Celebrate Good Times

Parshat Emor includes a listing of all of the Biblical holidays and how they must be celebrated.


The springtime is full of Jewish holidays. Only a month ago, in Nisan, we were sitting around the seder table celebrating Pesach, the holiday of freedom. Now, we are busy counting the Omer, the 49 days between Pesach and Shavuot, the amount of time that it took B’nai Yisrael to get from Egypt to Mt. Sinai where they received the Torah. Before we know it, summer will be over and we will be celebrating Sukkot, which reminds us that God miraculously protected B’nai Yisrael in huts while they wandered in the desert for 40 years, as well as alludes to the final redemption in Messianic times.


The Jewish people are also celebrating modern day miracles during the spring. Last week, on the 5th of Iyar, we celebrated Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day which commemorates the declaration of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948. Yom HaAtzmaut is the only holiday that is not in the Torah which is an official day off from work in the state of Israel (Chanukah, Purim and unfortunately Sundays are workdays at many places of business!) and many holiday prayers including Hallel (Praise) are added to the Religious Zionist prayer services.


In two weeks, on the 28th of Iyar, we will be celebrating Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, when Israel liberated the Old City of Jerusalem, Har HaBayit, The Temple Mount and the Kotel, The Western Wall in 1967. This too is a day when holiday prayers including Hallel are recited (however it is unfortunately not a day off from work!).


When B’nai Yisrael left Egypt, God gave them the Shalosh Regalim- Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot. Now that we have the State of Israel, two new holidays have emerged, Yom HaAtzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim.


Rabbi Benjamin Blech comments: “For the sake of parallelism, it would appear that a third modern-day holiday is missing. Perhaps that is the last festival of all- the one that hasn’t happened yet but will be proclaimed when the end of the Jew’s journey through time will be marked by the moment of the Mashiach’s (Messiah’s) arrival”.


Let’s hope and pray that the new holiday will emerge speedily in our days.