This article provides a brief list of moedim [G-d's appointed times], where each is found in Scripture, and notes regarding how some groups or individuals observe each moed. A more detailed explanation of G-d's calendar can be found in our article about What Scripture Says About G-d's Appointed Times.  More details into each of the moedim can be found in our series of articles about the Moedim.

 Let's begin with the first of G-d's appointed times: the weekly sabbath.

Shabbat

Shabbat literally means "to cease". It refers to the weekly, seventh-day Sabbath.

Other names:

  • The Sabbath

 

First referenced:

Genesis 2:3

Then G-d blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which G-d had created and made.

 

First commanded: Exodus 16:23

Leviticus 23 reference: Leviticus 23:1-3

Date: the seventh day of each week. It roughly corresponds to Saturday in the western calendar beginning Friday at sundown until Saturday at sundown.

Event: memorial of the seventh day of creation on which G-d ceased from His work of creating.

Pictures of Mashiach: He is Lord of the Shabbat (Mattew 12:8). In Him we find our Shabbat rest (Hebrews 4:9).

Notes:
Shabbat is a very special day. It is the very first thing in Scripture that G-d sanctified for Himself (Genesis 2:3). Even before the Isra'elites had reached Mount Sinai and He gave them the commandments, G-d had them honor the Shabbat (Exodus 16:23). It is the only moed G-d included in the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:8). There He commanded us to remember it and keep it holy.

Scripture refers to this as a b'rit olam: an "eternal covenant" (Exodus 31:16). Scripture also calls it an ot hu olam: an "eternal sign" between G-d and the children of Isra'el (Exodus 31:17).

Notes regarding observance:

The Sabbath is traditionally started and ended with candles (since G-d commanded that we should not kindle a fire on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:3)), with wine (a symbol of joy), and starts with special sabbath bread (challah) and ends with special spices (so the special blessing of the Sabbath may linger in our senses until the Messiah returns).

 


Rosh Chodesh

Rosh chodesh literally means "head [of the] new moon"

Other names:

  • New Moon
  • Head of the Month

 

First referenced:

Exodus 12:2

"This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.

 

Also commanded: Numbers 10:10, 28:11-14

Date: traditionally the date when when the first sliver of each new waxing moon is sighted

Event: a monthly reminder of G-d's sovereignty over all creation. This ties back to Genesis 1:14-15.

Pictures of Mashiach: a picture of our renewal in Mashiach (Colossians 3:10)

Notes:
Rosh chodesh is often seen as a picture of a cycle of renewal just as women have a monthly cycle in which they are renewed.

Notes regarding observance:
Women of a congregation may gather on rosh chodesh for a bit of relaxation and Torah study. Because of the monthly cyclical nature of this moed similar to a woman's monthly cycle, this moed is considered by many to be a "woman's" moed.

 


Yom Teruah

Other names:

  • Feast of Trumpets
  • Day of Trumpet Blasts
  • Rosh HaShanah (Head of the Year)
  • New Year
  • Judgment Day

 

First commanded:

Leviticus 23:24-25

"Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.

 

Leviticus 23 reference: Leviticus 23:24-25
also referenced in Numbers 29:1-11

Date: Tishri 1, the first day of the seventh month

Event: memorial of the entrance into the Promised Land.
Traditionally this is a day when our deeds from the past year are judged. This is not the judgment regarding our salvation but regarding whether or not our deeds merit another year of life. It pictures the future great Day of Judgment.

Pictures of Mashiach: a picture of Mashiach's future return with the sound of the great trumpet:(1 Corinthians 15:52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16)

Notes:
You can determine when the new moon will be visible at http://www.crescentmoonwatch.org/nextnewmoon.htm

Notes regarding observance:
Traditionally a trumpet (usually a ram's horn) called a shofar is sounded on this day. There are three types of trumpet blasts that are sounded: a long single note (called tekiah), a group of 3 shorter notes (called shevarim), a group of 9 staccato notes (called teruah), and a final long blast that ascends in volume until its end (called tekia gadola). An example of these shofar blasts can be found here on YouTube. The person who sounds the shofar notes is called a ba'al tekiah (master of trumpet blasts). These blasts are pictures of our relationship with G-d:

