Festival Cycle Dates 5780 / 2019-2020

Our gift to you for the new calendar year 5780:

DOUBLE SIDED – FESTIVAL CYCLE DATES 2019 – 2020

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

Simply print off, fold in three sections and glue together to make a beautiful calendar to stand on your desk…or wherever.

A 5780 prayer and blessing to you from His-Israel:

May this new year bring us all fresh passion, greater understanding, and deeper insights into the Word and will of the One who Created us in love. May we live each moment of our lives, even the most mundane, with the understanding that all moments are infused with deep purpose and spiritual meaning. And may this soulful living lead us into a closer more intimate relationship with our faithful Abba-Father.

We trust that 5780 will find your heart overflowing with the love of Heaven, your soul filled with the wonders of Heaven, and your body in constant praise to Heaven so that you may truly:
“Love the Lord your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

For His holy Name’s sake, in love.

Keren and Cindy

The world says that time is money, I say that time is life. [1]

Keren is leading us through a new and vital Rosh Chodesh/Hebrew Month series this year (see here  – Keep Climbing ) one that has lead myself (Cindy) to the realization that every moment, including those moments that might be thought of as mundane, are precious and bursting – full of soul possibilities, spiritual meaningfulness and purpose. If we listen, our souls “feel the brevity of it all, the beauty. It wants us to behold each day, each minute, as a precious gift that we should not waste.” [2]

When  working on the new Festival Cycle Calendar I began exploring the many Jewish interpretations, traditions and understandings of time. Jill Hammer in her book The Jewish Book Of Days tells us, “The wheel of the year is complex, wealthy with distinctions and characteristics…” 

Rabbi Trugman tells us in his book Seasons Of The Soul that “when considering…the passage of time…connected to the yearly holiday cycle…time can be experienced in one of four basic ways”:

1. Linear – past, present and future follow a chronological sequence; as each moment passes it is gone, never to return.

2. Circular – time repeats itself in phases of weeks, months, and years.

3. A Spiral – time twists ever-upwards… always returning to the same horizontal coordinate, but on a higher plane during each successive revolution. Thus, each moment of time is both completely new as well as cyclically and seasonally consistent.

4. Transcendent – above historical time all together. This is the way G-d experiences time. For, on a Divine level, past, present and future all occur simultaneously.

He explains how the yearly cycle of the Biblical feasts has the potential to catapult us from a linear, circular, and even spiral-like experience of time to a transcendent experience.

The cycle of the Jewish holidays gives us the ability to be completely connected to and engrossed in time, while allowing us to simultaneously transcend its limitations.
For those who have been privileged to experience the timelessness of Shabbat and the holidays, they know the transcendent qualities accessible on these special days if we but allow ourselves to dive into them with total abandon. Great is the reward for those who make that leap into and out of time.

Rabbi Waskow [4] teaches that these festivals, especially the shalosh regalim (three pilgrimage festivals – Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot), “are a kind of national life cycle in which Passover represents birth, Shavuot represents marriage and commitment, and Sukkot represents maturity.” In this context the yearly cycle can be viewed as a mirror of our life and the journey of our souls.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find that it is bound fast by a thousand invisible cords that cannot be broken, to everything in the universe. [3]

Connected also with the Divine rhythms of time, is time’s connectedness to Creation.
Jill Hammer shares:

G-d made three realms in the world: sky, earth, and sea: “In seven days the Eternal made the sky, the earth, and the sea with everything in it, and rested on the seventh day” (Exodus 20:11). These three realms manifest through the three pilgrimage festivals – Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot – and the days that follow them.

Shavuot is connected to the sky. The sky is…the wedding canopy of Israel…we receive the Torah from the heavenly realms. We pray for the harvest to be successful and for rain to fall. On Tisha b’AV…we pray for the afflicted and martyred…On Rosh Hashanah we contemplate the past year and consider our deeds. On Yom Kippur, we wear white…the heaven’s correspond to the dimension of the soul, and this is the season when we do the most soul work.

Sukkot is connected to the earth. On Sukkot, the fields open to give us their bounty… we dwell outside in booths…we plant crops…we celebrate the holidays of Hanukkah and Purim, when earthly actions by human beings saved the Jewish people.
We honor trees on Tu b’Shevat. Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Temple, the most holy space of the people. On the 1st of Nisan, just before Passover, we mark the anniversary of the building of the Tabernacle. [G-d’s first physical dwelling place on earth.]

Passover is connected to the realm of the ocean. On Passover, the Sea of Reeds parts to allow the Israelites to pass from slavery to freedom…The sea represents birth; and at this season the Jewish people were born. During this time, Miriam’s well…appears in the desert. The sea, which ebbs and flows in patterns of days and months, corresponds to the dimension of time; and it is at this season that we pay the most attention to time, counting every day between Passover and Shavuot. [5]

Our Abba has written layer upon layer into the circle of the year. So much to learn, so much to discover. Rabbi Waskow describes: “More of us are experiencing a thirst for the water of our spiritual wellsprings, or hunger for [our Jewish] roots…To fill that thirst and feed that hunger means that we must open up to what the holidays can be…much more than bubbles.” [6]

1. Menachem Mendel Schneerson, as shared by Rabbi Simon Jacobson in Toward a Meaningful Life, 143
2. Naomi Levy, Einstein and the Rabbi, 116
3. From the journal of John Muir (American naturalist) dated July 27.
4. Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Seasons Of Our Joy
5. Jill Hammer, The Jewish Book of Days, 14-15
6. Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Seasons of Our Joy, preface

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

Free Download: DOUBLE SIDED Festival Cycle Dates 2018 – 2019

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…*

Download: Festival Cycle Dates 5778

* 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.

Download Festival Cycle 5776

*  Sheryl Intrator Urman

Festival Cycle Dates 5774

happy-passover_800x800_01

 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

 happy-passover_800x800_01

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