Festival Cycle Dates 5779 / 2018-2019


As long as the days the earth endure,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
shall not cease.
Genesis 8:22

The eternal renewal of seasons!

Jill Hammer shares in her book The Jewish Book of Days how the months and seasons of Israel correspond to the stages of the growth of a tree:

The eight stages of the year correspond to the eight parts of the tree:
The seed, corresponds to seedtime.
The root, buried in the darkness of the soil.
The branch, laid bare in winter.
The sap, beginning to run in the cold season.
The bud, emerging to be harvest in its time.
The leaf, drawing in light during the long days.
The flower, beginning to fade in the summer sun.
The fruit, ripening in the heat of summer.

Like the days of a tree shall be the days of My people.
Isaiah 65:22

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Festival Cycle Dates 5778 – 2017 / 2018

He leads me in cycles of righteousness,
for His Name’s sake.
Psalm 23:3

In our lives, we are all ceaseless time-travelers as we move from moment to moment, event to event. But the maps of time are hard to attain and even harder to read. Many of us find ourselves seeming to stand still in our lives and yet time whizzes by until suddenly we approach our end of days…

The special days of the Festival Cycle are not random moments scattered over the year, but purposeful occurrences… One can say that the festivals act as lodgings for travelers making their way through the year. These ‘festival inns’ are special accommodations not solely for rest or retreat from the world, but also places to halt and take our bearings to make sure we are moving forward and not just going around in circles. These are inns not for sleeping but rather for awakening…*

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* Michael Strassfeld, The Jewish Holidays, 1

Festival Cycle Dates 5776 – 2015/2016

A life cycle painting by Sheryl Intrator Urman

A life cycle painting by Sheryl Intrator Urman*

Time can be seen chronologically and historically as a linear sequence of events; yet, in a natural and spiritual sense, time really moves forward in reoccurring cycles (picture a circle in a spiral – a pulled out slinky). This dual nature of time is echoed in the Hebrew word for year – shanah which is a derivative of shoneh – meaning change. Time repeats itself but in a new form. We pass through the same set appointments in time each year, yet each year offers a new experience. Our journey from Egypt to Mt. Sinai, to Jerusalem and Mt. Zion happened, is happening and will happen again.

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*  Sheryl Intrator Urman

Festival Cycle Dates 5774


 Festival  Cycle  5774

     Sept. 28, 2013 – Sept. 24, 2014

Hanukkah                                                          Evening  27 November – 04 December 2013

Purim                                                                 Evening 15 – 16 March, 2014

Pesach – Passover                                          Seder Meal – evening, 14 April, 2014

Week of Unleavened Bread                             15 April -22 April

Counting the Omer                                            First Day: 16 April – 03 June

  • Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Memorial Day        28 April
  • Yom Ha’Zicharon – Memorial Day                    05 May
  • Yom Ha’Atzmaut – Independence Day            06 May
  • Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day                28 May

Shavuot – Pentecost Evening                            03 – 04 June

Month of Elul                                                        Evening 26 August – 24 September

Rosh HaShanah – Feast of Trumpets                 Evening 24 – 25 September

Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement                        Evening 03 – 04 September

Sukkot – Feast of Tabernacles                           Evening 08 – 16 September

Simchat Torah                                                     Evening 16 – 17 September 2014


Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe,
Who has brought us to this season.