Jewish Holy Days

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Jewish Holy Days Paper Beth Maldonado REL/134 September 10, 2012 Dr. Catherine Reyes Jewish Holy Days Paper Judaism spans back more than two thousand years or longer, depending upon one’s point of view. Appreciating the holy days and history in Judaism will give an understanding of the religion and culture. In Judaism there are many holy days such as Yom Kippur, Hashanah, Sukkot, Hanukkah, Passover, Purim, and Shavuot. The chosen holy day for this paper is Shavuot. This paper will discuss the historic heritage and the time of year in which the Jewish community celebrates Shavuot as well as the religious customs affiliated with Shavuot and the theological or cultural differences that might guide the diversity of the celebration of Shavuot, but also the numerous branches of Judaism. The Time of Year of Shavuot Shavuot is the celebration of Weeks. This holy day is just one of three main celebrations that have agricultural along with historical meaning. Shavuot does not have an exact date, but it is fifty days from the end of Passover. The extent of the months was previously changeable and is decided by the observations, which there are two new moons among Passover and Shavuot. Since our calendar is mathematically figured, and the months within Shavuot and Passover do not change length on the mathematical calendar, Shavuot will always be on the 6th day of Sivan the third month of the Jewish year, occurring in May/June. It is the month in which God descended on Mt. Sinai and gave the Torah to the Jewish people. As noted elsewhere, there are only three months that are referred to ordinally in the Torah in conjunction with the exodus from Egypt: Nisan, Iyar, and Sivan ("Authentic Jewish Mysticism and Thought", 1996-2011.). The Historical Origin of Shavuot There are historical and agricultural origins of Shavuot. Looking from the agricultural view this was the day when

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