You will understand that...
Jews build community through holiday observance and ritual celebrations.
Jewish life is best lived in community.
The Jewish holidays teach us to appreciate the many cycles of renewal and rebirth.
What do you think?
What are some of the important lessons from these Jewish holidays?
How does the idea that Jews everywhere celebrate these same holidays connect me to the Jewish community?
I can match the Yamim Noraim symbols and ritual items with their proper Hebrew names
Click on each holiday symbol below to learn more about it. You may think you know what it is called but see if you can use the correct Hebrew name.
שׁוֹפַרThe שׁוֹפַר (Shofar) is a ram’s horn that is blown like a trumpet during Rosh Hashanah services, every day except Shabbat during the Hebrew month of Elul, and at the end of Yom Kippur. There are four sounds of the shofar — tekiah, shevarim, teruah, and tekiah gedolah. Hearing the shofar is a reminder to look at the mistakes of the past year and try to be the best people we can be.
תַּפּוּחִים וּדְבַשׁEating תַּפּוּחִים וּדְבַשׁ
(tapuchim ud'vash - apples and honey) symbolizes a sweet new year. Something we wish for every person.
רִמוֹןA רִמוֹן (rimon) or pomegranate, symbolizes love. Because it has so many seeds, pomegranates symbolize our hope for lots and lots of love in the new year.
סֻכָּהThe סֻכָּה (sukkah) is a hut that we sit and eat in during the holiday of Sukkot. It reminds us of the booths the Israelites lived in as they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.
Create an illustrated dictionary with each holiday symbol and its Hebrew name.
I can describe details of the story of the Yamim Noraim
The story of the Yamim Noraim is all about becoming the best people we can be and being grateful for all the blessings we have been given. As the New Year, Rosh Hashanah is the perfect time to look at our actions and decisions from the past year and think about what we might do differently in the year to come. During the Aseret Y'mei Teshuva (the 10 days of Repentance - from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur) we take time to ask for forgiveness from anyone we hurt with our words or actions. Saying "I'm sorry" isn't easy but, especially during this time of year, its really important.
On Yom Kippur we think about mistakes we have made in our relationship with God. Maybe we haven't been thankful enough. Maybe we haven't seen God in every person. Maybe we haven't taken care of the beautiful earth that God gave us. This season and especially Yom Kippur, is a time to do תְּשׁוּבָה (teshuvah), which means "returning" or "repenting."
The holiday of Sukkot reminds us of how fragile our world and our lives are. Sitting in the sukkah and shaking lulav and etrog also connect us to the natural world and remind us that God is found all around us.
Create a cartoon or storyboard telling the story of the Yamim Noraim
I can sequence the holidays in the Jewish calendar
The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah it falls on the 1st day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. The Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year, is called Yom Kippur. It comes on the 10th day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. The Festival of Booths is known as Sukkot and it begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei and lasts for eight days. The celebration of the Torah is called Simchat Torah and is celebrated on the 23rd day of the month of Tishrei.
Click to download and print our Holiday name flashcards. Just cut and fold them to practice at home!
I can use appropriate holiday greetings
There are lots of different holiday greetings for these holidays. I good one to always fall back on is חַג שָׂמֵחַ (chag sameiach), which means "happy holiday!"
Here are some more for each holiday:
Happy New Year
שָׁנָה טוֹבָה וּמְתוּקָה
Shanah Tova U'metukah
A Happy and Sweet New Year
May it be a good end of the year
גְּמַר חֲתִימָה טוֹבָה
G'mar Chatimah Tovah
May you be sealed for goodness
Have an easy fast
מוֹעֲדִים לְשִׂמְחָה...חַגִּים וּזְמַנִּים לְשָׂשׂוֹן
Moadim L'simcha...Chagim Uz'manim L'sason
This is a tricky one because you say the first two words and then the other person says the last three words.
Create Yamim Noraim cards using the appropriate greetings to share with your family and friends.
I can recite t'fillot that are said on the Yamim Noraim
The Yamim Noraim are full of rich and beautiful prayers. On Rosh Hashanah, one t'fillah that we sing many times is called Avinu Malkeinu. Avinu Malkeinu means, "Our Father, our King." Sometimes we imagine God as a parent who makes rules for us and loves us as we grow. This prayer imagines God as our Father and asks God to show us kindness and answer our prayers.
אָבִֽינוּ מַלְכֵּֽנוּ חָנֵּֽנוּ וַעֲנֵֽנוּ כִּי אֵין בָּֽנוּ מַעֲשִׂים עֲשֵׂה עִמָּֽנוּ צְדָקָה וָחֶֽסֶד וְהוֹשִׁיעֵֽנוּ
Avinu Malkeinu chaneinu va'aneinu ki ein banu ma'asim asei imanu tzedakah va'chesed v'hoshieinu
Our Parent, Our Ruler, favor us and answer us for we have no accomplishments; deal with us charitably and kindly with us and save us.
What words do you recognize in this prayer? Maybe the word צְדָקָה or the word חֶֽסֶד? Do you know what they mean?
Listen to Avinu Malkeinu and try to sing along.
