Three Pilgrimage Festivals

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The Three Pilgrimage Festivals, in Hebrew Shalosh Regalim (שלוש רגלים), are three major festivals in JudaismPesach (Passover), Shavuot (Weeks or Pentecost), and Sukkot (Tabernacles, Tents or Booths)—when the ancient Israelites living in the Kingdom of Judah would make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem, as commanded by the Torah. In Jerusalem, they would participate in festivities and ritual worship in conjunction with the services of the kohanim ("priests") at the Temple.

Judaism The ethnic religion of the Jewish people

Judaism is the ethnic religion of the Jewish people. It is an ancient, monotheistic, Abrahamic religion with the Torah as its foundational text. It encompasses the religion, philosophy, and culture of the Jewish people. Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenant that God established with the Children of Israel. It encompasses a wide body of texts, practices, theological positions, and forms of organization. The Torah is part of the larger text known as the Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible, and supplemental oral tradition represented by later texts such as the Midrash and the Talmud. With between 14.5 and 17.4 million adherents worldwide, Judaism is the tenth largest religion in the world.

Shavuot Jewish holiday

Shavuot or Shovuos, in Ashkenazi usage, Shavuʿoth in Sephardi and Mizrahi Hebrew, is known as the Feast of Weeks in English and as Pentecost (Πεντηκοστή) in Ancient Greek. It is a Jewish holiday that occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan, meaning it may fall May 15 – June 14.

Sukkot Jewish Holiday, Harvest Festival, Festival of Booths

Sukkot, commonly translated as Festival of Tabernacles also known as Chag HaAsif, the Festival of Ingathering, is a biblical Jewish holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh month, Tishrei. During the existence of the Jerusalem Temple, it was one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals on which the Israelites were commanded to perform a pilgrimage to the Temple.

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After the destruction of the Second Temple and until the building of the Third Temple, the actual pilgrimages are no longer obligatory upon Jews, and no longer take place on a national scale. During synagogue services the related passages describing the holiday being observed are read aloud from a Torah scroll on the bimah (platform) used at the center of the synagogue services. During the Jewish holidays in modern-day Israel, many Jews living in or near Jerusalem make an effort to attend prayer services at the Western Wall emulating the ancient pilgrimages in some small fashion. Samaritans make pilgrimages to Mount Gerizim three times a year to this day.

The Third Temple would be the third Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, after Solomon's Temple and the rebuilt Second Temple.

Synagogue Jewish or Samaritan house of prayer

A synagogue, is a Jewish or Samaritan house of worship.

Western Wall holy site in Jerusalem

The Western Wall, Wailing Wall, or Kotel, known in Islam as the Buraq Wall, is an ancient limestone wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is a relatively small segment of a far longer ancient retaining wall, known also in its entirety as the "Western Wall". The wall was originally erected as part of the expansion of the Second Jewish Temple begun by Herod the Great, which resulted in the encasement of the natural, steep hill known to Jews and Christians as the Temple Mount, in a large rectangular structure topped by a huge flat platform, thus creating more space for the Temple itself and its auxiliary buildings. For Muslims, it is traditionally the site where the Islamic Prophet Muhammad tied his winged steed, al-Buraq, on his Isra and Mi'raj to Jerusalem before ascending to paradise, and constitutes the Western border of al-Haram al-Sharif.

Sources in the Hebrew Bible

Offering of the first fruits, illustration from a Bible card Thank offering unto the Lord.jpg
Offering of the first fruits, illustration from a Bible card
Book of Exodus Second book of the Bible

The Book of Exodus, the second book of the Torah and the Old Testament, tells the founding myth of the Israelites delivery from slavery in Egypt through the hand of Yahweh their god, their encounter with God on the holy mountain, and the "divine indwelling" of God with Israel which follows.

Matzo unleavened flatbread in Jewish cuisine; an element of the Passover festival

Matzo, matzah, or matza is an unleavened flatbread that is part of Jewish cuisine and forms an integral element of the Passover festival, during which chametz is forbidden.

Book of Deuteronomy Fifth book of the Torah and Christian Old Testament

The Book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Christian Old Testament and of the Jewish Torah, where it is called "Devarim".

Other biblical references

In his vision of a restored Jerusalem, the prophet Isaiah refers to Zion as "the city of our appointed feasts". [4] The Songs of Ascent or pilgrim psalms (Psalms 120-134) are associated with the pilgrims' journey to Jerusalem. [5]

Isaiah Hebrew prophet

Isaiah was the 8th-century BC Jewish prophet for whom the Book of Isaiah is named.

