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  •  Um, no. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timaeus

    There are five festivals: Chanukah, Passover, Sukot, Purim, and Shavuot.

    The major Holy Days are Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

    I'll give you a source if you want, but I can assure you this is correct, based on 50 years of practicing my religion.

    It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

    by sboucher on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 02:27:04 PM PDT

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    •  Oh good (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sboucher

      then you already know that Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot are known as the Shalosh Regalim or Three Pilgrimage festivals, while Chanukah and Purim are lesser festivals added later.  And that while Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are known as the High Holidays or Days of Awe and arguably the most sacred days in the calendar, Pesach is a sacred day as well -- as it should be, considering that according to the Torah it was the first holiday ever given to the Israelites.

      I'd be very interested to see your source.  I've only been practicing this religion for 37 years myself.  Perhaps I missed something.

      (Or perhaps we practice different variants, although I wasn't aware that any of them differed quite that sharply.)

      •  Yes, I do know (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Batya the Toon

        about the Three Pilgrimage Festivals, and the later, lesser ones.

        But I've never learned or heard that the first night of Pesach was - if I'm understanding you correctly - holier than any other festival night, but less so than the Days of Awe.

        I was raised Reform (including seven years at Jewish summer camp), moved through a more conservative Reform, and have been Reconstructionist for over 20 years. Perhaps I missed something; I'm always happy to learn new things.

        It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

        by sboucher on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 06:00:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That could well be. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sboucher

          (Sorry if my last reply was snippy; I felt guilty about it almost immediately thereafter.  I should never comment when both irritated and in a hurry.)

          It might actually be that the Reform and Reconstructionist traditions do treat the holidays differently.  I was raised Orthodox and still am; I've become somewhat familiar with Conservative practices, but not very much so with Reform or Reconstructionist.

          The way I've always understood it is like this:  the three Pilgrimage Festivals are important -- holy, not just festive (in the way that Chanukah and Purim really are just festive).  I don't know if it's even accurate to say that they're less holy than the Days of Awe in general; Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year, unquestionably, but Rosh Hashanah's status in the calendar is raised largely by its proximity to Yom Kippur.

          The first night of Pesach doesn't have a formally higher status than any of the other holidays, but it's always felt ... uniquely holy, if that's a meaningful thing to say at all.  It has its own Temple-era sacrifice and its own restrictions, and it has the Seder -- unique in being a liturgical rite that's performed not in the synagogue but in the home.  And what it's commemorating is our religion's origin story.

          •  This is pretty interesting, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Batya the Toon, Timaeus

            so no harm done. We all snip as some point. And we're basically in agreement -- I think the differences are due to levels of observance.

            Agreed, Yom Kippur is the holiest day, but, to my understanding, Rosh Hashanah and the ten days between (Days of Awe) are inextricably crucial to prepare for YK: you can't ask Gd for forgiveness if you haven't made peace with your fellow persons and yourself. On Rosh Hashanah, the Book of Life is opened; we wish each other "may you be inscribed in the BofL." I never considered their proximity of dates in linking them.

            We agree Pesach is next holiest for the reasons you mentioned, its gathering of the generations to retell the story and observe the rituals. Growing up (Reform) we had one seder, a good-china-and-silver affair; a second seder was rare. Reconstructionist does second night  at the synagogue, but I don't know if this is simply the way we do it, or this is the way it's done.

            It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

            by sboucher on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:15:57 PM PDT

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