A famous joke claims all Jewish holidays can be summarized as follows: They try to kill us. We Won. Let’s eat.
While this summary actually holds true for Passover, Sukkot, Purim, Lag B’Omer, and Hannukkah, it doesn’t hold for some of the other holidays. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are time for reflection and repentance. Yom Hashoah was instituted to commemorate the six million Jews lost in the Holocaust. On Yom HaZikaron we commemorate those who gave their lives for the State of Israel . Tisha B’Av is the day of the destruction of both the First Temple and the Second Temple.
Jewish holidays originate either from biblical commandment, rabbinical decree, or Israel history.
1. Biblical commendment – Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Pesach (Passover), Shavuot
2. Rabbinical Decree – Hannukkah, Purim, Lag B’omer, Tu B’shvat, Tisha B’av, Simchat Torah
3. Israel History – Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Day), Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day), Yom Hazikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day)
In the picture: Jewish Holiday calendar for 2012-2013