Zion place name often used as a synonym for Jerusalem

Zion is a placename often used as a synonym for Jerusalem as well as for the biblical Land of Israel as a whole. The word is first found in 2 Samuel 5:7 which dates from c. 630–540 BCE according to modern scholarship. It originally referred to a specific hill in Jerusalem, located to the south of Mount Moriah. Mount Zion held a Jebusite fortress of the same name that was conquered by David and was re-named the City of David; see Names of Jerusalem. That specific hill ("mount") is one of the many squat hills that form Jerusalem, which also includes Mount Moriah, the Mount of Olives, etc. Over many centuries, until as recently as the Ottoman era, the city walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt many times in new locations, so that the particular hill known as Mount Zion is no longer inside the city wall, but its location is now just outside the portion of the Old City wall forming the southern boundary of the Jewish Quarter of the current Old City. Most of the original City of David itself is thus also outside the current city wall.

See also

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Passover Jewish holiday celebrating the Israelites liberation from slavery in Egypt

Passover, also called Pesach, is a major, biblically derived Jewish holiday. Jews celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation by God from slavery in ancient Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses. It commemorates the story of the Exodus as described in the Hebrew Bible, especially in the Book of Exodus, in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. According to standard biblical chronology, this event would have taken place at about 1300 BCE.

Wave offering

The wave offering or sheaf offering or omer offering was an offering made by the Jewish priests to God. The sheaf or omer or wave-offering then became the property of the priests.

Counting of the Omer counting of the days from Passover to Shavuot

Counting of the Omer is an important verbal counting of each of the forty-nine days starting with the Sunday Wave Offering of a sheaf of ripe grain with a sacrifice immediately following the commencement of the grain harvest and the First Fruits festival celebrating the end of the grain harvest Feast of Weeks/Shavuot/Pentecost in Mosaic Law Hebrew Bible: Deuteronomy 16:9-12Leviticus 23:10-16; or in the varying current Jewish holidays traditions, the period between the Passover or Feast of Unleavened Bread and Shavuot. This is the second of the three annual Mosaic feast periods.

Moed is the second Order of the Mishnah, the first written recording of the Oral Torah of the Jewish people. Of the six orders of the Mishna, Moed is the third shortest. The order of Moed consists of 12 tractates:

  1. Shabbat: or Shabbath ("Sabbath") deals with the 39 prohibitions of "work" on the Shabbat. 24 chapters.
  2. Eruvin: (ערובין) ("Mixtures") deals with the Eruv or Sabbath-bound - a category of constructions/delineations that alter the domains of the Sabbath for carrying and travel. 10 chapters.
  3. Pesahim: (פסחים) deals with the prescriptions regarding the Passover and the paschal sacrifice. 10 chapters.
  4. Shekalim: (שקלים) ("Shekels") deals with the collection of the half-Shekel as well as the expenses and expenditure of the Temple. 8 chapters
  5. Yoma: (יומא) ; called also "Kippurim" or "Yom ha-Kippurim" ; deals with the prescriptions Yom Kippur, especially the ceremony by the Kohen Gadol. 8 chapters.
  6. Sukkah: (סוכה) ("Booth"); deals with the festival of Sukkot and the Sukkah itself. Also deals with the Four Species which are waved on Sukkot. 5 chapters.
  7. Beitza: (ביצה) ("Egg"); deals chiefly with the rules to be observed on Yom Tov. 5 chapters.
  8. Rosh Hashanah: deals chiefly with the regulation of the calendar by the new moon, and with the services of the festival of Rosh Hashanah. 4 chapters.
  9. Ta'anit: (תענית) ("Fasting") deals chiefly with the special fast-days in times of drought or other untoward occurrences. 4 chapters
  10. Megillah: (מגילה) ("Scroll") contains chiefly regulations and prescriptions regarding the reading of the scroll of Esther at Purim, and the reading of other passages from the Torah and Neviim in the synagogue. 4 chapters.
  11. Mo'ed Katan: deals with Chol HaMoed, the intermediate festival days of Pesach and Sukkot. 3 chapters.
  12. Hagigah: (חגיגה) deals with the Three Pilgrimage Festivals and the pilgrimage offering that men were supposed to bring in Jerusalem. 3 chapters.

Kiddush, literally, "sanctification," is a blessing recited over wine or grape juice to sanctify the Shabbat and Jewish holidays. Additionally, the word refers to a small repast held on Shabbat or festival mornings after the prayer services and before the meal.