The most famous prayer from Yom Kippur is probably Kol Nidrei. Kol Nidrei asks God to forgive us for all of the promises we made that we weren't able to keep. Making a promise is a big deal in Judaism and when we aren't able to keep our promises we often let other people or God down. Kol Nidrei looks like its in Hebrew but actually its written in Aramaic, which was the language spoken by Jews hundreds of years ago.
כָּל נִדְרֵי וֶאֱסָרֵי וּשְׁבוּעֵי וַחֲרָמֵי וְקוֹנָמֵי וְכִנּוּיֵי. וְקִנוּסֵי דִּנְדַֽרְנָא. וּדְאִשְׁתַּבַּֽעְנָא. וּדְאַחֲרִימְנָא. וּדְאָסַֽרְנָא עַל נַפְשָׁתָֽנָא. מִיּוֹם כִּפּוּרִים זֶה עַד יוֹם כִּפּוּרִים הַבָּא עָלֵֽינוּ לְטוֹבָה. בְּכֻלְּהוֹן אִחֲרַֽטְנָא בְהוֹן. כֻּלְּהוֹן יְהוֹן שָׁרָן. שְׁבִיקִין, שְׁבִיתִין, בְּטֵלִין וּמְבֻטָּלִין, לָא שְׁרִירִין וְלָא קַיָּמִין: נִדְרָֽנָא לָא נִדְרֵי. וֶאֱסָרָֽנָא לָא אֱסָרֵי. וּשְׁבוּעָתָֽנָא לָא שְׁבוּעוֹת:
Kil nidrei ve'esarei ush'vuei vacharamei v'konamei v'chinu'yei. V'kinusei dindarna. ud'ishtabana, ud'acharimna, ud'assarna al nafshatana. Miyom Kippurim zeh, ad Yom Kippurim haba aleinu letovah. Bechulhon icharatna vehon,kulhon yehon sharan. Sh'vikin sh'vitin, betelin umevutalin, lo sheririn v'lo kayamin. Nidrana lo nidrei, V'essarana lo essarei Ush'vuatana lo shevuot.
Listen to Kol Nidrei and try to hum along.
There are lots of blessings and prayers we say especially for Sukkot. You've already learned some of the blessings for sitting in the Sukkah and shaking Lulav and Etrog. One of the most special prayers we say on Sukkot is called Hallel. It's actually more than a prayer, its a whole collection of prayers thanking God for how awesome our world is. Here's one of the prayers from Hallel called B'tzeit Yisrael.
בְּצֵאת יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמִּצְרָֽיִם בֵּית יַעֲקֹב מֵעַם לֹעֵז: הָיְתָה יְהוּדָה לְקָדְשׁוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל מַמְשְׁלוֹתָיו: הַיָּם רָאָה וַיָּנֹס הַיַּרְדֵּן יִסֹּב לְאָחוֹר: הֶהָרִים רָקְדוּ כְאֵילִים גְּבָעוֹת כִּבְנֵי־צֹאן: מַה־לְּךָ הַיָּם כִּי תָנוּס הַיַּרְדֵּן תִּסֹּב לְאָחוֹר: הֶהָרִים תִּרְקְדוּ כְאֵילִים גְּבָעוֹת כִּבְנֵי־צֹאן: מִלִּפְנֵי אָדוֹן חֽוּלִי אָֽרֶץ מִלִּפְנֵי אֱלֽוֹהַּ יַעֲקֹב: הַהֹפְכִי הַצּוּר אֲגַם־מָֽיִם חַלָּמִישׁ לְמַעְיְנוֹ־מָֽיִם:
Betzeit yisrael mimitzrayim, beit Ya'akov meam loez. Haytah yehudah lekodsho Yisrael mamshelotav. Hayam ra'ah vayanos, hayarden yisov leachor. Heharim rakedu cheilim, gevaot kivnei tzon. Mah lecha hayam ki tanus, hayarden tisov leachor. Heharim tirkedu cheilim, gevaot kivnei tzon. Milifnei adon chuli aretz, Mlifnei eloah ya'akov. Hahofechi hatzur agam mayim, Chalamish lemayeno mayim.
Listen to B'tzeit Yisrael and try to hum along.
Create a video tutorial teaching one of the t'fillot you have learned.
I can explain the meaning of "mitzvah" as "commandment" and "minhag" as "custom"
A מִצְוָה (mitzvah) is a commandment. It's something we're all supposed to do. A מִנְהָג (minhag) is a custom. It's something that many people have done for a long time and has become an important part of their lives. Every holiday has both מִצְווֹת (mitzvot - commandments) and מִנְהָגִים (minhagim - customs).
Create a holiday "Mitzvah" and "Minhag" poster explaining each and showing examples.
I can identify details in the holiday story that lead to the practice of specific Jewish values
Middot are Jewish values. A value is a belief or behavior that we all believe is important. Some Jewish values are kindness, bravery and love. You can find a list of many more middot below. Now that you really know what the Yamim Noraim are about, what middot do we practice on these holidays? You can print out our list of middot (plural of middah), cut each middah out and create a poster for each holiday celebrating its values.
Write and put on a play telling the story of the Yamim Noraim and highlighting the values.