Holidays

Learn How

Click here to show more Learn How content

How to Make High Holiday Synagogue Services Meaningful

How to Make High Holiday Synagogue Services Meaningful

This honest article presents six simple tips to transform lengthy, frustrating services into a meaningful prayer experience. With an emphasis on finding a personal connection to the words and their significance, rather than trying to keep up with the pace of the services, this article

Yizkor: The Memorial Prayer

Yizkor: The Memorial Prayer

This informative article from Chabad.org provides the Hebrew, English and transliterated text for the Yizkor memorial prayer recited following the Torah reading in the synagogue on Passover, Shavuot, Shemini Atzeret and Yom Kippur, as well as on the yahrzeit (anniversary of a person’s death) and

Moishe House: How to Build a Sukkah + Blessings

Moishe House: How to Build a Sukkah + Blessings

In this casual, animated video, Joshua Walters shares how to build a Sukkah, including the basics of what constitutes a kosher Sukkah. With fun animations and an English transliteration of two blessings recited on Sukkot, this video is aimed towards young adults with little Jewish background. This video

How To Fulfill the Four Mitzvot of Purim

How To Fulfill the Four Mitzvot of Purim

This detailed succinct article by Chaviva Gordon-Bennett provides a thorough introduction to the basic requirements of each of the four commandments that need to be fulfilled on Purim: Megillat Esther, Mishloah Manot, Seudat Purim and Matanot L’Evyonim. Published on ThoughtCo, a website that provides in-depth articles about a wide range of topics

How To Form Perfect Hamantaschen

How To Form Perfect Hamantaschen

From the Lil Miss Cakes baking blog, this instructional video (02:35) provides tips on how to fold, pinch and form perfect looking hamantaschen that won’t open up in the oven. For a complete recipe, click here.

How To Make Hamantaschen

How To Make Hamantaschen

Produced by The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, this short instructional video (01:34) demonstrates how to make dairy-free hamantaschen, including how to make the dough and form and fill the festive triangular shaped filled cookies.   

Chabad’s Purim How-To Guide

Chabad’s Purim How-To Guide

From Chabad.org, the official website of the Orthodox Hasidic Chabad-Lubavitch movement, this thorough How-To Guide for Purim contains a brief summary of the story of Purim and everything you need to know in order to fulfill the observances of the day, including hearing Megillat Esther,

The Laws of the Purim Meal & Drinking

The Laws of the Purim Meal & Drinking

In this informative video (03:59), Rabbi Yaakov Laredo, an Orthodox community leader and educator, summaries the laws of Seudat Purim, the festive meal eaten on Purim, including who is obligated, when the meal should take place, what foods should be eaten, and how to fulfill

The Halachic Guidelines of Giving Mishloach Manot

The Halachic Guidelines of Giving Mishloach Manot

In this practical introductory video (01:47), Rabbi Moshe Elefant of the Orthodox Union explains the halachic guidelines for fulfilling the commandment of Mishloach Manot – delving gifts of food on Purim, including who is obligated, what they need to give and to whom.

A Sephardic Hanukkah Recipe: Bimuelos with Honey-Orange Drizzle

A Sephardic Hanukkah Recipe: Bimuelos with Honey-Orange Drizzle

This post presents the recipe for bimuelos (a Ladino derivation of the Spanish buneolos, meaning fritters), a traditional Sephardic Hannukah dessert. The sweet dough balls are fried in oil, to remember the miracle of the oil, and then drizzled with a sweet syrup. 

Hannukah FAQ

Hannukah FAQ

This thorough article answers all of your questions about the Jewish Festival of Lights, including instructions for how to spell and pronounce the word “Hannukah,” an explanation of the customs, ritual foods, and the holiday’s place on the Hebrew and Gregorian calendar. An excellent resource for

How to Light the Hannukah Candles (Conservative Tradition): Blessings & Songs

How to Light the Hannukah Candles (Conservative Tradition): Blessings & Songs

Created by the Rabbinical Assembly, this resource outlines the Hannukah candle-lighting ceremony according to Conservative tradition. The document provides the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the three blessings, Hanerot Hallalu, and the first stanza of Maoz Tzur, plus a brief introductory paragraph explaining how

How to Light Hannukah Candles (Sephardic Tradition)

How to Light Hannukah Candles (Sephardic Tradition)

In this instructional video (04:05), Rabbi David Benchlouch of the Sephardi Hebrew Congregation of Cape Town demonstrates how to light the Hannukah candles according to Sephardic tradition. Whereas in Ashkenazi custom, the “shamash” candle is lit first and then used to light the rest of the

How to Make Potato Latkes

How to Make Potato Latkes

This short instructional video (01:36) demonstrates how to make latkes, fried potato pancakes traditionally eaten on Hannukah by Ashkenazi Jews. For an ingredient list and full instructions, click here. This resource is from MyJewishLearning, an online resource that empowers Jewish discovery for people of all backgrounds and levels of

How to Make Sufganiyot

How to Make Sufganiyot

This short instructional video (01:26) demonstrates how to make sufganiyot, jelly-filled donuts traditionally eaten on Hannukah. For an ingredient list and full instructions, click here. This resource is from MyJewishLearning, an online resource that empowers Jewish discovery for people of all backgrounds and levels of knowledge. 

How to Play Dreidel

How to Play Dreidel

This short instructional video (01:50) demonstrates how to play dreidel, a family-friendly gambling game traditionally played on Hannukah with a four-sided spinning top. Created by Howcast.com, a source for fun, free how-to videos about a wide range of topics, this video provides detailed instructions to the game and explains its

How to make Moroccan Sfenj Donuts

How to make Moroccan Sfenj Donuts

This instructional video (04:09) from Jewlicious.com demonstrates how to make “sfenj,” Moroccan donuts traditionally eaten on Hannukah. The ingredient list and step-by-step instructions can be seen below. For the full article, click here. Ingredients 3 cups flour 4 tablespoons warm water Half a shot of

How to Light the Hanukkah Menorah (With Blessings)

How to Light the Hanukkah Menorah (With Blessings)

This short instructional video (02:59) demonstrates how to light the menorah on Hannukah, including where to place the menorah, in what order to set up and light the candles, and which blessings to recite. The video provides the translated and transliterated texts of the blessings. Created by Howcast.com, a source

Learn to Recite the Blessings Over the Hannukah Candles (Ashkenazi Melodies)

Learn to Recite the Blessings Over the Hannukah Candles (Ashkenazi Melodies)

With onscreen karaoke-style texts of the blessing in English, Hebrew and transliterated, this animated instructional video (02:20) teaches how to sing the blessings when lighting the menorah on Hannukah using popular Ashkenazi melodies. Although it is aimed at children, this is a helpful resource for anyone

How to Light the Menorah for Hannukah

How to Light the Menorah for Hannukah

This short instructional video (01:12) presents a basic explanation of how to set up and light the menorah on Hannukah. This resource is from MyJewishLearning, an online resource that empowers Jewish discovery for people of all backgrounds and levels of knowledge. 

Hoshanot: When, How, When

Hoshanot: When, How, When

This thorough article from Chabad.org explains the origins and meaning of the Hoshanot prayers recited on Sukkot, as well as a practical guide for how and when these prayers take place within the services on Sukkot, Shabbat and Hoshanah Rabbah. 

Welcoming the Ushpizot: A Complete Guide

Welcoming the Ushpizot: A Complete Guide

This thorough article provides everything you need to know in order to run a meaningful, educational and spiritual program about the Ushpizot (Aramaic for female guests) in your community. According to the Kabbalistic tradition of Ushpizin, on each night of Sukkot we invite different Jewish forefathers to

When & How to Build a Sukkah & What to Do Inside It

When & How to Build a Sukkah & What to Do Inside It

This amusing and comprehensive video by Rabbi John Carrier of Reform Burbank Temple Emanuel provides a practical introduction to the festival of Sukkot, including when and how to build a kosher Sukkah, what to do in it, and why. 

How to Wave the Lulav and Etrog on Sukkot

How to Wave the Lulav and Etrog on Sukkot

We show you how to shake a lulav and etrog! פורסם על ידי ‏‎MyJewishLearning.com‎‏ ב חמישי, 20 באוקטובר 2016 This thorough article from My Jewish Learning provides a complete guide to the Four Species of Sukkot, including the biblical origins of this ritual, how to

How & Why to Shake the Lulav & Etrog

How & Why to Shake the Lulav & Etrog

In this clear, instructional video, Jesse M. Olitzky from the Conservative Congregation Beth El in New Jersey introduces each of the Four Species waved on the Sukkot holiday, including a demonstration of this ritual and an explanation of the spiritual significance behind it. It is important

How to Celebrate Rosh Hashanah

How to Celebrate Rosh Hashanah

This short instructional video briefly presents different aspects of the Rosh Hashanah celebrations, including ritual foods, lighting candles, making blessings over the wine and challah, hearing the shofar, and the tashlich ceremony, where Jews symbolically cast away their sins into a body of water. Created

Guide to the Ashamnu Portion of the Vidui (Confessions)

Guide to the Ashamnu Portion of the Vidui (Confessions)

This link provides introductory information to the “Ashamnu” part of the Vidui (Confession) liturgy, including the Hebrew, English and transliterated text, as well as a step-by-step guide for how to recite this prayer. “Ashamnu” is an alphabetical acrostic of 22 different sins recited in first-person

What To Do the Day Before Yom Kippur

What To Do the Day Before Yom Kippur

This introductory article from Chabad.org provides a brief overview of the mitzvot and rituals performed on the day before Yom Kippur, according to Orthodox custom, including the kaparot atonement ritual, making amends with people we may have hurt or been hurt by, and partaking in the pre-fast meal. With internal

Where to Stream High Holiday Services Online

Where to Stream High Holiday Services Online

This article provides a list of non-denominational, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and Renewal synagogues around the world that live-stream their High Holiday prayer services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Because the use of electricity is prohibited on Jewish holidays according to Orthodox Jewish law, there are no Orthodox synagogues

How to Observe Yom Kippur 2018

How to Observe Yom Kippur 2018

This introductory article from Chabad.org explains the history, customs and deep spiritual significance of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. The article briefly outlines what to do (and not do!) before, during and after Yom Kippur, as well as the the structure of the prayer services. With internal links

Tips for an Easy Fast

Tips for an Easy Fast

In this practical article from Judaism 101, the author, Tracey Rich, provides helpful tips to stay healthy during the Yom Kippur fast. Including suggestions for before and during the fast, this article suggests what types of food, drink and activity can help and hinder an easy, meaningful fast,

A Guide to Yom Kippur Prayers

A Guide to Yom Kippur Prayers

This informative article by Conservative Rabbi Daniel Kohn provides a guide for Yom Kippur prayer services, including the origins, content, and rituals of each of the five services: Kol Nidrei, Shacharit, Mussaf, Mincha, and Neilah. The article summarizes the themes, Torah and haftarah readings, and notable liturgical additions, such as Viddui

Yom Kippur: The Three Levels of Forgiveness

Yom Kippur: The Three Levels of Forgiveness

In this 3.5 minute long video from Aish.com, Orthodox Rabbi, Etiel Goldwicht explores how to truly forgive someone who has hurt you before Yom Kippur. Rabbi Goldwicht delves deep into the three different Hebrew words for forgiveness, each one revealing an insight into the true essence of

Traditional Rosh Hashanah Evening & Daytime Kiddush

Traditional Rosh Hashanah Evening & Daytime Kiddush

This post offers links to the traditional evening and daytime Kiddush ceremonies performed on Rosh Hashanah. The page for the evening Kiddush includes the full text in English, as well as a Hebrew audio recording and step-by-step instructions for how to perform the ritual, whether

A Guide to the High Holiday Prayers

A Guide to the High Holiday Prayers

This thorough article provides an overview of the contents, structure and themes of the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur prayer services. Highlighting some of the most significant parts of the service, such as the shofar blowing on Rosh Hashanah, the haunting “U’netaneh Tokef” prayer, and

How to Prepare for Rosh Hashanah

How to Prepare for Rosh Hashanah

This article outlines some of the customs designed to help prepare one spiritually for the Jewish New Year and the High Holiday season, from blowing shofar and reciting selichot throughout the month of Elul to annulling personal vows the day before Rosh Hashanah. A useful resource

How to Find a Machzor (High Holiday Prayer Book)

How to Find a Machzor (High Holiday Prayer Book)

This comprehensive article serves as a guide to finding the right High Holiday Machzor for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur for you, including links to purchase a prayer book online or download free PDFs. Representing a wide spectrum of Jewish traditions, including Orthodox, Conservative, Reform,

How to Make a Shofar

How to Make a Shofar

This 4 minute long video shows how a ram’s horn is transformed into a shofar, the musical instrument and ritual object used throughout the month of Elul and during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. The video briefly describes the different customs and techniques for

Maimonides’ 4 Steps to Teshuvah

Maimonides’ 4 Steps to Teshuvah

This short video outlines the four steps to teshuvah (repentance), according to Maimonides: regret our actions, stop doing them, confess or apologize, and commit to changing our behavior in the future. Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon, also known as the Rambam), was a medieval Sephardic Jewish

How to Light Candles on Rosh Hashanah

How to Light Candles on Rosh Hashanah

In this thorough instructional video (9:31), Dr. Rachael Turkienicz describes how to light the holiday candles for Rosh Hashanah, including technical and spiritual explanations for this mitzvah, as well as on-screen English transliteration of the Hebrew blessings. The Hebrew, English and transliterated blessings are provided below. Dr. Rachael

How to Blow the Shofar

How to Blow the Shofar

This short instructional video demonstrates how to blow the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, including an explanation of the three different types of ritual blasts: tekiyah, shevarim, and teruah. Featuring Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D., this video was created by Ritualwell, a project of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

How to Braid a Round Challah for Rosh Hashanah

How to Braid a Round Challah for Rosh Hashanah

This short instructional video demonstrates three different methods for making a circular challah, as is customary for Rosh Hashanah. There are many explanations offered for this custom, such as the round challah symbolizing the cyclical nature of the year, our desire for never ending goodness,

