God’s Appointed Times

The Hebrew word for “feasts” (moadim) literally means “appointed times.” The first four of the seven feasts occur during the springtime (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Weeks). The final three holidays (Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) occur during the fall, all within a short fifteen-day period.

On the Hebrew/Biblical calendar a day begins and ends at dusk/sunset (See Genesis 1). Accordingly, each of these Biblical Feasts begin and end at sunset.

Moadim / Biblical Feasts / Holidays (Holy Days)

  • Pesach (Passover | פֶּסַח,‬ Pesah, Pesakh)
  • Shavuot (Feast of Weeks, Pentecost Πεντηκοστή, Shovuos, Shavuʿoth | שבועות‎)
  • Rosh Hashana (“beginning (also head) [of] the year” | רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה)
    • The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah (יוֹם תְּרוּעָה‬), literally “day [of] shouting/blasting”. It is the first of the High Holy Days (יָמִים נוֹרָאִים‬ Yamim Nora’im, “Days [of] Awe”) in Leviticus 23:23–32.
  • Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement | יוֹם כִּיפּוּר)
    • The holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jewish people traditionally observe this holy day with an approximate 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services.
  • Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of the Ingathering | סוכות‎ or סֻכּוֹת)
  • Shmini Atzeret (“the Eighth [day] of Assembly” | שמיני עצרת)
  • Simchat Torah (“Rejoicing with/of the Torah” | שִׂמְחַת תורָה)

Other Holidays

  • Hanukkah: (Chanukah or Ḥanukah | חֲנֻכָּה‬ or חנוכה)
  • Purim: (“lots” | פּוּרִים‬)