other people and with God.
Prior to sunset on the evening before Yom
Kippur, families eat a pre-fasting meal, candles are
lit and everyone goes to services where the haunt-
ing Kol Nidre (All Vows) prayer is chanted just
Yom Kippur services continue throughout the
next day and conclude that evening at nightfall,
after the recitation of the Neila prayer, recited with
the Ark open, and a final blast of the shofar.
SUKKOT/ Feast Of Tabernacles
Sukkot (Tishrei 15-21) means "booths," and during
this seven-day holiday we eat many of our meals
inside a temporary booth, open to the sky, called a
sukka. "Do-it-yourself" sukkot kits are available
from Jewish bookstores or can be ordered. It is cus-
tomary to decorate a sukka with Rosh HaShana
cards, drawings, posters and strands of fruit.
Another mitzvah, or commandment, of Sukkot is
to shake the lulav, a palm branch with myrtle and
willow branches attached, and hold an etrog, a
lemon-like Israeli fruit, while reciting a special
blessing. Lulavim and etrogim can be ordered in
advance at many synagogues, temples and day
schools, and also are available at Jewish book-
A fun custom is "sukka hopping," inviting
friends over and visiting their sukka to share a
meal or snack.
The intermediate days are called chol haMoed,
when one may go to work and engage in other
weekday activities. Sept. 16, 2002
Eighth Day Of Assembly
POPULATION REACHES 10,000,
WITH WORKERS IN FACTORIES,
OFFICES, CRAFTS AND TRADES.
THE JEWISH AMERICAN BECOMES
THE AREA'S FIRST ENGLISH-
LANGUAGE JEWISH NEWSPAPER.
SIMCHAT TORAH /Rejoicing In The Torah
Simchat Torah (Tishrei 23), the day after Shemini
Atzeret, is when we complete the annual cycle of
Torah reading and begin anew.
Both at evening and morning services, each
Torah is taken out of the congregation's Ark and
joyously paraded around the sanctuary seven
times, accompanied by much dancing and singing.
Children are encouraged to participate, and flags
and apples are traditional treats for them. Sept.
CHANUKAH/Festival Of Lights
Chanuka is an eight-day festival (Kislev 25-Tevet
2) that celebrates the victory of the Maccabees
over the Hellenized Assyrians (influenced by the
Greeks), who had outlawed Jewish practices.
While cleaning the desecrated Temple, the
Maccabees found a small jar of oil. Although it
contained enough oil to last only one day, it mirac-
ulously lasted eight. To commemorate these
events, we light a special eight-branched menora
or candelabra, called a chanukiah.
Chanuka customs include giving children small
gifts of money called gelt, playing dreidel (a four-
sided top), singing Chanuka songs and eating fried
foods like potato latkes (pancakes), which recall
the miracle of the oil. Nov. 30, 2002
THE 10TH OF TEVET/A Minor Fast Day
Shemini Atzeret (Tishrei 22) immediately follows
HoShana Raba on the seventh day of Sukkot,
which is the final day of judgment (Tishrei 21).
1900: DETROIT'S JEWISH
The prayer for rain is recited in services
because this holiday marks the beginning of the
rainy season in Israel. Yizkor, the memorial prayer
for the dead, also is said at this time. Sept. 28,
This minor fast day (Tevet 10) recalls
Nebuchadnezzar's siege of Jerusalem. Rabbis also
use this day to commemorate those who died in
the Holocaust and whose yahrzeits are not known.
TU B'SHEVAT/ Jewish Arbor Day
This holiday (Shevat 15) is the New Year of the
Trees and often marked by contributing to the
Jewish National Fund to have trees planted in
It also is customary to eat foods and fruits from
the land of Israel. Some people also attend a Tu
b'Shevat seder. It is organized much like a
Passover seder, including four cups of wine, but
starts with white wine, representing winter, with
red added to each subsequent cup as a sign of the
coming spring. Jan. 18, 2003
PURIM/ Feast Of Lots
Purim (Adar 14) marks the victory of Queen Esther
and her relative Mordechai over the evil Haman,
adviser to King Ahasuerus in ancient Persia. It is
traditional to wear costumes on Purim.
Four mitzvot, commandments, are associated
with Purim: read or listen to Megilat Esther, the
Book of Esther; send shalach manot, gifts of food,
to friends; send matanot le'evyonim, gifts of food
or money, to the poor; enjoy a seuda mitzvah, or
Because Haman is associated with Amalek, an
enemy of the Jewish people, and we are told in
the Bible to blot out Amalek's name, noisemakers
are used enthusiastically to drown out Haman's
name when it is said during the Megilla reading.
Purim is preceded by Ta'anat Esther (Adar 13),
the Fast of Esther, which was instituted in honor of
this heroine who fasted as she prayed for the
Jewish people to be saved even as Haman was
plotting their destruction. March 18, 2003
JEWISH HOLIDAYS continued on page 36
1914: DETROIT'S JEWISH
POPULATION REACHES 34,000,
AND THERE ARE A NUMBER OF
ALL-JEWISH LOCALS OF
1916: YESHIVA BETH
YEHUDAH IS FOUNDED.
1904: FRESH AIR SOCIETY IS
PLANNED TO TAKE CHILDREN
ON DAYLONG OUTINGS.
BEGIN FOR A JEWISH
HOME FOR AGED.
IS FORMED FROM
1926: DETROIT'S JEWISH POPULATION
REACHES 75,000. THE JEWISH WELFARE
FEDERATION IS FOUNDED.
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