Tag: holidays | חגים ומועדים

  • A Closer Look at Maoz Tzur

    A Closer Look at Maoz Tzur

    Update: I was interviewed by Sarah Ogince of the Jewish News Syndicate for an article on the history of Maoz Tzur, “Everyone knows ‘Ma’oz Tzur,’ except they don’t,” Dec. 15, 2022. This is revised with added notes from a short piece I wrote on the well-known Chanukkah piyyut, Ma’oz Tzur, and its cultural contexts, for […]

  • Birkat ha-Ilanot

    Birkat ha-Ilanot

    ברכת האילנות – A blessing said upon seeing blossoming fruit trees in Nisan, or first time one sees flowering trees in the season. The words of the blessing are: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹקינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁלֹּא חִסַּר בְּעוֹלָמוֹ כְּלוּם וּבָרָא בוֹ בְּרִיּוֹת טוֹבוֹת וְאִילָנוֹת טוֹבוֹת לֵהָנוֹת בָּהֶם בְּנֵי אָדָם. Blessed are You, the Lrd our […]

  • Piyyut

    Piyyut

    פיוט – pl. piyyutim – Hebrew, and occasionally Aramaic, liturgical poetry, meaning poems added to the prayer service. Piyyutim appear especially in the machzor for the different holidays, but also to the daily siddur, especially in the earlier period of their composition. The earliest piyyutim were written in Eretz Yisrael during the Byzantine period when […]

  • Shabbat Chazon

    Shabbat Chazon

    The third of three special Shabbatot before Tish’ah be-Av, known as the Three of Rebuke (Telata de-Puranuta – תלתא דפורענותא), when the haftarah read is Chazon Yeshayahu, Yeshayahu 1:1–27.

  • Shabbat ha-Chodesh

    Shabbat ha-Chodesh

    A special Shabbat and the last of the Four Parshiyot, Shabbat ha-Chodesh (שבת החודש) is the Shabbat before on on the first of Nisan. The maftir comes from Parashat Bo, describing the first month of the year (Chodesh Nisan); the hatarah is Yechezkel 45:16-46:18. It is distinct from Shabbat Rosh Chodesh. Rarely, when one of […]

  • Shabbat ha-Gadol

    Shabbat ha-Gadol

    Shabbat ha-Gadol (שבת הגדול) is the Shabbat before Pesach, during which it is traditional for the rabbi to deliver a special derash (sermon). The haftarah is Malakhi 3:4-24.

  • Shabbat Machar Chodesh

    Shabbat Machar Chodesh

    The Shabbat immediately preceding Rosh Chodesh is called Shabbat Machar Chodesh (שבת מחר חודש) and the haftarah is 1 Shemuel 20:18-42. It is distinct from Shabbat Rosh Chodesh, Shabbat Mevarkhim, and Shabbat ha-Chodesh.

  • Shabbat Mevarchim

    Shabbat Mevarchim

    The Shabbat before a week in which Rosh Chodesh falls is called Shabbat Mevarchim (שבת מברכים) and the blessing on the new month, Birkat ha-Chodesh (ברכת החודש), is said. It is distinct from Shabbat Rosh Chodesh, Shabbat Machar Chodesh, and Shabbat ha-Chodesh.

  • Shabbat Nachamu

    Shabbat Nachamu

    One of the special Shabbatot, Shabbat Nachamu (שבת נחמו) is the first Shabbat following Tish’ah Be-Av, and the first of the Seven Shabbatot of Consolation (Shev de-Nechamata) leading up to Rosh ha-Shannah. The haftarah, from which it gets its name, is Nachamu, Nachamu Ami, Yeshayahu 40:1-26.

  • Shabbat Parah

    Shabbat Parah

    A special Shabbat and the third of the Four Parshiyot, Shabbat Parah is the Shabbat before Shabbat ha-Chodesh. The maftir comes from Chukkat, in which the ritual of the parah adumah (red heifer) is described; the haftarah is Yechezkel 36:16-38.