Tekiah: the long single note pictures our creation where G-d formed man from the dust of the earth and then breathed a single breath of life into him. No other creature is described as being created in this manner.
Shevarim: the three shorter notes picture our broken relationship with G-d. Because of man's sin we do not walk steadily with G-d... we draw near then fall away only to draw near to Him again.
Teruah: the 9 staccato notes are remniscent of crying and weeping. We mourn because of our sin and for our broken relationship with G-d.
Tekia gadola: the longest note which gradually increases in volume reminds us of G-d's overwhelming love and grace that will overcome the distance between us: the work of Messiah Yeshua.

It is also traditional to run through a planned pattern of these notes to sound out 100+ notes.

According to tradition there are 3 books that G-d keeps: the book of life, the book of death, and the book of in-between. Moshe asks G-d to blot out his name from "Your book" if He will not forgive the sins of Isra'el (Exodus 32:32). This is the book of life. King David writes in Psalm 69:28 about the "book of life". Revelation 20:15 tells us that if anyone is not found written in the book of life then he was thrown into the lake of fire. The other books are not explicitly mentioned in Scripture.

 


Yom Kippur

Other names:

  • The Day of Atonement

 

First commanded:

Exodus 30:10

"Aaron shall make atonement on its horns once a year; he shall make atonement on it with the blood of the sin offering of atonement once a year throughout your generations. It is most holy to the LORD."

 

Leviticus 23 reference: Leviticus 23:27-32

Date: Tishri 10, the tenth day of the seventh month

Event: when names are inscribed in the book of life.
Judgments are sealed and atonement provided.

Pictures of Mashiach: a picture of Mashiach's future restoration of the nation of Isra'el

Notes:
Scripture refers to this moed as a chukat olam, an "eternal command". It is called an "eternal command" 3 times in the span of 6 verses (Leviticus 16:29, 31, 34).

Notes regarding observance:

 


Sukkot

Other names:

  • Feast of Tabernacles
  • Feast of Ingathering (Exodus 23:16, 34:22)

 

First commanded:

Leviticus 23:34-36

"Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the LORD.

 

Leviticus 23 reference: Leviticus 23:34-36

Date: Tishri 15-23, the 15th through the 23rd of the seventh month

Event: a memorial of when we dwelt in tents (sukkot) during our wandering in the desert.
A picture of the future when G-d will spread His tabernacle over us (Revelation 7:15)

Pictures of Mashiach: a picture of Mashiach's birth when He tabernacled among us (John 1:14) and when we will tabernacle with Him again (Revelation 21:3)

Notes:
Scripture refers to this as a chukat olam, an "eternal command" (Leviticus 23:41).

Notes regarding observance:

Scriptural commands:

Leviticus 23:40

"Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage [literally "fruit"] of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days."

 

Traditionally the "fruit of beautiful trees" has been taken to mean the fruit of the citron tree known as the etrog. The palm branches, called lulav, are bundled together with leafy branches from the myrtle tree (the "leafy trees" known as hadass) and branches from the brook willow (known as aravah).

These "four species", known in Hebrew as arba minim, are waved in 6 directions as part of the morning prayers recited during the festival:

  • East: towards Yerushalayim and G-d's dwelling presence
  • South: towards Mitzraim (Egypt)... the land from which G-d freed us
  • West: towards "the ends of the earth" since G-d is soveriegn over all places on the earth
  • North: the last point of compass...towards the nations that G-d used to judge the nation of Isra'el
  • Up: because G-d is sovereign in heaven above
  • Down: because G-d is sovereign on the earth below

 

Leviticus 23:42-43

'You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.'

 

The "booths" are temporary structures called sukkot (singular sukkah). They are generally constructed of natural materials like wood frames and palm branches for the roof although some individuals use tents made from natural fibers.

It is traditional to have guests (Hebrew: ushpizin) in the sukkah in remembrance of the guests that Avram entertained in Genesis 17.

 


Pesach

Other names:

  • Passover

 

First referenced:

Exodus 12:1

'Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste--it is the LORD'S Passover.