The Jewish Educator Journal: Shavuot Resources

The Jewish Educator Journal: Shavuot Resources

This link opens up the Winter 2018 issue of the The Jewish Educator journal, full of articles, resources, activities, and lesson plans about Shavuot, created especially for Jewish educators. With high quality, interactive, holistic programs aimed towards people of different ages and backgrounds, this is an excellent

How to Organize a Feminist/Women’s Tikkun Leil Shavuot

How to Organize a Feminist/Women’s Tikkun Leil Shavuot

Noting that women are learning more Torah than ever before in Jewish history, this article from Ritualwell encourages women to further reclaim their relationship with Torah by organizing a feminist Tikkun Leil Shavuot learning program with a group women. The author, Susan Sapiro, provides tips and resources for

Procedure for Holiday Candle-Lighting

Procedure for Holiday Candle-Lighting

This informative post from Chabad.org provides the transliterated and translated English text for the blessings upon lighting the candles at the onset of the festivals of Shavuot, Passover and Sukkot, as well as some of the related laws and procedures. The article also includes the blessings

How to Make Shavuot Meaningful & Fun for Your Community

How to Make Shavuot Meaningful & Fun for Your Community

This post provides ideas for how to make Shavuot meaningful and fun for your community and family. Focusing on the themes of social justice and communal responsibility in the Torah and Shavuot, the article encourages communities to mark the holiday by collecting items for charity

OU Synagogue Resources: Innovative Shavuot Programming

OU Synagogue Resources: Innovative Shavuot Programming

This link opens up an article which offers unique ideas for engaging Shavuot programs for all ages from Orthodox synagogues throughout America. Ranging from an interactive game show to a cheesecake competition, these suggestions aim to keep congregants engaged and present in a meaningful and fun

Standing Together: A Social Justice Guide to Shavuot and the Omer

Standing Together: A Social Justice Guide to Shavuot and the Omer

This link opens up a 44 page PDF document full of articles, resources, activities, and programs for Shavuot and the Omer (the 7 week-long period between Passover and Shavuot) that focuses on economic justice, the environment, world Jewry, and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) issues

Click here to show less Learn How content

Customs

Click here to show more Customs content

Audio Recordings of Ashkenazi High Holiday Liturgy

Audio Recordings of Ashkenazi High Holiday Liturgy

This link will take you to the musical prayer navigator of Mechon Hadar, where you can find audio recordings for each part of the synagogue service for Shabbat, weekday, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Festivals and Rosh Chodesh. A useful resource for those who want to learn

Prayers for Rain & Dew

Prayers for Rain & Dew

This excerpt from the Conservative Or Hadash Commentary on Siddur Sim Shalom provides the Hebrew and English text of the prayer for rain recited on Shemini Atzeret, the day following Sukkot, and the prayer for dew recited on Passover. Published by the Rabbinical Assembly, this siddur also includes explanations and

The Thirteen Attributes of Mercy

The Thirteen Attributes of Mercy

This video presents a popular Ashkenazi melody for the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy. Enumerated in Exodus 34:6–7 these Divine Attributes are frequently recited in the selichot penitential prayers before and after Rosh Hashanah, as well as in the Yom Kippur services. This video was created by Kabbalah4All.com, an online Jewish

Printable Hebrew & English Megillat Esther

Printable Hebrew & English Megillat Esther

From Chabad.org, this 13-page long PDF document contains the side-by-side Hebrew and English text of Megillat Esther, the biblical scroll which tells the story of Purim, as well as a brief summary of the laws concerning the Mitzvah and the blessings recited prior. This is a

Printable English Megillat Esther With Commentary

Printable English Megillat Esther With Commentary

Published by the Kehot Publication society of the Chabad Lubavitch movement, this 14-page long PDF document is an English translation of Megillat Esther, the biblical scroll which tells the story of Purim, including a commentary providing added insights and information to make the story more meaningful.

Al Hanissim for Grace After Meals on Purim

Al Hanissim for Grace After Meals on Purim

This post presents a cantorial rendition of the “Al HaNissim” prayer added to the Grace After Meals on Purim, along with the Hebrew and English texts of the prayer. The video features Ben Zion Miller and Yakov Yosef Stark. The paragraph, which expresses gratitude for the

A Hanukkah Songbook

A Hanukkah Songbook

This Hanukkah songbook contains the lyrics for many traditional Hanukkah songs, including some in English, Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino. Compiled by Aharon Varady and Nomi Raye Lerman, this resource was shared on The Open Siddur Project, which aims to liberate the creative content of Jewish spiritual practice as a commonly held

Chag HaBanot: The Festival of the Daughters – Introduction & Rituals

Chag HaBanot: The Festival of the Daughters – Introduction & Rituals

Written by Rabbi Jill Hammer, this post presents an introduction to Chag HaBanot, a women’s festival traditionally celebrated during Hannukah by some Sephardic and North African communities, as well as a summary of some ancient and modern celebratory rituals. Rabbi Jill Hammer, an author, teacher, mystic and poet,

How to Light the Hannukah Candles (Conservative Tradition): Blessings & Songs

How to Light the Hannukah Candles (Conservative Tradition): Blessings & Songs

Created by the Rabbinical Assembly, this resource outlines the Hannukah candle-lighting ceremony according to Conservative tradition. The document provides the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the three blessings, Hanerot Hallalu, and the first stanza of Maoz Tzur, plus a brief introductory paragraph explaining how

How to Light Hannukah Candles (Sephardic Tradition)

How to Light Hannukah Candles (Sephardic Tradition)

In this instructional video (04:05), Rabbi David Benchlouch of the Sephardi Hebrew Congregation of Cape Town demonstrates how to light the Hannukah candles according to Sephardic tradition. Whereas in Ashkenazi custom, the “shamash” candle is lit first and then used to light the rest of the

Maoz Tzur: A Traditional Hannukah Song (multiple melodies)

Maoz Tzur: A Traditional Hannukah Song (multiple melodies)

Thought to have been written in the 13th century, Ma’oz Tzur is a liturgical poem traditionally sung by Ashkenazi Jews after lighting the festival lights on Hannukah. The lyrics, provided below in Hebrew and English, present a poetic retelling of Jewish history, celebrating the deliverance of the

Ya Hatzel: A Sephardic Hannukah Song

Ya Hatzel: A Sephardic Hannukah Song

This post provides an audio recording from the Sephardic Hazzanut Project and the Hebrew, English and transliterated lyrics for Ya Hatzel, a traditional Sephardic Hannukah song that includes praise to God and a prayer for the future redemption, similar to that experienced by our ancestors in

A Reform Prayer for Kislev & Hannukah

A Reform Prayer for Kislev & Hannukah

This link opens up the Hebrew, English and transliterated text of a prayer that can be read from the beginning of the Hebrew month of Kislev through the end of Hannukah. Comprised of selected verses from Isaiah 60 about the power of divine light in dark times,

Hasidic Kavvanah (Intention) for Lighting the Hannukah Candles

Hasidic Kavvanah (Intention) for Lighting the Hannukah Candles

This link opens up the Hebrew and English text of a Hasidic prayer that can be recited prior to the lighting of the Hannukah candles, composed by Rebbe Tzvi Elimelech Spira of Dinov and translated by Morah Yehudis Fishman. Rebbe Tzvi Elimelech Spira (1783-1841) was

Al HaNissim for Hannukah

Al HaNissim for Hannukah

Al HaNissim is a short paragraph added to the Amidah prayer and the Grace After Meals on Hannukah, thanking God for the miraculous redemption celebrated on this holiday and briefly retelling the story of Hannukah. The full Hebrew and English text can be seen below. The

Psalm 30: The Daily Psalm of Hannukah

Psalm 30: The Daily Psalm of Hannukah

This audio recording presents Chazan Maor Cohen singing Psalm 30 with a Moroccan melody. Allegedly composed by King David to be sung when his son, King Solomon, dedicated the Temple, this psalm of thanksgiving is designated as the Daily Psalm of Hannukah, to be recited at the

Morrocan Hannukah Candle Lighting Blessings & Songs

Morrocan Hannukah Candle Lighting Blessings & Songs

This post presents the Hannukah candle lighting blessings and songs sung according to Moroccan tradition by Rabbi David Kadoch. The first video begins with the two blessings recited upon lighting the Hannukah candles, followed by Hanerot Halalu (01:26) and Mizmor Hanukah (03:07), Psalm 30, which is

Humanistic Hannukah Lighting Blessings & Ceremonies

Humanistic Hannukah Lighting Blessings & Ceremonies

This post offers several different home services for the Hannukah candle lighting, including blessings, intentions, readings and songs that reflect the values and beliefs of Humanistic Judaism. Founded in 1963 by Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine, Humanistic Judaism enables people of any background to cherish Jewish history, culture, and

The Scroll of Antiochus

The Scroll of Antiochus

This document provides the full English and Hebrew translations of Megillat Antiochus (The Scroll of Antiochus), an ancient historical account of the story of Hannukah, originally written in Aramaic. For generations, this scroll was read aloud in synagogue on Hannukah in Italian and Yemenite communities.

Text of Traditional Hannukah Candle-lighting Blessings & Songs

Text of Traditional Hannukah Candle-lighting Blessings & Songs

This document presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the blessings recited upon lighting the menorah, as well as the songs traditionally sung at this time, “Hanerot Halalu” and “Maoz Tzur.” This resource was created by Tribe, the youth arm of the United Synagogue, a

Hanukkah Blessings & Hanerot Halalu with Feminine God Language

Hanukkah Blessings & Hanerot Halalu with Feminine God Language

This post presents alternative versions of “Hanerot Halalu,” as well as the blessings recited upon lighting the menorah. As explained in more detail below, several alterations were made to “Hanerot Halalu” in order to emphasize messages of peace and gender equality. The document offers the Hebrew, English

How to Light the Hanukkah Menorah (With Blessings)

How to Light the Hanukkah Menorah (With Blessings)

This short instructional video (02:59) demonstrates how to light the menorah on Hannukah, including where to place the menorah, in what order to set up and light the candles, and which blessings to recite. The video provides the translated and transliterated texts of the blessings. Created by Howcast.com, a source

Learn to Recite the Blessings Over the Hannukah Candles (Ashkenazi Melodies)

Learn to Recite the Blessings Over the Hannukah Candles (Ashkenazi Melodies)

With onscreen karaoke-style texts of the blessing in English, Hebrew and transliterated, this animated instructional video (02:20) teaches how to sing the blessings when lighting the menorah on Hannukah using popular Ashkenazi melodies. Although it is aimed at children, this is a helpful resource for anyone

Hoshanot: Text & Explanation

Hoshanot: Text & Explanation

This excerpt from the Conservative Or Hadash Commentary on Siddur Sim Shalom provides the Hebrew and English text of the Hoshanot prayers recited on each day of Sukkot and on Hoshana Rabbah, the final day of the festival. Published by the Rabbinical Assembly, this siddur also includes explanations and commentary

Egalitarian Prayer for Rain

Egalitarian Prayer for Rain

This Egalitarian Prayer for Rain provides a parallel Hebrew and English text for an egalitarian version of the Prayer for Rain, recited on Shemini Atzeret, the holiday immediately following Sukkot. While the traditional version of this prayer original prayer cites biblical stories involving water, invoking the names of the

The Prayer for Rain on Shemini Atzeret

The Prayer for Rain on Shemini Atzeret

In this excerpt from “Every Person’s Guide to Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah,” Rabbi Ronald H. Isaacs introduces the Jewish ritual of praying for rain on Shemini Atzeret, the holiday immediately following Sukkot. The author describes the ritual’s connection to Sukkot, as well as providing

Traditional Sukkot Blessings

Traditional Sukkot Blessings

This site presents the traditional Hebrew, English and transliterated texts for some of the prayers and blessings recited on Sukkot, including Kiddush, the blessings for dwelling in the Sukkah and bidding it farewell at the end of the holiday, and the blessing recited before shaking the

Hebrew Prayers for the Sukkah: Upon Entering, Exiting, and Seder Ushpizin

Hebrew Prayers for the Sukkah: Upon Entering, Exiting, and Seder Ushpizin

This document provides some of traditional Hebrew and Aramaic prayers and blessings recited over the festival of Sukkot, including the Kabbalistic Seder Uspizin (Aramaic for guests), wherein on each night of Sukkot we invite different Jewish forefathers to symbolically visit our Sukkah. Aimed at those who read and

Conservative Egalitarian Seder Ushpizin

Conservative Egalitarian Seder Ushpizin

This excerpt from the Conservative Or Hadash Commentary on Siddur Sim Shalom provides the Hebrew and English text of an egalitarian version of the Kabbalistic tradition of Ushpizin (Aramaic for guests), wherein on each night of Sukkot we invite different Jewish forefathers to symbolically visit our Sukkah. Published by the Rabbinical

Egalitarian Seder Ushpizin

Egalitarian Seder Ushpizin

This Egalitarian Seder Ushpizin provides a parallel Hebrew and English text that can be used to fulfill an egalitarian version of the Kabbalistic tradition of Ushpizin (Aramaic for guests), wherein on each night of Sukkot we invite different Jewish forefathers to symbolically visit our Sukkah. This text by Rabbi David Seidenberg from NeoHasid.org includes

How to Wave the Lulav and Etrog on Sukkot

How to Wave the Lulav and Etrog on Sukkot

We show you how to shake a lulav and etrog! פורסם על ידי ‏‎MyJewishLearning.com‎‏ ב חמישי, 20 באוקטובר 2016 This thorough article from My Jewish Learning provides a complete guide to the Four Species of Sukkot, including the biblical origins of this ritual, how to

Mareh Kohen: A Song About the High Priest’s Yom Kippur Service

Mareh Kohen: A Song About the High Priest’s Yom Kippur Service

This post provides an audio recording of “Mareh Kohen,” a song from the Yom Kippur Mussaf prayer service that attempts to capture the immense joy, relief and gratitude of the High Priest upon exiting the Holy of Holies following the worship service (Avodah) in the

El Nora Alila: Sephardic Neilah Piyut

El Nora Alila: Sephardic Neilah Piyut

In this video, composer and cantor Eyal Bitton performs Turkish, Moroccan and Spanish/Portuguese melodies for El Nora Alila, a Sephardic liturgical prayer sung at the beginning of the Neilah service at the end of Yom Kippur. The onscreen English lyrics are not a direct translation of

