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What are five Megillot, and when is each one read?

by Rabbi Simcha Bart

  

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Question:

Hi! What can you tell me about the five Megillot?

thanks, ScriptureMan

Answer:

Ruth is customarily read on the holiday of Shavuot, when we received the Torah, since Ruth gave up everything to embrace Judaism and accept the Torah. 

Song of Songs is customarily read on Passover. Passover is when our 'romance' with G-d officially began.

Ecclesiastes is customarily read on the holiday of Sukkot.

Lamentations is read on the 9th of Av, the day when the Temples were destroyed.

Esther is read on Purim, the day when we commemorate the great miracle that is recorded in the Book of Esther.

The above is an adapted excerpt from the AskMoses searchable knowledgebase. For the entire article please follow this link: Are the books of the Prophets and Holy Writings read publicly?


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Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Passover
A Biblically mandated early-spring festival celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the year 1312 BCE.
Sukkot
A seven day autumn festival commemorating the miracle of the Heavenly Clouds which enveloped the Jews while traveling in the desert for forty years. On this holiday we dwell in makeshift booths and shake the Four Species.
Purim
A one-day holiday celebrated in late winter commemorating the miraculous deliverance of the Jewish people from a decree of annihilation issued by Persian King Ahasuerus in the year 356 BCE.
Esther
1. Jewish wife of Persian King Ahasuerus in the 4th century BCE. Foiled the plot of Haman, the prime minister, to exterminate all the Jews. The holiday of Purim commemorates this miraculous salvation. 2. One of the 24 Books of the Bible, which chronicles the abovementioned story.
Shavuot
Early summer festival marking the day when the Jews received the Torah at Mount Sinai in the year 2448 (1312 BCE).
Av
The fifth month of the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to July-August. The saddest month of the year due to the destruction of the Temples, and the many other tragedies which befell the Jews in this month.
Song of Songs
One of the 24 books of the Bible, authored by King Solomon. This book, which ostensibly is a love poem, is an analogy meant to depict the love between G-d and His bride, the Jewish Nation.
Ruth
1. A Moabite woman who accompanied Naomi, the Jewish mother of her deceased husband, back to Israel. She converted, married, and was the ancestor of King David. 2. One of the 24 books of the Bible, which chronicles the events of Naomi's life.
Lamentations
One of the 24 books of the Bible, this poetic scripture, authored by Jeremiah, prophetically details the destruction of Jerusalem.
Ecclesiastes
One of the 24 books of the Bible. This book of wise sayings was authored by King Solomon.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.