." Esther 3:8. The king gave the fate of the Jewish people to Haman, and Haman planned to exterminate all of the Jews.

Esther fasted for three days to prepare herself, then went into the king. He welcomed her. Later, she told him of Haman's plot against her people. The Jewish people were saved, and Haman was hanged on the gallows that had been prepared for Mordecai.

The book of Esther is unusual in that it is the only book of the Bible that does not contain the name of G-d. In fact, it includes virtually no reference to G-d. Mordecai makes a vague reference to the fact that the Jews will be saved by someone else, if not by Esther, but that is the closest the book comes to mentioning G-d. Thus, one important message that can be gained from the story is that G-d often works in ways that are not apparent, in ways that appear to be chance, coincidence or ordinary good luck.

The Purim holiday is preceded by a minor fast, the Fast of Esther, which commemorates Esther's three days of fasting in preparation for her meeting with the king. Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of Adar, which is usually in March. The 13th of Adar is the day that Haman chose for the extermination of the Jews, and the day that the Jews battled their enemies for their lives. On the day afterwards, the 14th, they celebrated their survival. In cities that were walled in the time of Joshua, Purim is celebrated on the 15th of the month, because the book of Esther says that in Shushan (a walled city), deliverance from the massacre was not complete until the next day. The 15th is referred to as Shushan Purim.

Purim Blue Grogger Earrings
The primary commandment related to Purim is to hear the reading of the book of Esther. The book of Esther is commonly known as the Megillah, which means scroll. Although there are five books of Jewish scripture that are properly referred to as megillahs (Esther, Ruth, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and Lamentations), this is the one people usually mean when they speak of The Megillah. It is customary to boo, hiss, stamp feet and rattle gragers (noisemakers; see illustration) whenever the name of Haman is mentioned in the service. The purpose of this custom is to "blot out the name of Haman."

grager, noisemaker
We are also commanded to eat, drink and be merry. According to the Talmud, a person is required to drink until he cannot tell the difference between "cursed be Haman" and "blessed be Mordecai," though opinions differ as to exactly how drunk that is. A person certainly should not become so drunk that he might violate other commandments or get seriously ill. In addition, recovering alcoholics or others who might suffer serious harm from alcohol are exempt from this obligation.

In addition, we are commanded to send out gifts of food or drink, and to make gifts to charity. The sending of gifts of food and drink is referred to as shalach manos (lit. sending out portions). Among Ashkenazic Jews, a common treat at this time of year is hamentaschen (lit. Haman's pockets). These triangular fruit-filled cookies are supposed to represent Haman's three-cornered hat.




Purim hamentashchen, treat
It is customary to hold carnival-like celebrations on Purim, to perform plays and parodies, and to dress in costume. Americans sometimes refer to Purim as the Jewish Mardi Gras.
masks, costume, dress
Researched by Linda Blatchford. This post was from my blog in 2009.

1.07.2017

Team Changes

Team changes are coming - membership requirements are changing.

We are currently not accepting new members.

I am looking for mavens to write blog posts, share on Facebook and ways to promote the team.

Please bear with us.

Linda Blatchford, Team Captain

9.21.2016

Rosh HaShanah starts Oct 2, 2016

Jewish New Year (Rosh HaShanah) starts at sundown on Sun., Oct 2. 





Did you know that there are 5 names for Rosh HaShanah?

1. Rosh Hashana literally means "Head of the Year" because Rosh Hashana marks the point when we begin the new calendar year (e.g. from 5772 to 5773).
2. Yom Harat Olam means "The Birthday of the World."
3. Yom Hazikaron means "The Day of Remembering."
4. Yom Hadin means "The Day of Judgment."
5. Yom Teruah means "The Day of Sounding (the Shofar)." This is the actual name that the holiday is called in the Torah.*


The Jewish High Holidays mean: 
  • We get a chance for teshuvah (return to G-d), turn over a new leaf and begin again doing the right thing. 
  • We hear the shofar – a wake-up call to jostle us, to seriously taking stock of what we’ve done all year and make sure we are worthy of being written into the Book of Life. “God sits in judgment, deciding whether or not we have merited to be inscribed in the divine book of life.“ **
  • We eat apples dipped in honey to celebrate the sweetness of life. 
  • The challah is round symbolizing the circle of life. 
Shanah Tovah u’meitukah, 

Happy and Sweet New Year! 

Linda B. 
Originally published at Linorstore.com 
Linda Blatchford
Jewelry Designer
www.LinorStore.com
www.lindab142.etsy.com