Ki Anu Amecha: A Yom Kippur Piyut

Ki Anu Amecha: A Yom Kippur Piyut

This video presents a well known melody for “Ki Anu Amecha,” one of the most iconic pieces from the Yom Kippur liturgy, in which we invoke God’s forgiveness by describing many different metaphors for the human-divine relationship. With on screen Hebrew, English and transliterated lyrics,

Proclamation of Faith from Neilah Service

Proclamation of Faith from Neilah Service

This link from Chabad.org presents an audio recording of the apex of the Neilah service, the closing service of the day, where, we beg God one last time to accept our repentance and seal us in the Book of Life. The Neila service includes opening prayers, the

Reb Zalman’s Alternative Hatarat Nedarim (Annullment of Vows)

Reb Zalman’s Alternative Hatarat Nedarim (Annullment of Vows)

This post presents an alternative English version to the Hatarat Nedarim ceremony, in which a person formally annuls his/her vows before Rosh Hashanah. Written by Reb Zalman Schacther Shalomi, one of the founders of the Jewish Renewal movement, which endeavors to reinvigorate modern Judaism with Kabbalistic, Hasidic, and musical practices, this version is

Text & Exploration of the Al Chet Section of Vidui (Confessions)

Text & Exploration of the Al Chet Section of Vidui (Confessions)

This article by Rabbi Shraga Simmons explores each line of part of the “Al Chet” portion of the Vidui confession, recited during each of the five prayer services on Yom Kippur. With guiding questions and ideas to help us relate to the traditional words, this piece encourages people

Ahavnu: A Positive Version of the Ashamnu Vidui Prayer

Ahavnu: A Positive Version of the Ashamnu Vidui Prayer

This post presents Rabbi Avi Weiss’ positive version of the Ashamnu prayer, an alphabetical acrostic of 22 sins recited during each of the five prayer services on Yom Kippur. Based on the idea that in order to move forward and cultivate a positive sense of

Guide to the Ashamnu Portion of the Vidui (Confessions)

Guide to the Ashamnu Portion of the Vidui (Confessions)

This link provides introductory information to the “Ashamnu” part of the Vidui (Confession) liturgy, including the Hebrew, English and transliterated text, as well as a step-by-step guide for how to recite this prayer. “Ashamnu” is an alphabetical acrostic of 22 different sins recited in first-person

Egalitarian Versions of Hu Ya’anenu (Selichot & Yom Kippur)

Egalitarian Versions of Hu Ya’anenu (Selichot & Yom Kippur)

This post provides links to several different versions of “Hu Ya’anenu,” a prayer that recalls how God mercifully answered our forefathers in ancient times, assuring us that our prayers will be answered as well. While the original version only mentions biblical men (except for Esther,

Text for Kaparot with Money

Text for Kaparot with Money

This post presents the Hebrew and English texts of the traditional Kaparot ceremony over money, in which the sins of a person are symbolically absolved through giving charity on the day before Yom Kippur. Traditionally, this ceremony is done with a live chicken, where the sins

Moroccan Kol Nidrei

Moroccan Kol Nidrei

This audio recording (9:23) presents an authentic Moroccan Sephardi Kol Nidrei sung by Rabbi Eliahou Elbaz from Meknes, Morocco. In the opening services of Yom Kippur, Kol Nidrei proactively annuls any oaths made to God for the coming year in order to preemptively avoid the sin of breaking vows which are

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s Kol Nidrei

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s Kol Nidrei

This 6 minute long audio recording features Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach singing a moving rendition of Kol Nidrei, the opening services on the eve of Yom Kippur, in which any oaths made to God for the coming year are proactively annulled in order to preemptively avoid the sin of breaking vows which

Conservative Kol Nidrei and Yom Kippur Evening Services

Conservative Kol Nidrei and Yom Kippur Evening Services

This excerpt from the Conservative Machzor Lev Shalom for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts for the entire Yom Kippur evening service, including Kol Nidrei, Selichot and Vidui. With commentaries and related readings on the sides of the pages, this resource offers both

Tkhine of the Matriarchs for Yizkor

Tkhine of the Matriarchs for Yizkor

This “tkhine” (supplication) is a para-liturgical prayer in Yiddish with an English translation that is meant to be recited following the Yizkor Memorial service. The prayer beseeches God for mercy, blessing and compassion for both the living and dead. It was originally written in Yiddish by

Humanistic Yom Kippur Services

Humanistic Yom Kippur Services

This post offers links to complete Yom Kippur services from Kahal B’raira, a congregation for Humanistic Judaism in Cambridge, MA. Inspired by both traditional Jewish texts and non-Jewish sources, these communal services contain songs, readings, meditations, prayers, stories, quotes and poetry based on the themes of

The Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall

The Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall

This short video shows tens of thousands of worshippers gathered together at the Western Wall for the Birkat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing, when Kohanim chant three consecutive verses of the Torah, one word at a time, in a special recitation dating back to the First Temple

Selichot at the Western Wall

Selichot at the Western Wall

This short video shows thousands of Jews gathering together for the final night of Selichot prayers before Yom Kippur at the Western Wall. The penitential prayers are traditionally recited between midnight and dawn in the period leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

We Need Justice and Kindness: A Humanistic Prayer for Selichot

We Need Justice and Kindness: A Humanistic Prayer for Selichot

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated words for a prayer for justice, kindness, and social responsibility written by Humanistic Rabbis Sherwin Wine and Binyamin Biber. Based on words attributed to Rabbi Akiva in the Talmud (Taanit 35b) and written to the traditional melody of “Avinu

Kiddush Hashanah: Prayers for Dedicating the New Year

Kiddush Hashanah: Prayers for Dedicating the New Year

Whereas many piyutim (liturgical poems) were composed specifically for the evening of Rosh Hashanah, they did not become a standard part of the liturgy. This excerpt from the Conservative Machzor Lev Shalom for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur introduces a series of biblical readings, medieval prayers,and modern poems and meditations to dedicate the New Year.

Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the Blowing of the Shofar

Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the Blowing of the Shofar

This “tkhine” (supplication) is a para-liturgical prayer in Yiddish with an English translation that is meant to be recited by a woman during the shofar blowing service on Rosh Hashanah, an auspicious time for personal prayer. The prayer asks God for compassion and forgiveness, while beseeching

Selichot Service with Kabbalistic Intentions

Selichot Service with Kabbalistic Intentions

This link opens up a 38 page long Kabbalistic Selichot Service, containing the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of traditional prayers, along with short spiritual and mystical intentions for each prayer. Selichot are emotive prayers of repentance recited prior to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, often

Abbreviated Renewal Selichot Services

Abbreviated Renewal Selichot Services

This alternative selichot ceremony, intended for the Saturday night preceding Rosh Hashanah, includes Havdalah, original poetry, traditional liturgy, writing exercises, and readings for contemplation. Selichot are prayers of repentance recited before the Jewish New Year. Compiled by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, this is an alternative to the lengthy Hebrew

Traditional Rosh Hashanah Evening & Daytime Kiddush

Traditional Rosh Hashanah Evening & Daytime Kiddush

This post offers links to the traditional evening and daytime Kiddush ceremonies performed on Rosh Hashanah. The page for the evening Kiddush includes the full text in English, as well as a Hebrew audio recording and step-by-step instructions for how to perform the ritual, whether

Renewal Tashlich Ceremony

Renewal Tashlich Ceremony

This alternative Tashlich ceremony includes biblical passages and excerpts from traditional prayers, together with an original poem-prayer written by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat. During Tashlich, Jews symbolically cast away their sins into a body of water. Ideally performed on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, it is permitted to do

Psalm 27: A Psalm for the High Holiday Season

Psalm 27: A Psalm for the High Holiday Season

This post offers the Hebrew and English text of Psalm 27, recited twice daily from the beginning of the Hebrew month of Elul through Shemini Atzeret, which concludes the High Holiday season of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Both a prayer and a statement

Sephardic Rosh Hashanah Simanim Seder

Sephardic Rosh Hashanah Simanim Seder

This 3 page long PDF document offers a sample Rosh Hashanah Simanim Seder, originally a Sephardic tradition in which blessings are recited over a variety of foods that symbolize our wishes for the new year. Different communities and families have different versions for this ceremony, many adding

Conservative Tashlich Texts (English & Hebrew)

Conservative Tashlich Texts (English & Hebrew)

This excerpt from the Conservative Machzor Lev Shalom for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur presents the special prayers and passages recited during the Tashlich ritual, in which Jews  symbolically cast away their sins into a body of water. Ideally performed on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, it

Hatarat Nedarim: Annulment of Vows Before Rosh Hashanah

Hatarat Nedarim: Annulment of Vows Before Rosh Hashanah

This post from JewishContent.org provides the English text of the Hatarat Nedarim ceremony, in which a person formally annuls his/her vows before the High Holidays in the presence of three (or, ideally ten) people serving as a Rabbinical court. It is important to use a language

How to Find a Machzor (High Holiday Prayer Book)

How to Find a Machzor (High Holiday Prayer Book)

This comprehensive article serves as a guide to finding the right High Holiday Machzor for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur for you, including links to purchase a prayer book online or download free PDFs. Representing a wide spectrum of Jewish traditions, including Orthodox, Conservative, Reform,

How to Light Candles on Rosh Hashanah

How to Light Candles on Rosh Hashanah

In this thorough instructional video (9:31), Dr. Rachael Turkienicz describes how to light the holiday candles for Rosh Hashanah, including technical and spiritual explanations for this mitzvah, as well as on-screen English transliteration of the Hebrew blessings. The Hebrew, English and transliterated blessings are provided below. Dr. Rachael

Audio Recordings of Sephardic High Holiday Liturgy

Audio Recordings of Sephardic High Holiday Liturgy

This link will take you to the High Holiday section of the Sephardic Hazzanut Project website, where you can listen to audio recordings of many of the piyutim, prayers and Torah readings sung during Selichot, Rosh Hashanah, The Ten Days of Repentance, and Yom Kippur

Achot Ketana: A Sephardic Rosh Hashanah Piyut

Achot Ketana: A Sephardic Rosh Hashanah Piyut

This post presents the lyrics and a musical rendition of Achot Ketanah (Little Sister), a liturgical poem sung in many Sephardic communities at the beginning of the Rosh Hashanah services. A love poem from the “Little Sister” (the People of Israel) to her beloved (God), the

Yizkor: The Memorial Prayer

Yizkor: The Memorial Prayer

This informative article from Chabad.org provides the Hebrew, English and transliterated text for the Yizkor memorial prayer recited following the Torah reading in the synagogue on Passover, Shavuot, Shemini Atzeret and Yom Kippur, as well as on the yahrzeit (anniversary of a person’s death) and

A “Tkhine” for Lighting Candles on Shavuot

A “Tkhine” for Lighting Candles on Shavuot

This “tkhine” (supplication) is a para-liturgical prayer in Hebrew and Yiddish with an English translation that is meant to be recited by a woman after lighting candles to welcome the holiday of Shavuot, an auspicious time for personal prayer. The prayer beseeches God to help the

Chanting of Moroccan Azharot

Chanting of Moroccan Azharot

This 10 minute long video presents a Moroccan chanting of Azharot (lit. exhortations), didactic liturgical poems enumerating the 613 commandments traditionally chanted by Sephardic Jews on Shavuot. There have been numerous Azharot written by poets going back to the days of the Geonim until approximately 1500.

Kabbalistic Tikkun Leil Shavuot with Prayers & Meditations

Kabbalistic Tikkun Leil Shavuot with Prayers & Meditations

This link opens up a 75 page long PDF file containing sections of learning, prayer and meditation for the Tikkun Leil Shavuot in Hebrew, English and transliterated English. In keeping with the custom of engaging in all-night Torah study, the Arizal, a leading Kabbalist of the 16th century, arranged a special

Kabbalistic Tikkun Leil Shavuot & Prayers

Kabbalistic Tikkun Leil Shavuot & Prayers

This link opens up a 186 page long PDF file containing sections of learning and prayer for the Tikkun Leil Shavuot in Hebrew, English and transliterated English. In keeping with the custom of engaging in all-night Torah study, the Arizal, a leading Kabbalist of the 16th century, arranged a special service

Moroccan Piyutim for Shavuot

Moroccan Piyutim for Shavuot

This video presents a series of traditional Moroccan liturgical poems for Shavuot. 

