This year, the wife and I have decided to celebrate all of the Jewish holidays (we’re also gonna try to celebrate each Sabbath and follow the kosher laws, but more on that later), starting with Rosh Hashanah, the new year. As is for all Jewish holidays, the more merrier, and we have an open invitation standing on them. If you are in the Greater Seattle Area at any of these times and want to join in on the festivities, let me know! Or, if you’d like us to email you before each celebration, just email me at tylee85 at gmail dot com. The schedule for the year is as follows:
September 3rd, sundown – Shabbat:
We will be celebrating our first Sabbath evening, as the one before Rosh Hashanah is special. Because we plan on celebrating each and every Shabbat this year, as much as possible, this will also be our practice trial run. There will be food and candles and prayers and chanting.
September 8th, sundown – September 10th, sundown – Rosh Hashanah:
The new year! We will have a big dinner on the 8th, and hopefully we will be able to get our hands on a ram’s horn to blow. Also, apple slices and honey!
September 17th, sundown – Yom Kippur:
It’s a somber time, so we’ll again have dinner, but much more subdued. We will be lighting candles for those special to us who have passed on, and this is the last meal before the fasting for Yom Kippur, so there will still be lots of great food. After sundown on September 18th, we will drive in the first nail for Sukkot (not exactly sure what this will entail, but still, if you want to watch us drive a nail into something, then you can come). We will also be breaking the fast, so you are welcome to come over for that, as well.
September 22nd, sundown – September 29th – Sukkot, or Feast of Tabernacles:
We will be turning our little apartment deck into a sukkah! We will basically have all of our meals out on the sukkah, as well as spend lots of time out on it. It’s very small, but it connects directly to the kitchen, which is a blessing! The first day of Sukkot we will have a nice little blessing for the sukkah.
September 30th, sundown – Shimini Atzeret:
We’ll have a blessing for rain (seeing how we live in Seattle, this will most surely come true), and dinner.
December 1st, sundown – December 9th, sundown – Chanukah:
Latkes, dereidel spinning, candle lighting, and on the last day, gift exchanging. It’s gonna be fun.
January 19th, sundown – Tu Bishvat, “The New Year of Trees”:
We will definitely be doing something foliage-related. And eating (we like eating).
March 19th, sundown – March 21st, sundown – Purim:
Along with a reading of the book of Esther (maybe in play form?!) there will be food (of course). This should be a lot of fun, and the festival is supposed to all about ridiculous pageantry, so if you like ridiculous pageantry, this is the festival for you!
April 18th, sundown – April 25th, sundown – Passover:
We will try to have as traditional a seder as possible, and hopefully I will be able to conduct it in Hebrew (with translations, of course). No lambs’ blood, though. The wife is strictly against it.
April 30th, sundown – Holocaust Remembrance Day:
When I was a kid in school, whenever we learned about the Holocaust, it was all I could do to keep from bursting into tears in the middle of class. Elie Wiesel’s Night traumatized me. For some reason, this is a very sensitive topic for me, and I debated long with myself on whether I should celebrate this or not. I decided I will, but I’m not quite sure what we’ll be doing yet. It will be serious, and it will be somber. But there will probably still be food.
May 21st, sundown – Lag Baomer:
I’m not really sure what this festival is about, but it involves bonfires and who doesn’t love bonfires?!
June 7th, sundown – Shavuot, or Pentacost:
Basically, Torah Day. I’m not sure if we’ll be doing the Counting of the Omer (we probably will), but we will definitely for sure commence the all night Torah study! Come over in your pajamas, bring some food, and we are gonna study the Torah all night, baby!
Actually, this holiday is on a Tuesday. So all night Torah studying is not required (unless you want to; I am).
August 8th, sundown – Tisha B’av:
A day of mourning and fasting to remember the destruction of the Jewish temple. We won’t really be holding any celebrations, but if you want to remember this day with us, you’re welcome to.