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On what day of the week do Jewish Holidays fall?

by Rabbi Yosef Loschak

  

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Question:

What are the days that the holidays can fall on?

Answer:

As far as days of the week when the holidays fall, there is a clever way to determine this:

List the last six letters of the Hebrew alphabet in backwards order starting with 'Taf'. Each of these letters hints to the first letter of a Jewish holiday or fast (see right column of list below).

OK, now list the first six days Passover, so that the top of the list indicates the day of the week when Passover begins; in this example the 1st day of Passover falls on a Sunday.  (If Passover was to begin on a Tuesday, Tuesday would top the left hand column and match up with Tishah B'Av).

[Please note, the first day of Passover can never be Monday, Wednesday or Friday].

Now you can deduce the day of the week when each holiday will occur:

Sunday (1st day Passover)         Tav (Tishah b'av, the 9th of Av)
Monday                                    Shin (Shavuot)
Tuesday                                   Reish (Rosh Hashanah)
Wednesday                               Kuf (Kriat Hatorah = Simchat Torah)
Thursday                                  Tzaddi (Tzom = fast = Yom Kippur)
Friday                                       Pei (Purim, of the previous month)

**Sukkot always starts the same day of the week as Rosh Hashanah.   

You might also like to read "Why is Yom Kippur never on a Sunday?"           


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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.
Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year. An early autumn two day holiday marking the creation of Adam and Eve. On this day we hear the blasts of the ram's horn and accept G-d's sovereignty upon ourselves and the world. On Rosh Hashanah we pray that G-d should grant us all a sweet New Year.
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.
Yom Kippur
Day of Atonement. This late-autumn high-holiday is the holiest day of the year. We devote this day to repentance and all healthy adults are required to fast.
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.