Yetziv Pitgam: A Piyut for Shavuot

Yetziv Pitgam: A Piyut for Shavuot

This video presents the singing of Yetziv Pitgam, an Aramaic liturgical poem recited immediately following the chanting of the first verse of the Haftara on the second day of Shavuot in the Diaspora. It is an acrostic of the name of its author, Yaakov ben Meir Levi, identified by

An Ancient Melody for Akdamut

An Ancient Melody for Akdamut

This video presents an ancient melody for Akdamut, the lengthy Aramaic poem recited during the Torah reading in synagogue on the morning of Shavuot. The liturgical poem is recited responsively in almost all Ashkenazi synagogues prior to the reading of the Ten Commandments. The words, written in

The Book of Ruth (Text & Audio)

The Book of Ruth (Text & Audio)

This post provides the Hebrew and English text for the entire Book of Ruth, as well as audio recordings from the Virtual Cantor of this text being read in Hebrew. The Book of Ruth, traditionally read during synagogue services on Shavuot, tells the story about

Reform Shavuot Youth Synagogue Service

Reform Shavuot Youth Synagogue Service

This 9-page long PDF document presents the Shavuot Youth Service at the Edgware and District Reform Synagogue (now the Edgware & Hendon Reform Synagogue) in the UK. Complete with short teachings, poems, songs, prayers, and an introduction to the background and customs of the holiday, this is

Peoplehood: A Resource for Tikkun Leil Shavuot

Peoplehood: A Resource for Tikkun Leil Shavuot

This 4-page PDF document provides six sources which address the theme of ‘Peoplehood’ intended for learning with a partner (chevruta) or group as part of the Tikkun Leil Shavuot tradition of Torah learning on the eve of Shavuot. The sources, which explore the relationship between choice

Standing Together: A Social Justice Guide to Shavuot and the Omer

Standing Together: A Social Justice Guide to Shavuot and the Omer

This link opens up a 44 page PDF document full of articles, resources, activities, and programs for Shavuot and the Omer (the 7 week-long period between Passover and Shavuot) that focuses on economic justice, the environment, world Jewry, and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) issues

Akdamut: Text & Commentary on a Liturgical Poem for Shavuot

Akdamut: Text & Commentary on a Liturgical Poem for Shavuot

This 8-page long PDF document provides the Aramaic text and English translation of Akdamut, the lengthy Aramaic poem recited during the Torah reading in synagogue on the morning of Shavuot. The document, a Shavuot supplement to Or Hadash: A Commentary on Sim Shalom for Weekdays (Conservative),

Tikkun Leil Shavuot Videos & Study Guides from the Reform Movement

Tikkun Leil Shavuot Videos & Study Guides from the Reform Movement

This link provides a collection of short videos of Torah lectures with guiding questions for discussion and reflection that can be used for independent or communal Torah study on Shavuot as part of the Tikkun Leil Shavuot all-night-long Torah study session. These resources, each one exploring

Click here to show less Customs content

Music

Click here to show more Music content

Leonard Cohen: Who By Fire

Leonard Cohen: Who By Fire

This video presents Who By Fire, a haunting song by the late Jewish Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist Leonard Cohen based on the liturgical prayer, Unetaneh Tokef, recited during prayer services on both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in many communities. Powerful and dramatic, the ancient prayer describes God

Fountainheads: Living In A Booth

Fountainheads: Living In A Booth

A parody of Marry You by Bruno Mars, this high-energy music video features The Fountainheads singing a fun, light-hearted song about the excitement and joy of building and dwelling in a Sukkah. The Fountainheads is an all-volunteer, student-led artistic project, led by young Israeli singers, dancers, and musicians, all students

Alicia Jo Rabins: An Indie-Folk Rendition of Ruth’s Journey

Alicia Jo Rabins: An Indie-Folk Rendition of Ruth’s Journey

This animated music video presents the biblical story of Ruth, retold by singer-songwriter Alicia Jo Rabins through an original indie-folk song. The Book of Ruth is traditionally read on Shavuot, which celebrates the revelation of the Torah as well as the beginning of the harvest season, as

The Fountainheads: Raise Your Mask

The Fountainheads: Raise Your Mask

A parody of “Raise Your Glass” by P!nk, this high-energy music video features The Fountainheads singing a fun, empowering song about the story of Purim and the courage it takes to do the right thing. The Fountainheads is an all-volunteer, student-led artistic project, led by young Israeli singers, dancers, and musicians,

Yonina: If Purim Was A Pop Song

Yonina: If Purim Was A Pop Song

In this video, husband-wife team, Yonina, get dressed up and tell an abridged musical version of the Purim story through a medley of modern English pop songs, including The Black Eyed Peas’ “I’ve Got A Feeling,” The Beatles’ “Help,” and Christina Aguilera’s “Reflection.”   

Alicia Jo Rabins: I’m Done Dressing Up – A Feminist Folk Song for Vashti

Alicia Jo Rabins: I’m Done Dressing Up – A Feminist Folk Song for Vashti

This creative animated music video features Alicia Jo Rabins singing an original fiddle tune based on the midrash that when King Achashverosh commanded Queen Vashti to appear at his feast wearing her royal crown, he really meant for her to wear nothing but her crown. When Vashti refuses, the

Mandisa: Born For This (Esther)

Mandisa: Born For This (Esther)

This dramatic music video presents a song by contemporary Christian artist, Mandisa, which attests to the courage and faith it took for Esther to approach King Achashverosh uninvited and reveal her Jewish identity, which ultimately saved the Jewish people from destruction. Entitled “Born for This,”

The Maccabeats: Purim Song

The Maccabeats: Purim Song

This video presents a parody of “Raise Your Glass” by P!nk from the Maccabeats, an all-male Jewish a cappella group that originally formed as Yeshiva University’s student vocal choir. The lyrics, which can be seen below, tell the Purim story and some of the spiritual messages behind it and encourage

Hop! Mayne Hamentashen: A Yiddish Folksong for Purim

Hop! Mayne Hamentashen: A Yiddish Folksong for Purim

Sung in Yiddish with English subtitles, this upbeat Yiddish folk song tells the story of a woman making Hamantaschen to deliver as part of her Mishloach Manot on Purim. The song is performed by Sue Ehrlich, a New York native, Yiddish activist and artist.

Medley of Traditional Hebrew Purim Songs

Medley of Traditional Hebrew Purim Songs

From Brazillian musician, Micha Gamerman, this upbeat animated music video (08:26), is a festive medley of nine of the most popular, traditional Hebrew songs sung on Purim, often during the Seudat Purim (festive meal). Below, find the Hebrew, English and transliterated lyrics for each song.   1)

Purim Senses Song: Experiencing The Mitzvot

Purim Senses Song: Experiencing The Mitzvot

Written and performed by Rabbi Yossi Berktin, an Orthodox children’s educator and musician, this catchy kids’ video uses song and animation to show how we enjoy Purim with all five of our senses through the commandments and customs of the day: we hear the reading of the

4 Mitzvot 4 Purim: A Catchy Children’s Song

4 Mitzvot 4 Purim: A Catchy Children’s Song

In this sweet video, Eliana Light presents a catchy children’s song about the four mitzvot of Purim – reading the Purim story from Megillat Esther, enjoying a festive Purim seudah (feast), delivering Mishloach Manot (gifts of food), and giving Matanot L’evyonim (money to the poor). This song is a

Six13’s Hanukkah Songs

Six13’s Hanukkah Songs

This post presents ten fun and creative Hanukkah-themed music videos created by Six13, an all-male Jewish a cappella group driven by a mission to connect Jews around the globe with their heritage through music. The featured video presents a Hanukkah remake of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Six13 bring an

Judah and His Maccabees: A Hanukkah Gospel Story

Judah and His Maccabees: A Hanukkah Gospel Story

This entertaining video (03:17) presents a gospel retelling of the Hanukkah story, performed by Karen Hart and Vox Femina.

A Hanukkah Songbook

A Hanukkah Songbook

This Hanukkah songbook contains the lyrics for many traditional Hanukkah songs, including some in English, Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino. Compiled by Aharon Varady and Nomi Raye Lerman, this resource was shared on The Open Siddur Project, which aims to liberate the creative content of Jewish spiritual practice as a commonly held

Hannukah Chant: Let The Flame Be Kindled

Hannukah Chant: Let The Flame Be Kindled

This post presents Rabbi Shefa Gold’s meditative chant for Hannukah, along with her own description of the visualizations that she practices while singing these words and lighting the Hannukah candles. Rabbi Shefa Gold is a Renewal and Reconstuctionist Rabbi who teaches chanting, devotional healing, spiritual community-building and meditation. This resource was

Hasidic Hannukah Medley (Yiddish)

Hasidic Hannukah Medley (Yiddish)

This upbeat video presents a medley of classic Yiddish Hasidic Hannukah songs, performed by Belz Hasidic singer, Shulem Lemmer, the Freilach Band and the Shira Choir.

Julie Geller: Hannukah Hymn (A Contemporary Al Hanisim)

Julie Geller: Hannukah Hymn (A Contemporary Al Hanisim)

A contemporary take on the traditional Al Hanisim prayer for Hannukah, this Jewish folk song by Julie Geller encourages us to be grateful for the miracles in our lives and to illuminate the dark world with our own inner light. Julie Geller is a Jewish

Hannukah Songs for Kids

Hannukah Songs for Kids

This child-friendly animated video features nine English Hannukah songs for young children, including classics such as “Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel” and “Hannukah Oh Hannukah.” This video was created by Kiboomu, a YouTube channel for  kids songs.  

Ari Lesser: Hannukah Hip Hop & Yehudit

Ari Lesser: Hannukah Hip Hop & Yehudit

This post features two Hannukah raps by American Jewish rapper, singer, and spoken word artist, Ari Lesser. Hip Hop Hannukah retells the Hannukah story and criticises the modern commercialization of the holiday. Yehudit tells the lesser-known story of Judith, a brave heroine who allegedly saved her city from

Exploring Jewish Peoplehood Through Hannukah Songs

Exploring Jewish Peoplehood Through Hannukah Songs

This educational resource compares the Hebrew, English and Yiddish versions of popular Hannukah songs “Chanukah Oh Chanukah” and “Mi Yimallel / Who Can Retell?”, exploring what the differences in translation reveal about the values of the communities. Created by Reuven Greenvald, this thorough resource provides links

Yonina: Mashup of Traditional Hannukah & Modern Israeli Songs

Yonina: Mashup of Traditional Hannukah & Modern Israeli Songs

In this music video, husband-wife team, Yonina, perform a creative medley of traditional Hannukah songs, including Maoz Tzur and Al Hanissim, with modern Israeli songs, including Shlomi Shabat’s “Biglal Haruach” (Because of the Spirit) and Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah. The song emphasizes that the Jewish nation has always

Peter, Paul and Mary: Light One Candle

Peter, Paul and Mary: Light One Candle

This video features the American folk group Peter, Paul and Mary performing their popular Hannukah song, “Light One Candle.” Written in 1982 in response to the First Lebanon War between Israel and Lebanon, the lyrics, provided below, celebrate the victory of the Maccabees, while encouraging

Michelle Citrin: Left to Right

Michelle Citrin: Left to Right

Written by William Levin and performed by Michelle Citrin, this song not only reminds us in which direction to light the Hannukah candles, but the collaborative music video sends a message of unity, comprised of clips of people around the world lighting their Hannukah candles

Hannukah Oh Hannukah (English & Yiddish)

Hannukah Oh Hannukah (English & Yiddish)

With onscreen captions, this video presents both the English and Hebrew versions of this popular Hannukah song, originally written in Yiddish. While the English lyrics are not a direct translation of the Yiddish, both versions celebrate the traditions of the Jewish Festival of Lights, including

Ocho Kandelikas (Eight Candles) – A Ladino Hannukah Song

Ocho Kandelikas (Eight Candles) – A Ladino Hannukah Song

Written by Jewish American artist, Flory Jagoda in Ladino (Judaeo-Spanish), “Ocho Kandelikas” (Eight Little Candles) is a Hannukah song describing the excitement of celebrating the holiday with candle lighting, special food and parties. Although it sounds like a traditional Spanish folk song, it was actually written in

Shir Soul’s Hannukah Songs

Shir Soul’s Hannukah Songs

This post presents five fun and creative Hannukah-themed music videos created by Shir Soul, an all-male Jewish a cappella group, wedding band and DJ based in New York. The songs combine classic Hannukah songs with original music, modern secular music and favorite oldies, all performed

The Maccabeats’ Hannukah Songs

The Maccabeats’ Hannukah Songs

This post presents eight fun and creative Hannukah-themed music videos created by the Maccabeats , an all-male Jewish a cappella group that originally formed as Yeshiva University’s student vocal choir. Strongly committed to the integration of traditional and secular wisdom, the Maccabeats perform an eclectic array of

The Fountainheads’ Hannukah Songs

The Fountainheads’ Hannukah Songs

This post presents three fun and creative Hannukah-themed music videos created by The Fountainheads. The Fountainheads is an artistic project, led by young Israeli singers, dancers and musicians, all students of the Ein Prat Academy for Leadership, who have joined forces to create new Jewish artistic content

Adam Sandler: The Hannukah Song (I-IV)

Adam Sandler: The Hannukah Song (I-IV)

This post presents all four versions of The Hannukah Song, a humorous song by Adam Sandler, in which the Jewish comedian tries to make Jewish children feel less alienated during the Christmas season by listing famous real and fictional Jewish celebrities. The first version was

Maoz Tzur: A Traditional Hannukah Song (multiple melodies)

Maoz Tzur: A Traditional Hannukah Song (multiple melodies)

Thought to have been written in the 13th century, Ma’oz Tzur is a liturgical poem traditionally sung by Ashkenazi Jews after lighting the festival lights on Hannukah. The lyrics, provided below in Hebrew and English, present a poetic retelling of Jewish history, celebrating the deliverance of the

Ya Hatzel: A Sephardic Hannukah Song

Ya Hatzel: A Sephardic Hannukah Song

This post provides an audio recording from the Sephardic Hazzanut Project and the Hebrew, English and transliterated lyrics for Ya Hatzel, a traditional Sephardic Hannukah song that includes praise to God and a prayer for the future redemption, similar to that experienced by our ancestors in

Al HaNissim for Hannukah

Al HaNissim for Hannukah

Al HaNissim is a short paragraph added to the Amidah prayer and the Grace After Meals on Hannukah, thanking God for the miraculous redemption celebrated on this holiday and briefly retelling the story of Hannukah. The full Hebrew and English text can be seen below. The

Psalm 30: The Daily Psalm of Hannukah

Psalm 30: The Daily Psalm of Hannukah

This audio recording presents Chazan Maor Cohen singing Psalm 30 with a Moroccan melody. Allegedly composed by King David to be sung when his son, King Solomon, dedicated the Temple, this psalm of thanksgiving is designated as the Daily Psalm of Hannukah, to be recited at the

Morrocan Hannukah Candle Lighting Blessings & Songs

Morrocan Hannukah Candle Lighting Blessings & Songs

This post presents the Hannukah candle lighting blessings and songs sung according to Moroccan tradition by Rabbi David Kadoch. The first video begins with the two blessings recited upon lighting the Hannukah candles, followed by Hanerot Halalu (01:26) and Mizmor Hanukah (03:07), Psalm 30, which is

Learn to Recite the Blessings Over the Hannukah Candles (Ashkenazi Melodies)

Learn to Recite the Blessings Over the Hannukah Candles (Ashkenazi Melodies)

With onscreen karaoke-style texts of the blessing in English, Hebrew and transliterated, this animated instructional video (02:20) teaches how to sing the blessings when lighting the menorah on Hannukah using popular Ashkenazi melodies. Although it is aimed at children, this is a helpful resource for anyone

Israeli Sukkot Songs

Israeli Sukkot Songs

This site provides a list of popular Israeli folk songs for Sukkot, many of which focus on the agricultural roots of the biblical festival. With Hebrew, English and transliterated lyrics and audio recordings, this is a useful resource for those looking to add some Israeli

Vesamachta Bechagecha: A Sukkot Song

Vesamachta Bechagecha: A Sukkot Song

This video features students from the Boys Town Jerusalem school singing a traditional Sukkot song. All about being happy during this joyous festival, the lyrics, which come from biblical verses in which God commands the Jewish people to celebrate the holiday of Sukkot, can be

The Maccabeats: Sukkos Style

The Maccabeats: Sukkos Style

In this video, the Maccabeats sit around discussing their next project, which leads to a brief Sukkot-themed parody of PSY’s “Gangham Style.”  The Maccabeats are an all-male Jewish a cappella group that originally formed as Yeshiva University’s student vocal choir. Strongly committed to the integration of traditional and secular wisdom,

Patish, Masmer: A Hebrew Sukkot Song for Kids

Patish, Masmer: A Hebrew Sukkot Song for Kids

With onscreen Hebrew, English and transliterated lyrics, this animated video presents a popular Israeli Sukkot song for kids all about the excitement of building a Sukkah, 

Shakin’ the Lulav (Sukkot Parody)

Shakin’ the Lulav (Sukkot Parody)

In this playful Sukkot-themed parody of The Beatles’ “Twist and Shout,” David Bar-Cohn and friends dance around Jerusalem and Ramat Beit Shemesh, singing about the Four Species. Despite its silly nature, the song actually teaches a lot about the rituals and themes of the holiday,

The Sukkot Song: The Time of Our Rejoicing

The Sukkot Song: The Time of Our Rejoicing

In this festive song, Steve McConnell celebrates Sukkot as “zman simchatenu” – the time of our rejoicing. The lyrics can be seen onscreen, as well as below:  The Sukkot Song Chag haSukkot Hazeh Z’man simchatenu This is the time of our rejoicing Z’man simchatenu Baruch

Do You Want to Build A Sukkah? A Frozen Parody

Do You Want to Build A Sukkah? A Frozen Parody

In this sweet, homemade video, Mia Leopold and Mollie Teitelbaum sing a Sukkot-themed parody of “Do You Want to Build A Snowman” from the popular Disney movie, “Frozen.”