Korban

In Judaism, the korban, also spelled qorban or corban, is any of a variety of sacrificial offerings described and commanded in the Torah. The plural form is korbanot. The most common usages are animal sacrifice, peace offering and olah "holocaust."

Hallel is a Jewish prayer, a verbatim recitation from Psalms 113–118 which is recited by observant Jews on Jewish holidays as an act of praise and thanksgiving.

Mishpatim

Mishpatim is the eighteenth weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the sixth in the Book of Exodus. The parashah sets out a series of laws, which some scholars call the Covenant Code. It reports the people's acceptance of the covenant with God. The parashah constitutes Exodus 21:1–24:18. The parashah is made up of 5,313 Hebrew letters, 1,462 Hebrew words, 118 verses, and 185 lines in a Torah scroll.

Bo (parsha)

Bo is the fifteenth weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the third in the Book of Exodus. The parashah constitutes Exodus 10:1–13:16. The parashah tells of the last three plagues on Egypt and the first Passover.

Ki Tissa

Ki Tisa, Ki Tissa, Ki Thissa, or Ki Sisa is the 21st weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the ninth in the Book of Exodus. The parashah tells of building the Tabernacle, the incident of the Golden calf, the request of Moses for God to reveal God's attributes, and how Moses became radiant.

Emor

Emor is the 31st weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the eighth in the Book of Leviticus. The parashah describes purity rules for priests, recounts the holy days, describes the preparations for the lights and bread in the sanctuary, and tells the story of a blasphemer and his punishment. The parashah constitutes Leviticus 21:1–24:23. It has the most verses of any of the weekly Torah portions in the Book of Leviticus, and is made up of 6,106 Hebrew letters, 1,614 Hebrew words, 124 verses and 215 lines in a Torah Scroll.

Pinechas (parsha)

Pinechas, Pinchas, Pinhas, or Pin'has is the 41st weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the eighth in the Book of Numbers. It tells of Pinchas' killing of a couple, ending a plague, and of the daughters of Zelophehad's successful plea for land rights. It constitutes Numbers 25:10–30:1. The parashah is made up of 7,853 Hebrew letters, 1,887 Hebrew words, and 168 verses, and can occupy about 280 lines in a Torah scroll.

Reeh

Re'eh, Reeh, R'eih, or Ree is the 47th weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the fourth in the Book of Deuteronomy. It constitutes Deuteronomy 11:26–16:17. In the parashah, Moses set before the Israelites the choice between blessing and curse. Moses instructed the Israelites in the laws that they were to observe, including the law of a single centralized place of worship. Moses warned against following other gods and their prophets and set forth the laws of kashrut, tithes, the Sabbatical year, the Hebrew slave, firstborn animals, and the three pilgrim festivals.

Vayelech

Vayelech, Vayeilech, VaYelech, Va-yelech, Vayelekh, Va-yelekh, or Vayeleh is the 52nd weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the ninth in the Book of Deuteronomy. It constitutes Deuteronomy 31:1–30. In the parashah, Moses told the Israelites to be strong and courageous, as God and Joshua would soon lead them into the Promised Land. Moses commanded the Israelites to read the law to all the people every seven years. God told Moses that his death was approaching, that the people would break the covenant, and that God would thus hide God's face from them, so Moses should therefore write a song to serve as a witness for God against them.

Jerusalem in Judaism

Since the 10th century BCE Jerusalem has been the holiest city, focus and spiritual center of the Jews. Jerusalem has long been embedded into Jewish religious consciousness and Jews have always studied and personalized the struggle by King David to capture Jerusalem and his desire to build the Holy Temple there, as described in the Book of Samuel and the Book of Psalms. Many of King David's yearnings about Jerusalem have been adapted into popular prayers and songs. Jews believe that in the future the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem will become the center of worship and instruction for all mankind and consequently Jerusalem will become the spiritual center of the world.

On Yom Tov, entire parshiot of the Torah are not read in the synagogue. Rather, select portions of a parsha, generally pertaining to the holiday, are read. These readings are usually shorter than a full parsha.

References

  1. Exodus 23
  2. Exodus 34
  3. Deuteronomy 16
  4. Isaiah 33:20
  5. Hossfeld, Frank-Lothar; Zenger, Erich (2011). Psalms 3: A Commentary on Psalms 101-150. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. pp. 293–294. ISBN   978-0800607623.