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January 2021

Tu Bishvat

January 28

The Jewish “New Year of the Trees”is celebrated with observances that connect humankind to the natural world. This holiday has special significance because "Man is the tree of the field" (Deuteronomy 20:19). Through cultivating strong roots – faith and commitment to the Lord – we produce many fruits. On this day it is customary to eat the fruit with which the Holy Land is praised in Deuteronomy 8:8: olives, dates, grapes, figs and pomegranates. When tasting any of these fruit…

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February 2021

Purim begins at sundown

February 25

The festival of Purim is celebrated every year on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar, in late winter or early spring. It commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews,young and old, infants and women, in a single day,” as recorded in the Megillah (Book of Esther). Purim means “lots” in ancient Persian. The holiday was thus named since Haman had thrown lots to determine…

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March 2021

Isra and M’raj

March 11

The Isra and Mi'raj (Arabic: الإسراء والمعراج‎, al-’Isrā’wal-Mi‘rāj) are the two parts of a Night Journey that, according to Islam, the Islamic prophet Muhammad took during a single night around the year 621. Within Islam it signifies both a physical and spiritual journey, and is remembered in prayer. Ascent of Muhammad to Heaven (ca. 1539–1543), from the Khamseh of Nizami

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Passover begins at sundown

March 27

To our Jewish friends, ChagPesach kasher vesame’ach, or "May you have a kosher and joyous Passover." The eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan. Passover (Pesach) commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. Pesach is observed by avoiding leaven and highlighted by the Seder meals that include four cups of wine, eating matzah and bitter herbs, and retelling the story of…

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April 2021

Yom HaShoah

April 8

On Yom HaShoah, Jews all over the world mourn the loss of six million Jewish lives lost during the Holocaust. The full name of the day commemorating the victims of the Holocaust is “Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah” – literally the “Day of (Remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Heroism.” It ismarked on the 27th day in the month of Nisan — a week after the seventh day of Passover. Although the date was established by the Israeli government, it has become…

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Ramadan begins at sundown

April 12

Each year, corresponding with the ninth month of the lunar calendar, Muslims spend a month in daytime fasting. This observance is called Ramadan. From dawn to sunset during this month, Muslims abstain from food, liquids, smoking, and sexual relations. This fast is an extremely important aspect of the Muslim faith: in fact, it is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. May God bless our Muslim friends and strengthen them through fasting and prayer.

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“Listen carefully, my child, to your master's precepts, and incline the ear of your heart. Receive willingly and carry out effectively your loving father's advice, that by the labor of obedience you may return to Him from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.”
–St. Benedict of Nursia, The Rule of Saint Benedict