Ushpizin: A Catchy Children’s Song for Sukkot

Ushpizin: A Catchy Children’s Song for Sukkot

In this sweet video, Eliana Light presents a catchy children’s song about “hachnasat orchim” (the mitvah of welcoming guests) and the “Ushpizin,” the seven supernal guests, “founding fathers” of the Jewish people, who are believed to come to visit us in the sukkah. With tips for how to make this song

A Soulful Ecclesiastes & Sukkot Song

A Soulful Ecclesiastes & Sukkot Song

This animated music video connects the biblical Book of Ecclesiastes to the Jewish festival of Sukkot, through an R&B song by Israeli singer/songwriter, Hadara Levin Areddy, known for her edgy lyrics. Attributed to King Solomon, described in Jewish tradition as the wisest man on Earth, Ecclesiastes provides advice

The IDF Sings Unetanneh Tokeh to a Melody Inspired by the Yom Kippur War

The IDF Sings Unetanneh Tokeh to a Melody Inspired by the Yom Kippur War

To the backdrop of footage from the Yom Kippur War, this moving video shows the IDF Chief Cantor Ltc. Shai Abramson and IDF soldiers singing the prayer “Unetanneh Tokef” to the melody composed by Yair Rosenblum at the request of Kibbutz Bet HaShita, a secular kibbutz

Mareh Kohen: A Song About the High Priest’s Yom Kippur Service

Mareh Kohen: A Song About the High Priest’s Yom Kippur Service

This post provides an audio recording of “Mareh Kohen,” a song from the Yom Kippur Mussaf prayer service that attempts to capture the immense joy, relief and gratitude of the High Priest upon exiting the Holy of Holies following the worship service (Avodah) in the

At the Closing of the Gates: A Neilah Song

At the Closing of the Gates: A Neilah Song

This video presents a gentle welcome to the Neilah service at the end of Yom Kippur, written and performed by Irwin Keller, spiritual leader of  the Reconstructionist/Renewal Congregation Ner Shalom in Sonoma County, California. The short repetitive song is composed in a call-and-response format, so that the leader may

A Yiddish Yom Kippur Song: Odom Yesodo Meofor

A Yiddish Yom Kippur Song: Odom Yesodo Meofor

This video presents a Yiddish song based on “Odom Yesodo Meofor,” one of the core High Holiday Prayers of the Jewish Liturgy. Although the song is in Yiddish, there is an onscreen English translation of the lyrics, which focus on the finite and transient nature of

Tap Your Heart: A Catchy “Ashamnu” for Kids

Tap Your Heart: A Catchy “Ashamnu” for Kids

In this sweet video, Eliana Light presents a catchy children’s song based on the “Ashamnu” part of the Vidui (Confession) liturgy. With a catchy chorus, hand motions and meaningful lyrics, this song is a great way for parents, teachers and youth leaders to teach young children

Jazz/Classical/Folk Version of Sephardic El Nora Alila Piyut

Jazz/Classical/Folk Version of Sephardic El Nora Alila Piyut

In this video, Italian Jewish singer Charlette Shulamit Ottolenghi performs a unique version of  El Nora Alila, combining jazz, classical and folk music for this Sephardic liturgical prayer sung at the beginning of the Neilah service at the end of Yom Kippur.

El Nora Alila: Sephardic Neilah Piyut

El Nora Alila: Sephardic Neilah Piyut

In this video, composer and cantor Eyal Bitton performs Turkish, Moroccan and Spanish/Portuguese melodies for El Nora Alila, a Sephardic liturgical prayer sung at the beginning of the Neilah service at the end of Yom Kippur. The onscreen English lyrics are not a direct translation of

The Thirteen Attributes of Mercy

The Thirteen Attributes of Mercy

This video presents a popular Ashkenazi melody for the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy. Enumerated in Exodus 34:6–7 these Divine Attributes are frequently recited in the selichot penitential prayers before and after Rosh Hashanah, as well as in the Yom Kippur services. This video was created by Kabbalah4All.com, an online Jewish

The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Ki Anu Amecha

The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Ki Anu Amecha

This video presents Israeli singer Erez Lev Ari performing the popular Chabad melody for “Ki Anu Amecha,” one of the most iconic pieces from the Yom Kippur liturgy, in which we invoke God’s forgiveness by describing many different metaphors for the human-divine relationship. This song was produced

Ki Anu Amecha: A Yom Kippur Piyut

Ki Anu Amecha: A Yom Kippur Piyut

This video presents a well known melody for “Ki Anu Amecha,” one of the most iconic pieces from the Yom Kippur liturgy, in which we invoke God’s forgiveness by describing many different metaphors for the human-divine relationship. With on screen Hebrew, English and transliterated lyrics,

Phish’s Avinu Malkeinu (My Father, My King)

Phish’s Avinu Malkeinu (My Father, My King)

This video presents the American jam band, Phish, performing their version of Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father, Our King), a desperate plea for mercy, blessing and forgiveness recited as part of the services on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, the Ten Days of Repentance between the two holidays, and

Mogwai’s Heavy Metal Avinu Malkeinu (My Father, My King)

Mogwai’s Heavy Metal Avinu Malkeinu (My Father, My King)

This video presents the Scottish post-rock band, Mogwai, performing a 10 minute long heavy metal version of Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father, Our King), a desperate plea for mercy, blessing and forgiveness recited as part of the services on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, the Ten Days of

Barbra Streisand’s Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father, Our King)

Barbra Streisand’s Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father, Our King)

This video presents Jewish American singer, actress, and filmmaker, Barbra Streisand, performing Avinu Malkeinu for former Israeli President Simon Peres at his 90th birthday celebration. Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father, Our King) is a desperate plea for mercy, blessing and forgiveness recited as part of the services on Rosh

Review, Restart, and Release: A Yom Kippur Hymn

Review, Restart, and Release: A Yom Kippur Hymn

This video presents an original Yom Kippur hymn by Phil Straus, where the photographer explores what Yom Kippur means to him. The lyrics below explore common themes of the day, such as regret over past wrong doings, a commitment to change, and an acknowledgement of

Guide to the Ashamnu Portion of the Vidui (Confessions)

Guide to the Ashamnu Portion of the Vidui (Confessions)

This link provides introductory information to the “Ashamnu” part of the Vidui (Confession) liturgy, including the Hebrew, English and transliterated text, as well as a step-by-step guide for how to recite this prayer. “Ashamnu” is an alphabetical acrostic of 22 different sins recited in first-person

Yom Kippur: A Book of Jonah Rock Song

Yom Kippur: A Book of Jonah Rock Song

This animated music video connects the biblical story of Jonah, read during the Yom Kippur afternoon haftarah, to the day’s themes of repentance, atonement and forgiveness, as well as how the holiday connects us to God, our communities and our true selves. This modern rock song was

Moroccan Kol Nidrei

Moroccan Kol Nidrei

This audio recording (9:23) presents an authentic Moroccan Sephardi Kol Nidrei sung by Rabbi Eliahou Elbaz from Meknes, Morocco. In the opening services of Yom Kippur, Kol Nidrei proactively annuls any oaths made to God for the coming year in order to preemptively avoid the sin of breaking vows which are

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s Kol Nidrei

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s Kol Nidrei

This 6 minute long audio recording features Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach singing a moving rendition of Kol Nidrei, the opening services on the eve of Yom Kippur, in which any oaths made to God for the coming year are proactively annulled in order to preemptively avoid the sin of breaking vows which

Neil Diamond’s Kol Nidrei from “The Jazz Singer”

Neil Diamond’s Kol Nidrei from “The Jazz Singer”

This short clip is from the 1980 American drama film, The Jazz Singer, in which the son of a Jewish Cantor must defy the traditions of his religious father in order to pursue his dream of being a popular singer. The film stars Jewish singer-songwriter, musician

A Calming Melody for the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy

A Calming Melody for the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy

This post offers the Hebrew and English text of The Thirteen Attributes of Mercy, as well as a calming melody composed by The Nava Tehila Ensemble. Enumerated in Exodus 34:6–7 these Divine Attributes are frequently recited in the selichot penitential prayers before and after Rosh Hashanah, as well as in the

Audio Recordings of Ashkenazi High Holiday Liturgy

Audio Recordings of Ashkenazi High Holiday Liturgy

This link will take you to the musical prayer navigator of Mechon Hadar, where you can find audio recordings for each part of the synagogue service for Shabbat, weekday, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Festivals and Rosh Chodesh. A useful resource for those who want to learn

Audio Recordings of Sephardic High Holiday Liturgy

Audio Recordings of Sephardic High Holiday Liturgy

This link will take you to the High Holiday section of the Sephardic Hazzanut Project website, where you can listen to audio recordings of many of the piyutim, prayers and Torah readings sung during Selichot, Rosh Hashanah, The Ten Days of Repentance, and Yom Kippur

Achot Ketana: A Sephardic Rosh Hashanah Piyut

Achot Ketana: A Sephardic Rosh Hashanah Piyut

This post presents the lyrics and a musical rendition of Achot Ketanah (Little Sister), a liturgical poem sung in many Sephardic communities at the beginning of the Rosh Hashanah services. A love poem from the “Little Sister” (the People of Israel) to her beloved (God), the

Dip the Apple in the Honey: A Rosh Hashanah Song for Kids

Dip the Apple in the Honey: A Rosh Hashanah Song for Kids

This sweet animated video presents a popular American Rosh Hashanah song for kids with onscreen karaoke-style lyrics. The video is produced by Shaboom, a child-friendly YouTube channel brought to you by BimBam, an organization which creates accessible and creative digital media about Judaism. 

The Maccabeats: This is the New Year – Rosh Hashanah

The Maccabeats: This is the New Year – Rosh Hashanah

This video presents an a capella cover of This is the New Year by A Great Big World by the Maccabeats, an all-male Jewish a cappella group that originally formed as Yeshiva University’s student vocal choir. Although this song was not written with Rosh Hashanah in mind, the optimistic

Medley of Chasidic Rosh Hashanah Niggunim

Medley of Chasidic Rosh Hashanah Niggunim

This 12 minute long video presents an emotive medley of Chasidic melodies for Rosh Hashanah liturgy, performed by Motty Steinmetz & Yedididm Choir and the Aaron Teitelbaum Orchestra. The performance was recorded at the wedding of the grandson and great-granddaughter of the previous Sadigura Rebbe, the

Shofar Callin’: A Rosh Hashanah Rap

Shofar Callin’: A Rosh Hashanah Rap

This animated music video about the Jewish New Year as an opportunity for change connects the Torah reading of Rosh Hashanah – the biblical story of the Binding of Isaac – with the ritual blowing of the shofar. The rap song was produced by the American Jewish

Fountainheads: Dip Your Apple

Fountainheads: Dip Your Apple

A Rosh Hashanah- themed parody of Waka Waka by Shakira, this high-energy music video features The Fountainheads singing about the hope and opportunity of the Jewish New Year. The Fountainheads is an all-volunteer, student-led artistic project, led by young Israeli singers, dancers, and musicians, all students of the Ein

Rosh Hashanah: Can’t Stop The Feeling

Rosh Hashanah: Can’t Stop The Feeling

A Rosh Hashanah-themed parody of Can’t Stop This Feeling by Justin Timberlake, this video features people  dancing in the streets of Jerusalem as they sing about the challenges and opportunities of personal religious growth leading up to the Jewish New Year. With onscreen lyrics, this music video was

Get Clarity: Rosh Hashanah Music Video

Get Clarity: Rosh Hashanah Music Video

A Rosh Hashanah-themed parody of Get Lucky by Daft Punk, this video features Chasidic Rock guitar player Menachem Herman and Orthodox Yeshiva students singing about the Jewish New Year as a time for new beginnings. With onscreen lyrics, this music video was produced by Aish, a global Orthodox Jewish

What Makes Rosh Hashanah Beautiful

What Makes Rosh Hashanah Beautiful

A Rosh Hashanah-themed parody of What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction, this video features Orthodox Yeshiva students singing about the inspiring potential of new beginnings in the Old City of Jerusalem. With onscreen lyrics, this music video was produced by Aish, a global Orthodox Jewish outreach organization

Rosh Hashanah Rock Anthem

Rosh Hashanah Rock Anthem

A Rosh Hashanah-themed parody of Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO, this video features Orthodox Yeshiva students break-dancing in the Old City of Jerusalem as they sing and rap about the holiday’s meaning, customs and ritual foods. The video was produced by Aish, a global Orthodox Jewish outreach organization based

Beth Hamon: Lev Tahor (A Clean Heart)

Beth Hamon: Lev Tahor (A Clean Heart)

This live performance features Jewish singer-songwriter, Beth Hamon, performing “Lev Tahor (A Clean Heart),” a contemporary folk song in which she asks God for the courage, faith and strength she needs to return to God and her true self, relevant themes for the High Holiday

Chanting of Moroccan Azharot

Chanting of Moroccan Azharot

This 10 minute long video presents a Moroccan chanting of Azharot (lit. exhortations), didactic liturgical poems enumerating the 613 commandments traditionally chanted by Sephardic Jews on Shavuot. There have been numerous Azharot written by poets going back to the days of the Geonim until approximately 1500.

