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On which Jewish holidays is work forbidden?

by Mrs. Dinka Kumer


Library » Holidays » General Information » Forbidden Activities | Subscribe | What is RSS?


General Note: The “work” you ask about is any of the 39 forbidden labors prohibited to perform on Shabbat, with the exception of cooking and carrying in a public domain, which are forbidden on Shabbat but permitted on Holidays.

Here’s the holiday breakdown:

Rosh Hashanah: work is prohibited.

Yom Kippur: work is prohibited just as on Shabbat (neither of the above two exceptions apply).

Sukkot: work is prohibited on the first two days (first day only in Israel); during the next four days of Chol Hamoed (five days in Israel), work is somewhat limited. See What types of labor are permitted on Chol Hamoed?

Shmini Atzeret & Simchat Torah: work is prohibited.

Chanukah: work is permitted, though women should refrain from work until the Menorah lights have burned for at least 30 minutes, nor should work be done next to the menorah while the candles are burning.

Purim: all work is permitted. However, due the festive spirit of the day, it is proper to curtail one’s work, and if at all possible, it is preferable to take the day off from work. Spend the day delivering Mishloach Manot and rejoicing with others!

Passover: work is prohibited on the first two days (first day in Israel) and last two days (last day in Israel); during the middle four days of Chol Hamoed (five in Israel), work is somewhat limited.

Shavuot: work is prohibited.

All work is permitted on minor festivals such as Tu b'Shvat and Lag b'Omer.


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Holidays » General Information » Holiday Information

(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Mishloach Manot
Gifts of food which every Jew is required to give to an acquaintance on the holiday of Purim.
Chol Hamoed
(lit. "mundane [days] of the festival"), the intermediate days of the Festivals of Passover and Sukkot. On these days many of the holiday work restrictions are lifted.
Candelabra. Usually a reference to the nine-branched candelabra kindled on the holiday of Chanukah.