What Year Is It Judaism

Background Information

Judaism is one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world. It dates back over 3000 years to the Babylonian Exile of the Jewish people, when the original version of the Hebrew bible, known as the Torah, began to be written. Judaism is the basis of all the three Abrahamic religions which includes the Christian faith and Islam. It has always been centered on devotion to one God and observance of Jewish holidays, Shabbat, and other religious instruction. The year in Judaism is determined by a combination of solar and lunar cycles in order to determine when certain holidays and festivals occur.

The Jewish Calendar

The Jewish calendar is different from the Gregorian calendar used in most parts of the world. The year begins with Rosh Hashanah, the New Year holiday, in September or October. As the Jewish calendar is lunar-based, the months have no fixed amount of days and months have either 29 or 30 days. A 12-month year is adopted, with an additional month inserted seven times out of every 19 years, to keep the holidays on the same day of the same solar season. This extra month is called “Adar Bet” (double Adar).

The Year Number

The Jewish year is measured beginning with the date of Creation. Traditionally, this is the anniversary of Adam and Eve’s creation. This year is numbered 5780. In Jewish tradition, the year today is actually considered the year of creation’s completion, 5779. This means that every year Jews celebrate is 7,670 years after Creation.

Liturgical Cycle

The liturgical cycle of the Jews is based on a three-year cycle of Torah readings. This cycle is called the triennial cycle. It includes nine special scriptural portions that are read weekly in canons. This cycle begins on the first day of the Jewish New Year and repeats itself every three years. Each year is thus divided into a trio of three-year cycles.

Jewish Holidays

Jewish holidays are based on the lunar cycle. These special days are celebrated with prayers, feasts, and fasting. As the months have no fixed amount of days, the Jewish New Year sometimes falls in September or October. Other holidays include Pesach, the Passover holiday commemorating the Exodus from Egypt and Shavuot, the holiday celebrating God’s gift of the Torah. Traditional Jews also observe nine days of mourning in the month of Av and the fast of Yom Kippur.

Jewish Calendar Reform

In the mid-nineteenth century, a reform movement emerged within Judaism known as “Reform Judaism”. Its advocates sought to modernize Jewish religious beliefs and practices, including the Jewish calendar. In an effort to remove any reliance upon the lunar cycle, many Reform Jews sought to align their year with the Gregorian calendar, instead of the traditional Jewish calendar.

Modern Jewish Calendar

Today, Jews around the world celebrate their holidays according to the traditional Jewish calendar. In addition, the modern state of Israel has adopted the traditional Hebrew calendar as its official calendar, meaning that all national holidays in Israel are synchronized to the lunar cycle. In this way, the important dates of the Jewish calendar serve to remind contemporary Jews of their history and tradition, and to continue to the legacy of a millennia-old faith.

Jewish Phylactery

The phylactery or “tefillin” is a set of small black leather boxes worn by Jewish men during prayer. The four compartments atop the phylactery contain passages from the Torah. These compartments, along with straps that are wrapped around the arm and head, represent the Jew’s commitment to adhere to God’s laws and perform His divine commandments. The phylactery is traditionally only worn on weekdays, but some communities will wear it on the Sabbath and on festivals.

Jewish Prayers

Jewish prayers, known as “tefillah”, are divided into three categories. These include praise (“mishvah”), petition (“t’filah”), and thanksgiving (“bikkurim”). Amen is said after each prayer as an acknowledgement and a way to show faith in God’s greatness. Jewish prayers are often accompanied by song, music, and dance in order to make the experience more meaningful.

Jewish Food

Jewish cuisine is known for its variety and flavor, making use of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins. The primary dietary laws of Judaism are known as Kashrut and are divided into two categories: restrictions on what one may eat and when, as well as cooking and eating. Common dishes include latkes, a potato pancake, matzo ball soup, chopped liver, kugel, and kasha. As Judaism is culturally diverse, so is its food, reflecting the foods of the Middle East, Eastern Europe, North Africa, and other regions.

Jewish Education

In Judaism, education is seen as an incredibly important endeavor. This includes both formal and informal learning. Schools are often divided into religious, or “parochial”, and secular schools. Religious schools typically focus on instruction in the Tanakh and Talmud, as well as classical Jewish texts. Secular schools focus primarily on English, Mathematics, Science, History, etc. There are also several adult education opportunities, such as lectures, classes, programs, and seminars.

Holocaust Remembrance

Today, the memory of the Holocaust is kept alive among Jews through a variety of methods. Special memorial days, educational sites, monuments, artwork, and literature help ensure that the horrors of the Holocaust are not forgotten. On Yom HaShoah, the Day of Remembrance, Jews around the world pause to remember the millions of Jews who perished. Through this solemn act of remembrance, Jews everywhere strive not only to never forget the past, but to shape a brighter future.

Interfaith Relationships

Interfaith relationships have always been important in the Jewish faith, and have become increasingly prominent in recent years. Jews of diverse backgrounds and beliefs strive to collaborate and engage in constructive dialogue. Programs and organizations such as the Interfaith Encounter Association and Just Vision hold panel discussions, conferences, and other events in order to promote understanding and foster mutual respect among different faith perspectives.

Discrimination Against Jews

Anti-Semitism, or discrimination against Jews, has been around for centuries. Sadly, it is still a major problem today. Jews are far from alone in this experience; racism and bigotry are unfortunately present in all corners of the globe. Jews everywhere strive to combat anti-Semitic stereotypes and hate speech through education, advocacy, and the celebration of Jewish culture.

Jewish Culture

Jews have made vast contributions to culture, art, and science throughout history. Indeed, these accomplishments embody the values of the Jewish faith. Art dealers, musicians, writers, scientists, and philanthropists of Jewish background have helped to shape the world in which we live. Their accomplishments serve as a reminder of the richness of Jewish life, as well as a reminder of the potential contained within the Jewish people.

Josephine Beck is a passionate seeker of religious knowledge. She loves to explore the depths of faith and understanding, often asking questions that challenge traditional beliefs. Her goal is to learn more about the different interpretations of religion, as well as how they intersect with one another.

Leave a Comment