The Song of Bread: A Zionist Yiddish Song for Shavuot

The Song of Bread: A Zionist Yiddish Song for Shavuot

This video presents The Song of Bread, a Yiddish folk song written by poet and composer Mark Warshawsky about the goodness of the land of Israel, dedicated to the Eastern European pioneers who worked the land of Israel. While Shavuot is often known as the

Our Baskets Are On Our Shoulders: A Hebrew Children’s Song for Shavuot

Our Baskets Are On Our Shoulders: A Hebrew Children’s Song for Shavuot

This upbeat animated video presents a popular Israeli children’s song abut Shavuot. The lyrics describe people coming from all over the land of Israel to bring “bikurim” – the offering of the first fruits that was brought to the Temple in Jerusalem on Shavuot. While

Stay Up All Night: A Shavuot Parody

Stay Up All Night: A Shavuot Parody

This amusing video presents a song about Tikkun Leil Shavuot, the custom of learning Torah all night long on Shavuot. From the Rebbetzin Tap “Jewish Holiday Celebration” DVD, this song contains customs, language and references that may be unfamiliar to those without an Orthodox background.   

We’ll Study All Night Long: A Shavuot Parody

We’ll Study All Night Long: A Shavuot Parody

This amusing video presents a song about Tikkun Leil Shavuot, the custom of learning Torah all night long on Shavuot. The lyrics, written to the tune of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long,” can be read below.  We’ll Study All Night Long I took a

Moroccan Piyutim for Shavuot

Moroccan Piyutim for Shavuot

This video presents a series of traditional Moroccan liturgical poems for Shavuot. 

Yetziv Pitgam: A Piyut for Shavuot

Yetziv Pitgam: A Piyut for Shavuot

This video presents the singing of Yetziv Pitgam, an Aramaic liturgical poem recited immediately following the chanting of the first verse of the Haftara on the second day of Shavuot in the Diaspora. It is an acrostic of the name of its author, Yaakov ben Meir Levi, identified by

Short English Adaptation of Akdamut

Short English Adaptation of Akdamut

This video presents a short, simple, chanted, English version of Akdamut, the lengthy Aramaic poem recited during the Torah reading in synagogue on the morning of Shavuot. It is not a direct translation of the text, but rather a short rhyming poem based on the Aramaic liturgical

Akdamut Chanted with English Translation

Akdamut Chanted with English Translation

This video presents a chanting of Akdamut, the lengthy Aramaic poem recited during the Torah reading in synagogue on the morning of Shavuot with a simultaneous onscreen English translation of the words. The liturgical poem is recited responsively in almost all Ashkenazi synagogues prior to the reading

An Ancient Sephardic Melody for Akdamut

An Ancient Sephardic Melody for Akdamut

This video presents an ancient Sephardic melody for Akdamut, the lengthy Aramaic poem recited during the Torah reading in synagogue on the morning of Shavuot. The liturgical poem is recited responsively in almost all Ashkenazi synagogues prior to the reading of the Ten Commandments. The words, written

An Ancient Melody for Akdamut

An Ancient Melody for Akdamut

This video presents an ancient melody for Akdamut, the lengthy Aramaic poem recited during the Torah reading in synagogue on the morning of Shavuot. The liturgical poem is recited responsively in almost all Ashkenazi synagogues prior to the reading of the Ten Commandments. The words, written in

A Children’s Song for Shavuot

A Children’s Song for Shavuot

This upbeat, catchy song celebrates the excitement of the Jewish festival of Shavuot, which commemorates the giving of the Torah. Sung in Hebrew with an on-screen English translation of the lyrics, the video includes a slideshow of pictures related to Shavuot as both the holiday of the

The Ten Commandments: A Shavuot Song for Kids

The Ten Commandments: A Shavuot Song for Kids

This upbeat, animated music video presents the Ten Commandments from the Torah in an amusing, kid-friendly way, with modernized lyrics, amusing cartoons, and a catchy tune. There is a strong custom to read, learn and discuss the Ten Commandments on Shavuot, the holiday which commemorates

L’Shana Haba’ah: Next Year in Jerusalem

L’Shana Haba’ah: Next Year in Jerusalem

This song captures the eternal Jewish hope and prayer for the return to Jerusalem. Even though the Jewish people have technically returned to the city of Jerusalem, this song is still sung at many Jewish ceremonies, including the end of Yom Kippur prayer services, the end

Click here to show less Music content

Informative Articles & Videos

Click here to show more Informative Articles & Videos content

Rosh Hashanah Infographic

Rosh Hashanah Infographic

This infographic from Aish.com lays out the various traditions and rituals of the Jewish New Year in a concise and visually appealing way. This well-designed image outlines shofar blowing, Rosh Hashanah preparation, festive foods, synagogue services, and tashlich, sharing both basic technical information, as well

Feeling the Love in Judgement: Special for the High Holidays

Feeling the Love in Judgement: Special for the High Holidays

In this short and sweet animated video, Rabbi David Aaron shares the profound message that judgement is actually an act of love. Comparing the relationship between a child and parent to that of man and God, Rabbi Aaron suggests that judging people’s actions increases their

What is Shavuot? An Introductory Video for All

What is Shavuot? An Introductory Video for All

This 4-minute long animated video presents an excellent overview of the origins, significance and customs of Shavuot, dubbed “the most important Jewish Holiday most people have never heard of.” Useful for people of all ages, with amusing animations and a colloquial narrator, this video is provided by BimBam, which creates

TEST123

TEST123

TEST  232

The Significance of the Fast of Esther

The Significance of the Fast of Esther

Produced by Aleph Beta Academy, this video (09:17) explores the historical and spiritual significance behind Taanit Esther, the day-long fast observed immediately prior to Purim. The video links our fast today to the two fasts of the Jewish people described in the Book of Esther,

A Sassy Retelling of the Purim Story

A Sassy Retelling of the Purim Story

This amusing animated video (04:08) presents a modern retelling of the Purim story from Megillat Esther. Useful for people of all ages and backgrounds, this video was produced by BimBam, which creates and distributes fun, accessible, and creative digital media about Judaism for families.

God is in Control: The Spiritual Message of the Purim Story

God is in Control: The Spiritual Message of the Purim Story

From Aish.com, this animated video (04:46) retells the story of Purim as told in Megillat Esther, focusing on how the events of the story can be viewed as either serendipitous coincidences or the hand of God intervening on behalf of the Jewish people. This video

Matanot L’Evyonim: Gifts to the Poor

Matanot L’Evyonim: Gifts to the Poor

From the Zdaka Center in Israel, this thorough article introduces the commandment to give gifts to the poor on Purim, including the roots and significance of the mitzvah, and when, how, to whom it and how much needs to be given in order to fulfill

Drop Your Mask: Why We Dress Up on Purim

Drop Your Mask: Why We Dress Up on Purim

Produced by Aish.com, this insightful video (02:29) features Rabbi Yaakov Cohen reveals the deep psychological and spiritual wisdom behind the custom of wearing costumes on Purim. He explains how wearing costumes on Purim paradoxically enables us to get in touch with our true inner selves

Why Do Jews Wear Costumes on Purim?

Why Do Jews Wear Costumes on Purim?

Produced by My Jewish Learning, this introductory video (01:32) provides several historical, spiritual and practical explanations for the custom of dressing up in costume on Purim. 

The History & Spiritual Significance of Hamantaschen

The History & Spiritual Significance of Hamantaschen

This short video (01:12) from Chabad.org suggestions several different reasons why we eat Hamantaschen on Purim. This thorough article by Rabbi Yehuda Shurpin delves deeper into the historical and spiritual symbolism behind the custom.     

Why Do Jews Eat Hamantaschen on Purim?

Why Do Jews Eat Hamantaschen on Purim?

Produced by The Nosher, a Jewish food blog, this video (01:11) explains the history behind the Ashkenazi custom to eat hamantaschen (triangular shaped filled pastries) on Purim.  

The Festive Purim Meal: Seudat Purim

The Festive Purim Meal: Seudat Purim

From the website of the Orthodox Union, this thorough article outlines the spiritual significance and halachic guidelines of the Seudat Purim – the festive meal eaten on Purim – including when the meal should take place, what should be eaten and worn, the meaning behind

What Is Purim?

What Is Purim?

This amusing and informative video (05:04) presents an excellent overview of the origins, significance and customs of Purim, including an animated summary of the Purim story from Megillat Esther and an introduction to some of the commandments and customs celebrated by Jews all over the world. Useful for

Mishloach Manot: Now & Then

Mishloach Manot: Now & Then

This video (01:12) from the Central Synagogue Reform Congregation introduces the custom of Mishloach Manot – delivering gifts of food to our friends on Purim – including the original source of the commandment, the basic requirements for fulfilling the commandment, and ideas for how to fulfill

Publicizing the Miracle of Hanukkah

Publicizing the Miracle of Hanukkah

Written by Rabbi Iscah Waldman, this article explores how the modern phenomenon of public displays of Hanukkah menorahs in store fronts, city squares and private homes developed from ancient rabbinic tradition. The author shows how the custom developed to ensure maximum exposure of the Hanukkah

Looking into the Flame: A Hanukkah Light Meditation

Looking into the Flame: A Hanukkah Light Meditation

Written by Rabbi DovBer Pinson, an expert on Kabbalah, Jewish Philosophy and Rosh Yeshiva at the IYYUN Center for Jewish Spirituality, this complex article shares some deep mystical ideas to meditate on when looking into the holy flames of the Hanukkah candles. Most useful for

The Pardes Hannukah Companion: 8 Articles

The Pardes Hannukah Companion: 8 Articles

Created by educators at The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, this 8-page long booklet provides one article for each night of Hannukah, each one exploring a different theme of the Jewish Festival of Lights. Pardes is an open, co-ed and non-denominational Jewish learning community, based in

What is Hannukah Gelt?

What is Hannukah Gelt?

In this introductory article, Ariela Pelaia explains the origins of  the custom of giving “gelt” to children on Hannukah, including the development from money to chocolate coins. Published on ThoughtCo, a website that provides in-depth articles about a wide range of topics to a general audience, this article would

The Deeper Meaning of the Word ‘Hanukkah’

The Deeper Meaning of the Word ‘Hanukkah’

Written by Aviya Kushner, the language columnist at The Forward, this article explores the deeper meaning of the Hebrew word “Hannukah,” with an emphasis on the linguistic and thematic ties between “dedication” and “education.” ‘Hanukkah’ Means A Lot More Than You Think It Does What

What You Need to Know About the Hannukah Story

What You Need to Know About the Hannukah Story

Reprinted from Celebrate! The Complete Jewish Holiday Handbook by Lesli Koppelman Ross, this article summarizes the story of Hannukah from the 2nd century BCE, including both the Maccabean revolt against the Syrian Greeks and the miracle of the oil. The article was shared on My Jewish Learning together

Who Are the Maccabees: Heroes or Fanatics?

Who Are the Maccabees: Heroes or Fanatics?

Along with a minute long video introducing the Maccabees role in the Hanukkah story, this thought-provoking article by Michele Alperin presents the celebrated Jewish heroes as multi-layered historical figures who acted as both national liberators and violent religious zealots. Referring to the First and Second

A Kabbalastic Infographic: 8 Hannukah Insights

A Kabbalastic Infographic: 8 Hannukah Insights

Created by the Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute, this infographic presents Jewish mystical insights and symbolism behind eight Hannukah-related themes, including candles, oil, the Maccabees, the Greeks, and the miracle of Hannukah.

8 Insights for 8 Nights of Hannukah

8 Insights for 8 Nights of Hannukah

Created by NCSY, an Orthodox organization dedicated to inspiring Jewish youth to engage with Judaism, this one-page document presents one Hannukah-themed thought for each night of the festival, along with guiding questions and suggestions to help apply these concepts to our lives in a practical, meaningful manner. 

Kabbalistic Numerology and the Miracle of Chanukah

Kabbalistic Numerology and the Miracle of Chanukah

Written by Orthodox psychotherapist, Karen Wolfers-Rapaport, this profound article from Chabad.org explores the connection between Hannukah – the eight day festival of miracles – and the Kabbalsitic significance of the number eight. The author suggests that Hannukah is a time to synthesise the natural world of “seven”

Humanistic Judaism’s Approach to Hannukah

Humanistic Judaism’s Approach to Hannukah

This introductory article from the Society for Humanistic Judaism explains the themes and customs of Hannukah according to the Humanistic community. The community focuses on the values of human action, courage, dignity, freedom, justice, Jewish identity, choice, strength, and ingenuity, as demonstrated through the Hannukah story, as well as the symbolism

Chag HaBanot: The Festival of the Daughters – Introduction & Rituals

Chag HaBanot: The Festival of the Daughters – Introduction & Rituals

Written by Rabbi Jill Hammer, this post presents an introduction to Chag HaBanot, a women’s festival traditionally celebrated during Hannukah by some Sephardic and North African communities, as well as a summary of some ancient and modern celebratory rituals. Rabbi Jill Hammer, an author, teacher, mystic and poet,

Hannukah 101

Hannukah 101

This introductory article briefly explains the history, customs and significance of Hannukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. A helpful resource for anyone interested in the basic background and practice of the festival, this article is from My Jewish Learning, a website empowering Jewish discovery for anyone interested in learning

Hannukah FAQ

Hannukah FAQ

This thorough article answers all of your questions about the Jewish Festival of Lights, including instructions for how to spell and pronounce the word “Hannukah,” an explanation of the customs, ritual foods, and the holiday’s place on the Hebrew and Gregorian calendar. An excellent resource for

Hannukah in 60 Seconds

Hannukah in 60 Seconds

This minute long introductory video presents a brief overview of the origins, significance and customs of Hannukah. This video is provided by Parsha in 60 Seconds, a YouTube Channel which creates and distributes short, accessible videos about Jewish holidays and the Torah portion of the week. 

