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Rosh Chodesh — which literally means “head of the month”– is the minor holiday that marks the beginning of every Hebrew month. The Jewish calendar, which combines both lunar and solar aspects, has 12 months (and 13 in leap years); half of these months are 30 days long and half are 29 days.
At the end of months that have 30 days, Rosh Chodesh is observed for two days, on the 30th day of the previous month and the first day of the new month. After months that have 29 days, only the first day of the next month is observed as Rosh Chodesh.
Listed below are each of the months of the Jewish year and within each month you will find information on holidays observed during that month, if applicable.
Lag BaOmer (Hebrew: ל״ג בעומר), also Lag B’Omer, is a Jewish holiday celebrated on the 33rd day of the Counting of the Omer, which occurs on the 18th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar. One reason given for the holiday is as the day of passing of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. Modern Jewish tradition links the holiday to the Bar Kokhba Revolt against the Roman Empire (132-135 CE). In Israel, it is celebrated as a symbol for the fighting Jewish spirit.
Holiday Insight: Tu B’Shevat
Tu B’Shevat, or the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shevat is a celebration of trees and their impact on our lives. This date is the “new year for the trees” because farmers needed to know when to bring the first fruits to the Temple in Jerusalem. It is one of four new years (the most famous being Rosh HaShana). In the 16th C, the Kabbalists crafted a “seder” using fruits and their mystical symbolism as a modern interpretation of the holiday.
Powerpoint Presentation in honor of Tu B’Shevat [Israel Photos]