 

First commanded: Exodus 12

Leviticus 23 reference: Leviticus 23:4,5

Date: Nisan 14, the fourteenth day of the first month

Event: memorial of being "passed over" by G-d as He struck down the first born of Egypt

Pictures of Mashiach: the death of the "Lamb of G-d" as our Pesach offering: marking us setting us apart as G-d's people

Notes:
Scripture refers to this as a chukat olam, an "eternal command" (Exodus 12:14).

Notes regarding observance:

 

 

 


Chag HaMatzot

Other names:

  • Festival of Unleavened Bread

 

First commanded:

Exodus 13:6-7

"For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and nothing leavened shall be seen among you, nor shall any leaven be seen among you in all your borders.

 

Leviticus 23 reference: Leviticus 23:6-8

Date: Nisan 15-22

Event: delivery from slavery in Egypt

Pictures of Mashiach: He is the unleavened [leaven represents sin] Bread of Life (John 6:35).

Notes:
Scripture refers to this as a chukat olam, an "eternal command" (Exodus 12:17).

Notes regarding observance:

 


Yom HaBikkurim

Other names:

  • Feast of First Fruits
  • First Fruits

 

First commanded:

Exodus 23:16

Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field;

 

Leviticus 23 reference: Leviticus 23:10-20

Date: the first day of the week following Pesach

Event: thanksgiving for the first fruits of the Land

Pictures of Mashiach: The resurrection of Yeshua Ha Mashiach, Jesus the Messiah. By his resurrection He is the "first fruits" of those who are asleep (1 Corinthians 15:20)

Notes:
Scripture refers to this as a chukat olam, an "eternal command" (Leviticus 23:14).

Notes regarding observance:

 

 

 


Shavuot

Other names:

  • Feast of Weeks
  • Counting the Omer
  • Pentecost

 

First commanded:

Leviticus 23:15-16

'You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD.

 

Leviticus 23 reference: Leviticus 23:15-21

Date: the eighth "first day of the week" after Yom HaBikkurim

Event: memorial of covenant establishment of the people of G-d

Pictures of Mashiach: The giving of His promised Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2)

Notes:

Notes regarding observance:

 

 

 


Other Days

There are other special days mentioned in Scripture that are not specifically commanded by G-d but that are observed as special due to their inclusion within Scripture.

 

Tish B'Av

Other names:

  • The Ninth of Av

First referenced:

Zechariah 8:19

"Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'The fast of the fourth, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth months will become joy, gladness, and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah; so love truth and peace.'

 

The fifth month is the month of Av.

Date: Av 9

Event: a day of mourning and fasting because of the repeated tragedies that have befallen the people of Isra'el on this day.

Notes:

Notes regarding observance:

 


Chanukah

Other names:

  • Festival of Lights
  • Feast of Dedication

 

First referenced:

John 10:22-23

At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.

 

Date: the 8 days between Kislev 25-Cheshvan 4

Event: memorial of the re-dedication of the Temple under the Maccabees and G-d's miraculous work of making one days worth of oil last for eight days. (See 1 Maccabees 4:36-60)

Pictures of Mashiach: as the "light of the world" (John 8:12), Mashiach was likely conceived around this time.

Notes:

Notes regarding observance:

 


Purim

Other names:

  • Festival of Lots
  • Feast of Esther

 

First referenced:

Esther 9:20-22

Then Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, obliging them to celebrate the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same month, annually, because on those days the Jews rid themselves of their enemies, and it was a month which was turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and rejoicing and sending portions of food to one another and gifts to the poor.

 

Date: Adar 14

Event: memorial of the triumph of the Jews over their enemies

Notes:

Notes regarding observance:
Some groups dress up as characters from the story of Esther. Other groups dress up in various costumes unrelated to the story. There is also a custom to recite the Haggadah [story/account] of Esther and make a great deal of noise whenever Haman's name is mentioned in order to "blot out his name".

 

 

 

 

 

Torah Portion

בּהעלתך (Beha'a lot'cha)

 

 

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Today is

Yom Rishon, 13 Sivan, 5778

Sunday, May 27, 2018

 

Learn more about this date in history.