Why do Jews Play Dreidel on Hannukah?

Why do Jews Play Dreidel on Hannukah?

This short video (0:40) from My Jewish Learning, briefly explains the historical reasons behind the custom of playing dreidel – a gambling game with spinning tops – on the holiday of Hannukah. To learn more about the secular origins of this game and how it became part

Miracles: Now, Then & Every Day

Miracles: Now, Then & Every Day

Produced by Jewish Educational Media, the multimedia archive of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, this inspiring video (07:43) encourages viewers to appreciate the everyday miracles of nature, technology and history. The video emphasizes God’s hand in Jewish history, from the Hanukkah story through the military victory

The History & Meaning of the Menorah

The History & Meaning of the Menorah

This informative video (02:24) explores the significance of the menorah as the eternal symbol of the Jewish nation throughout history, from the Biblical commandment to create a menorah after the Exodus from Egypt and the ritual lighting of the menorah in the Temple, to the story of

8 Videos for 8 Days of Happiness

8 Videos for 8 Days of Happiness

This post contains a series of eight thoughtful, one-minute-long, animated videos exploring various Hannukah themes from a psychological, relationship-focused perspective. The first video, featured above, discusses the centrality of family cohesion and home life in Jewish tradition and Hannukah celebrations. The rest of the videos, featured below, discuss taking vs.

Judith & The Hannukah Story

Judith & The Hannukah Story

Produced by the Jewish Women’s Archive, this informative video (02:24) emphasizes the feminist Jewish history angle of the Hannukah story, briefly telling the story of the Book of Judith, where a brave young widow challenged her community to keep their faith and fought against the Assyrian

Hannukah: Tap into the Light

Hannukah: Tap into the Light

In this inspiring video (02:20), Rabbi Yitzchak Botton explains that Hannukah is not the commemoration of a one-time historical event, but rather the opportunity to tap into a revelation of divine light that reoccurs each year during this time, giving us the strength to overcome

How Holidays of Light Make Hanukkah Brighter: In Talmudic & Modern Times

How Holidays of Light Make Hanukkah Brighter: In Talmudic & Modern Times

In this interesting video (03:36), Rabbi Judith Hauptman explores the Talmudic references to Hannukah, suggesting that the significance of the minor Jewish holiday has always been aggrandized due to its proximity to other non-Jewish wintertime Festivals of Light. The feminist Talmudic scholar and professor at the

Menorah vs. Channukiah

Menorah vs. Channukiah

In this short video (01:15), Joshua Mallett clearly explains the difference between the 7-branched menorah lit in the ancient Temple and the 9-branched channukiah lit on Hannukah. Reviewing the biblical origins of the menorah and the Hannukah story, Mallet clarifies the differences between the two candelabras

Carrying the Torch: The Menorah and the Eternal Jewish People

Carrying the Torch: The Menorah and the Eternal Jewish People

In this moving video (03:53), Rabbi Yaakov Cohen attributes the miraculous spiritual and physical survival of the Jewish people throughout history to the eternal commitment to the Torah, symbolized by the menorah. He tells how a Jewish journalist discovered this secret of the Jews’ immortality on a journey

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: 8 Thoughts for 8 Nights

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: 8 Thoughts for 8 Nights

This post contains a series of eight 2-3 minute-long, thought-provoking videos in which Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the previous Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, explores various Hannukah themes. The first video, featured above, discusses the power of faith to change the world. The rest of the videos, featured below,

Ben Shapiro: The Story & Takeaways of Hannukah

Ben Shapiro: The Story & Takeaways of Hannukah

In this short informative video (01:55), Ben Shapiro provides a quick historical overview of the history of Hannukah, emphasizing the political dynamics within the Jewish community, as well as between the Jewish and Seleucid leadership. He suggests modern lessons that we can learn today from this

An Animated Story of Hannukah for Kids

An Animated Story of Hannukah for Kids

Produced by Speakaboos, an educational company promoting children’s literacy, this short animated video (02:15) presents the Hannukah story and the historical origins of the holiday. Although the video was created for children, it is a useful resource for anyone looking for a quick and clear summary

Mayim Bialik: A True/False Quiz Introducing Hannukah

Mayim Bialik: A True/False Quiz Introducing Hannukah

In this humorous, informal video (05:58), actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik presents a short true or false quiz to clear up some misconceptions about the Jewish holiday of Hannukah. Bialik explains the basic historical origins, themes, religious rituals, and traditional foods of Hannukah and, through a comparison with Christmas,  emphasizes

The Historical Origins and Customs of Hannukah

The Historical Origins and Customs of Hannukah

Produced by the American TV Network, History, this introductory video (03:50) presents the historical origins and modern customs of Hannukah, the Jewish festival of lights. 

What is Hannukah?

What is Hannukah?

This short animated video (03:51) presents an excellent overview of the origins, significance and customs of Hannukah, the Jewish festival of lights. Useful for people of all ages and backgrounds, it focuses on how people can find personal spiritual meaning in this holiday. This video was produced by BimBam, which creates and

Hoshanot: When, How, When

Hoshanot: When, How, When

This thorough article from Chabad.org explains the origins and meaning of the Hoshanot prayers recited on Sukkot, as well as a practical guide for how and when these prayers take place within the services on Sukkot, Shabbat and Hoshanah Rabbah. 

Hoshanot: Text & Explanation

Hoshanot: Text & Explanation

This excerpt from the Conservative Or Hadash Commentary on Siddur Sim Shalom provides the Hebrew and English text of the Hoshanot prayers recited on each day of Sukkot and on Hoshana Rabbah, the final day of the festival. Published by the Rabbinical Assembly, this siddur also includes explanations and commentary

The Prayer for Rain on Shemini Atzeret

The Prayer for Rain on Shemini Atzeret

In this excerpt from “Every Person’s Guide to Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah,” Rabbi Ronald H. Isaacs introduces the Jewish ritual of praying for rain on Shemini Atzeret, the holiday immediately following Sukkot. The author describes the ritual’s connection to Sukkot, as well as providing

Prayers for Rain & Dew

Prayers for Rain & Dew

This excerpt from the Conservative Or Hadash Commentary on Siddur Sim Shalom provides the Hebrew and English text of the prayer for rain recited on Shemini Atzeret, the day following Sukkot, and the prayer for dew recited on Passover. Published by the Rabbinical Assembly, this siddur also includes explanations and

What is Hoshanah Rabbah?

What is Hoshanah Rabbah?

This informative article provides a basic introduction to the origins and rituals of Hoshanah Rabbah, the seventh day of Sukkot, a semi-holiday in its own right. With its lengthy prayer service in which we beg for salvation while circling the synagogue, prayers for rain, the

An Introduction to Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah

An Introduction to Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah

This informative video (04:39) provides a basic introduction to the Jewish holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, which immediately follow Sukkot. Aiming to clear up some of the confusion regarding these two holidays – celebrated on different days in Israel and the Diaspora and often

Sukkot: Ushpizin (Guests) & Jewish Hospitality

Sukkot: Ushpizin (Guests) & Jewish Hospitality

This amusing and informative video (05:22) by Rabbi John Carrier of Reform Burbank Temple Emanuel introduces the origins and significance of the Jewish value of hospitality throughout the year, and especially on the holiday of Sukkot, where we have a Kabbalisitic tradition of inviting Ushpizin – different Jewish patriarchs to

How & Why to Shake the Lulav & Etrog

How & Why to Shake the Lulav & Etrog

In this clear, instructional video, Jesse M. Olitzky from the Conservative Congregation Beth El in New Jersey introduces each of the Four Species waved on the Sukkot holiday, including a demonstration of this ritual and an explanation of the spiritual significance behind it. It is important

A Thorough Introduction to Sukkot

A Thorough Introduction to Sukkot

This thorough article by Tracey Rich from Judaism 101 provides a comprehensive introduction to the history, customs and spiritual significance of the biblical festival of Sukkot, including what constitutes a kosher Sukkah, an outline of special holiday prayer services, and different explanations for the symbolism between the Four Species. 

Sukkot for Kids

Sukkot for Kids

In this sweet, interactive video (4:06), Rabbi David and Kerry Bar-Cohn introduce young children to the rituals and significance of Sukkot, including dwelling in a Sukkah, shaking the Lulav and Etrog, and being happy. Both fun and educational, this video emphasizes the importance of being grateful for the

The Connection Between the Sukkah and Joy

The Connection Between the Sukkah and Joy

In this animated video (02:18), Rabbi Mark Fishman explores the connection between dwelling in a Sukkah and experiencing happiness on the particularly joyous festival of Sukkot. In addition to a basic introduction to what elements make up a kosher Sukkah, Rabbi Fishman suggests that the true

Mayim Bialik: Building My Sukkah

Mayim Bialik: Building My Sukkah

In this thought provoking video (02:26), actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik shares some of the deep symbolic significance to the rituals and laws of Sukkot, to the backdrop of time-lapse footage of the building of her own Sukkah at her home.

Why Jews Celebrate Sukkot in 60 Seconds

Why Jews Celebrate Sukkot in 60 Seconds

In this minute long video, Israel advocate Hananya Naftali briefly introduces the biblical origins of the Festival of Sukkot, explaining why Jews build Sukkot in Israel and around the world to this day. 

The Kabbalistic Secret of Sukkot

The Kabbalistic Secret of Sukkot

In this short yet profound video (03:44), Rabbi Jonathan Taub reveals the Kabbalistic secret of Sukkot as a holiday where the Jewish people try to arouse God’s mercy, tempering the judgement of the preceding Days of Awe. With reference to Talmudic tales, Gematria (the numerical

Sukkot in 60 Seconds

Sukkot in 60 Seconds

This minute long animated video presents a brief overview of the origins, significance and customs of Sukkot. Useful for people of all ages, with amusing animations and a colloquial narrator, this video is provided by Parsha in 60 Seconds, a YouTube Channel which creates and distributes short, accessible videos about Jewish holidays and

Sukkot: A Celebration for Every Nation

Sukkot: A Celebration for Every Nation

This informative video (03:26) presents how the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, is celebrated in Jerusalem, with a focus on the pilgrimage of non-Jews from around the world to join in the celebration of this biblical festival. Including a brief introduction to

Sukkot 101: The LEGO Movie

Sukkot 101: The LEGO Movie

This 4-minute long LEGO stop motion animation video presents an excellent introduction to the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, including the biblical origins and spiritual meaning behind all of the unique rituals, as well as a humorous account of some of the most creative Sukkot (ritual booths) built

Text & Exploration of the Al Chet Section of Vidui (Confessions)

Text & Exploration of the Al Chet Section of Vidui (Confessions)

This article by Rabbi Shraga Simmons explores each line of part of the “Al Chet” portion of the Vidui confession, recited during each of the five prayer services on Yom Kippur. With guiding questions and ideas to help us relate to the traditional words, this piece encourages people

Guide to the Ashamnu Portion of the Vidui (Confessions)

Guide to the Ashamnu Portion of the Vidui (Confessions)

This link provides introductory information to the “Ashamnu” part of the Vidui (Confession) liturgy, including the Hebrew, English and transliterated text, as well as a step-by-step guide for how to recite this prayer. “Ashamnu” is an alphabetical acrostic of 22 different sins recited in first-person

What To Do the Day Before Yom Kippur

What To Do the Day Before Yom Kippur

This introductory article from Chabad.org provides a brief overview of the mitzvot and rituals performed on the day before Yom Kippur, according to Orthodox custom, including the kaparot atonement ritual, making amends with people we may have hurt or been hurt by, and partaking in the pre-fast meal. With internal

How to Observe Yom Kippur 2018

How to Observe Yom Kippur 2018

This introductory article from Chabad.org explains the history, customs and deep spiritual significance of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. The article briefly outlines what to do (and not do!) before, during and after Yom Kippur, as well as the the structure of the prayer services. With internal links

Yom Kippur Cheat Sheet: Readings to Help You Focus

Yom Kippur Cheat Sheet: Readings to Help You Focus

This 4-page long PDF document is full of profound poems, prayers, quotes and readings that will help you focus on the essence of Yom Kippur – so you don’t “cheat” yourself out of all the holiday has to offer by focusing on food! With content

The History of Yom Kippur

The History of Yom Kippur

This article from ReformJudaism.org presents the historical development of the focus and rituals of Yom Kippur, from its biblical origins as a day centered on the Temple services to a day focussing on atonement, prayer, fasting and self-purification following the destruction of the Temple. The

Humanistic Judaism’s Approach to Yom Kippur

Humanistic Judaism’s Approach to Yom Kippur

This introductory article from the Society for Humanistic Judaism explains the themes and customs of Yom Kippur according to the Humanistic community. The movement has reinterpreted many traditional ideas and rituals in order to make them relevant to those who do not believe in God,

A Guide to Yom Kippur Prayers

A Guide to Yom Kippur Prayers

This informative article by Conservative Rabbi Daniel Kohn provides a guide for Yom Kippur prayer services, including the origins, content, and rituals of each of the five services: Kol Nidrei, Shacharit, Mussaf, Mincha, and Neilah. The article summarizes the themes, Torah and haftarah readings, and notable liturgical additions, such as Viddui

Yom Kippur FAQ: All About the Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur FAQ: All About the Day of Atonement

This thorough article answers all of your questions about Yom Kippur, including a basic introduction to the Jewish Day of Atonement, an explanation of customs and synagogue services, and how to participate in services from synagogue or home. An excellent resource for anyone interested in the

Yom Kippur for Kids

Yom Kippur for Kids

In this sweet, interactive video, Rabbi David and Kerry Bar-Cohn introduce young children to the rituals and significance of Yom Kippur, including saying sorry to friends, family, and God, fasting, praying, and wearing white clothing. Both fun and educational, this video emphasizes the importance of being a good

Yom Kippur: How God Helps Us Come Clean

Yom Kippur: How God Helps Us Come Clean

In this short yet profound video, Charlie Harary compares the relationship between a child and parent to that of man and God, claiming that just as parents help their children do the things that they cannot do alone, so too God helps us in our spiritual process. On

Yom Kippur: Everyone Falls

Yom Kippur: Everyone Falls

In this empowering video (04:37), Charlie Harary reminds us that failure is an inevitable part of the human experience in every aspect of life, from work and relationships to spirituality. A profound message for Yom Kippur, Harary demonstrates how we must learn from our mistakes and move forward,

The Secret to a Guilt-Free Yom Kippur

The Secret to a Guilt-Free Yom Kippur

In this short but empowering video, social worker, Chayi Hanfling, encourages viewers to understand the crucial difference between negative guilt and constructive regret on Yom Kippur. While this day is often seen as a one of shame, guilt, repentance, and suffering, Hangfling uses psychological concepts to

Jewish Holidays Explained: What is Yom Kippur?

