Chag HaMatzot

Holidays: Mo’edim – The Appointed Times of YHVH as Found in the Torah

Shalom everyone! The following is a list of the appointed times (mo’edim) commanded by YHVH (YAH) the Creator of the Universe to B’nei Yisrael to observe as found in the Torah given to Moshe. Each of these mo’edim will be discussed in greater detail in later posts:


Mo’ed
(English Translation)
Torah Reference Description
Shabbat
(The weekly Sabbath)
A weekly day of rest from creative work (melachah) observed on the seventh and last day of the seven-day weekly cycle. The weekly Shabbat occurs from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday, a period of 24 hours. This commandment was given in commemoration of Yah‘s day of rest after six days of creating the heavens of the earth; and also as a memorial of the deliverance of B’nei Yisrael from slavery in Mizraim (Egypt) where they were not permitted a day of rest.

Please note that the annual mo’edim upon which Yah commanded B’nei Yisrael to abstain from creative work (melachah) are also called “Sabbaths.”

Rosh Chodesh
(New Moon)
The sighting of the new moon signifies the start of a new month on the biblical Hebrew calendar. B’nei Yisrael are commanded to observe this as a joyous celebration with the blast of trumpets/horns.
Pesach
(Passover)
Observed annually on the 14th day of the First Month (Aviv), or the 14th day of the second month if one could not observe it on the 14th day of the first month. This day is the last preparation day for the seven-day Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread). On this day, all leaven is removed from among B’nei Yisrael in all our habitations, the Pesach lamb/kid offering is sacrificed in the afternoon, but eaten later that evening after sunset, corresponding to the 15th day of the First Month (Aviv).
Chag HaMatzot
(Feast of Unleavened Bread)
Observed annually from the 15th to the 21st day of the first month (Aviv). During this seven-day festival B’nei Yisrael are commanded to eat unleavened bread and abstain from consuming any and all products containing leaven. The first day (15th of Aviv) and seventh day (21st of Aviv) of this festival are days of rest (sabbath) on which B’nei Yisrael are commanded to abstain from creative work (melachah) and hold a sacred celebration.
Sefirat HaOmer
(Counting of the Omer)
The counting of the omer begins on the 16th day of Aviv, the day after the rest  day (sabbath) of the 15th of Aviv, and lasts for 50 days until the day after seven complete weeks.
Shavuot/Yom Ha-Bikkurim
(Feast of Weeks/Day of First Fruits)
Observed during the third month, 50 days after the 16th of Aviv. It is a day of rest (sabbath) on which B’nei Yisrael are commanded to abstain from creative work (melachah) and hold a sacred convocation.
Yom Teruah
(Day of Trumpets, Day of Blasts)
Observed annually on first (1st) day of the Seventh Month (Ethanim/ Tishrei) commemorated with a sacred convocation with the loud blasts of trumpets/horns and/or beating of drums. This is a day of rest (sabbath) on which B’nei Yisrael are forbidden to do any creative work (melachah).

Also known as “Rosh HaShanah” (“Head of the Year”) and celebrated as the civil new year in Jewish communities.

Yom Ha-Kippurim
(Day of Atonement)
A complete abstention from work, food and drink observed annually from before sunset of the 9th day through the 10th day of the Seventh Month, a period of about 25 hours.
Sukkot
(Feast of Booths, Feast of Tabernacles, Feast of Ingathering)
A seven-day festival observed annually from the 15th day to the 21st day of the Seventh Month. For seven days, B’nei Yisrael were commanded to live in booths/tents as a reminder of the sojourning of the ancestors in the wilderness after the exodus from Mizraim (Egypt). On the 15th day, B’nei Yisrael were commanded to abstain from work and hold a sacred convocation. During this convocation we are commanded to bring the four species (product of hadar trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook) and rejoice before Yah.
Shemini Atzeret
(Eighth Day of Assembly)
Observed annually on the 22nd day of the Seventh Month, immediately after Sukkot. Sometimes referred to as the eighth day of SukkotB’nei Yisrael are commanded to abstain from work and hold a sacred convocation.
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