Jewish Holidays Explained: What is Yom Kippur?

This short video provides a brief introduction to the process of teshuvah (repentance), culminating in the holiday of Yom Kippur. Rabbi John Carrier of Reform Burbank Temple Emanuel explains how fasting and afflicting our physical bodies helps us focus on prayer, spirituality, and our connection with God. Created in

Yom Kippur: Becoming the Artists of Our Own Lives

Yom Kippur: Becoming the Artists of Our Own Lives

In this creative 5 minute long video, Rabbi Irwin Kula describes the significance of Yom Kippur using an analogy that our lives are a work of art, where we are the artists and God is the ultimate critic. Rabbi Kula encourages viewers to use Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur: The Three Levels of Forgiveness

Yom Kippur: The Three Levels of Forgiveness

In this 3.5 minute long video from Aish.com, Orthodox Rabbi, Etiel Goldwicht explores how to truly forgive someone who has hurt you before Yom Kippur. Rabbi Goldwicht delves deep into the three different Hebrew words for forgiveness, each one revealing an insight into the true essence of

Yom Kippur in 60 Seconds

Yom Kippur in 60 Seconds

This minute long animated video presents a brief overview of the origins, significance and customs of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year. Useful for people of all ages, with amusing animations and a colloquial narrator, this video is provided by Parsha in 60 Seconds, a YouTube Channel which creates and

The Crash Course on Yom Kippur

The Crash Course on Yom Kippur

In this 6-minute long video, Orthodox Rabbi, Avraham Goldhar, presents an excellent overview of the significance and customs of Yom Kippur, “a spiritual homecoming for the Jewish people.” He summarizes the ancient biblical origins of the day – the story of the Golden Calf and explains the

What is Yom Kippur?

What is Yom Kippur?

This 4-minute long animated video presents an excellent overview of the origins, significance and customs of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Useful for people of all ages and backgrounds, it briefly introduces the different parts of the synagogue services, as well as themes and customs to make

Maimonides’ 4 Steps to Teshuvah

Maimonides’ 4 Steps to Teshuvah

This short video outlines the four steps to teshuvah (repentance), according to Maimonides: regret our actions, stop doing them, confess or apologize, and commit to changing our behavior in the future. Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon, also known as the Rambam), was a medieval Sephardic Jewish

Tzom Gedaliah Fast Day

Tzom Gedaliah Fast Day

This article from Chabad.org explains the origins, historical background, and ritual observances of the minor fast day of Tzom Gedaliah, observed on the day after Rosh Hashanah. This fast commemorates the assassination of Gedaliah, the Babylonian-appointed governor of Judea, who was murdered by fellow Jews. Rabbi Menachem Posner is an educator, staff writer

Selichot: Prayers of Repentance

Selichot: Prayers of Repentance

This article by Rabbi Dr. Reuven Hammer explains the origins, significance and structure of selichot – the special prayers recited during the High Holiday season and on Jewish fast days. Noting both Ashkenazi and Sephardic customs, this article focuses on the recitation of these prayers prior to Rosh

Rabbi Saadia Gaon’s 10 Reasons for Sounding the Shofar

Rabbi Saadia Gaon’s 10 Reasons for Sounding the Shofar

This post summarizes ten different symbolic explanations as to why we blow the shofar on Rosh Hashana, according to Rabbi Saadia Gaon, including to proclaim God as King, to serve as a spiritual wake up call, to recall the revelation of the Torah at Mount Sinai

Rosh Hashanah 101

Rosh Hashanah 101

This introductory article briefly explains the history, customs and significance of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, a time of both rejoicing and introspection. An excellent resource for anyone interested in the basic background and practice of the festival, this article is from My Jewish Learning, a website empowering

A Technical Explanation of the Shofar Blasts

A Technical Explanation of the Shofar Blasts

In this highly technical video (6:38), Orthodox rabbi, author and educator, Hadar Margolin, explains why we hear 100 blasts of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah and what we should be thinking about during this time. Aimed towards those with a basic understanding of the halachic

Preparing for the New Year with Rabbi Sacks: A Thought Provoking Video Series

Preparing for the New Year with Rabbi Sacks: A Thought Provoking Video Series

This post contains a series of ten short, thought-provoking videos to help prepare for the new year. Recorded by  Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the previous Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, each 2-3 minute long video reflects on a theme of this time or an individual prayer

Rabbi Sacks: 3 Fundamental Questions for the High Holidays

Rabbi Sacks: 3 Fundamental Questions for the High Holidays

In this short yet inspiring video, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the previous Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, prompts viewers to ask themselves three fundamental questions leading up to the High Holiday season: Who am I? Why am I here? How then shall I live? A great

Elul & Rosh Hashanah: What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Elul & Rosh Hashanah: What’s Love Got to Do With It?

In this short yet profound video, Charlie Harary suggests that the month of Elul and the holiday of Rosh Hashanah provide us with an opportunity to build an intimate relationship with God based on love and appreciation. Comparing the relationship between a child and parent to that of man

Rosh Hashanah Customs

Rosh Hashanah Customs

In this clear video, aimed at both Jews and non-Jews, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein introduces the customs and spiritual significance of the Jewish New Year. Emphasizing Rosh Hashanah as a time for introspection, prayer and repentance, Rabbi Eckstein also mentions the Biblical commandment of blowing shofar,

Rosh Hashanah for Kids

Rosh Hashanah for Kids

In this sweet, interactive video, Rabbi David and Kerry Bar-Cohn introduce young children to the rituals and significance behind the Biblical festival of Rosh Hashanah, including dipping apples in honey, praying for a good year, and hearing the shofar. Both fun and educational, this video demonstrates

Mayim Bialik: 4 Things Jews Do on Rosh Hashanah

Mayim Bialik: 4 Things Jews Do on Rosh Hashanah

In this short, informal video, actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik introduces four Rosh Hashanah customs: eating ritual foods, hearing the blowing of the shofar, participating in synagogue prayer services, and taking a personal accounting of our year, with a focus on relationships. Through a comparison with secular

Tashlich: A Rosh Hashanah Tradition

Tashlich: A Rosh Hashanah Tradition

This minute-long video from MyJewishLearning provides a basic introduction to tashlich, a Rosh Hashanah ritual during which Jews symbolically cast off their sins into a body of running water. MyJewishLearning empowers Jewish discovery for people of all backgrounds and levels of knowledge. 

What is Rosh Hashanah? The Jewish New Year

What is Rosh Hashanah? The Jewish New Year

This 4-minute long animated video presents an excellent overview of the rituals, customs and significance of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. Useful for people of all ages and backgrounds, with amusing animations and a colloquial narrator, this video is provided by BimBam, which creates and distributes fun, accessible,

The Jewish Educator Journal: Shavuot Resources

The Jewish Educator Journal: Shavuot Resources

This link opens up the Winter 2018 issue of the The Jewish Educator journal, full of articles, resources, activities, and lesson plans about Shavuot, created especially for Jewish educators. With high quality, interactive, holistic programs aimed towards people of different ages and backgrounds, this is an excellent

Taking Tikkun Leil into the Modern World

Taking Tikkun Leil into the Modern World

In this article from the South African Jewish Report, Adina Roth describes how the ancient Kabbalistic practice of learning Torah all night long on Shavuot has developed to include different types of events and programs for Jews of all backgrounds and levels of observance. While many

Shavuot in Israel: A Celebration of Torah or First Fruits?

Shavuot in Israel: A Celebration of Torah or First Fruits?

In this article, Dr. Hizky Shoham explores the multiple identities of the holiday of Shavuot, which began as an agricultural festival, was transformed into the “holiday of the giving of the Torah,” and is most often commemorated as a celebration of Torah in today’s Israel—by

Chabad on Shavuot

Chabad on Shavuot

This introductory article from Chabad.org explains the history, customs and deep spiritual significance of Shavuot. With many internal links to relevant videos, how-to guides, and articles, this is a great resource for anyone looking to delve into Shavuot.   

The Omer & Shavuot: Self-Betterment and a Divine Relationship

The Omer & Shavuot: Self-Betterment and a Divine Relationship

In this short video, Rabbi Shira Stutman shares a profound explanation of Shavuot and the 49 day period of the Omer between Passover and Shavuot, with an emphasis on self-betterment and the renewal of one’s relationship with God. Rabbi Stutman is a Reconstructionist rabbi and the Director

A Detailed Overview of Shavuot

A Detailed Overview of Shavuot

This thorough article from Wikipedia provides a detailed and well-sourced overview of the Biblical origins, ancient and modern customs, and agricultural and scriptural significance of Shavuot. The article mentions many different practices observed throughout the Jewish and non-Jewish world, including how the holiday is celebrated in Israel and

Shavuot 101

Shavuot 101

This introductory article briefly explains the history, customs and significance of Shavuot, a lesser known Jewish holiday that commemorates the spring harvest and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. It is a helpful resource for anyone interested in the basic background and practice of the festival.

Akdamut: Text & Commentary on a Liturgical Poem for Shavuot

Akdamut: Text & Commentary on a Liturgical Poem for Shavuot

This 8-page long PDF document provides the Aramaic text and English translation of Akdamut, the lengthy Aramaic poem recited during the Torah reading in synagogue on the morning of Shavuot. The document, a Shavuot supplement to Or Hadash: A Commentary on Sim Shalom for Weekdays (Conservative),

Why do Jews Eat Cheesecake on Shavuot?

Why do Jews Eat Cheesecake on Shavuot?

This minute-long video from the My Jewish LearningYouTube Channel offers two explanations for the popular Ashkenazi custom to eat dairy food on the holiday of Shavuot.

Shavuot: The Day that Shook the World

Shavuot: The Day that Shook the World

This minute-and-a-half long video, creatively produced to resemble a movie trailer, presents the eternal influence of the revelation of the Torah in the world, the historical event commemorated on the holiday of Shavuot. With dramatic music and images interspersed with quotes describing the giving of the

Shavuot in 60 Seconds

Shavuot in 60 Seconds

This minute long animated video presents a brief overview of the origins, significance and customs of Shavuot. Useful for people of all ages, with amusing animations and a colloquial narrator, this video is provided by Parsha in 60 Seconds, a YouTube Channel which creates and distributes short, accessible videos about Jewish

Reenactment of the Biblical Shavuot First-Fruits & Twin Loaves Offerings

Reenactment of the Biblical Shavuot First-Fruits & Twin Loaves Offerings

This 4-minute long video presents a reenactment of the first-fruit and twin loaves offerings, as they were performed in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem on the festival of Shavuot. Due to the lack of commandments associated with this holiday, many customs observed today do not have Biblical

The Power of Light in Judaism

The Power of Light in Judaism

Inspired by both nature and Jewish mysticism, this short article explores the physical and spiritual power of light in Jewish tradition as well as our own personal experience. Originally from Wellsprings of Wisdom, a “virtual retreat center,” these ideas are relevant for those seeking spiritual renewal and

The Significance of Fire in Judaism

The Significance of Fire in Judaism

This excerpt notes the universally recognized power of fire, as well as its particular significance in Jewish ritual, such as lighting Shabbat and Hannukah candles and the Havdalah ceremony. It comes from “The Jewish Catalog: A Do-It-Yourself Kit,” a collection of articles aimed at Jews

Click here to show less Informative Articles & Videos content

What else?

Click here to show more What else? content

An Israel-Focused High Holiday Lesson Plan

An Israel-Focused High Holiday Lesson Plan

This thorough lesson plan aims to help students “taste” the ethnic diversity of the Jewish communities in Israel, experience the immense weight and meaning of the Yom Kippur War in Israeli society, and gain insight into the complex attitudes of secular Israelis towards Jewish tradition. This

Shofar Meditations for the Days of Awe

Shofar Meditations for the Days of Awe

This post offers two guided meditations based on the imagery and spiritual power of the shofar. Designed for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur by Ariel Neshama Lee, these healing meditations encourage one to release negativity, embrace renewal, and connect deeply to the power of the High

Cheesecake Recipes

Cheesecake Recipes

This article from the Israeli news site Haaretz provides seven different cheesecake recipes, including bake, no-bake, sweet, and savory options. Ashkenazy Jews traditionally eat dairy foods on the holiday of Shavuot, and it has become customary in many families to celebrate with a delicious cheesecake. 

The NCSY Megillah Companion For Teens

The NCSY Megillah Companion For Teens

Created by NCSY, an Orthodox organization dedicated to inspiring Jewish youth to engage with Judaism, this booklet summarizes each chapter of Megillat Esther, and provides accompanying ideas, images and activities to make the story more meaningful and relateable to teens. 

Educational Resource: Purim, Peoplehood & Collective Responsibility

Educational Resource: Purim, Peoplehood & Collective Responsibility

Through a hands-on activity, text study and dvar Torah, this educational resource explores the elements of Jewish peoplehood and collective responsibility found in the Purim story and customs. Created by Makom, the educational wing of the Jewish Agency, this is an excellent resource for Jewish educators.

A Purim Poem: A Blessing for the Next Generation

A Purim Poem: A Blessing for the Next Generation

Written by Isabella R. Hess, this thoughtful Purim poem blesses the next generation of Jewish children with the qualities exemplified by the characters in the Purim story – the courage of Esther, the humility of Mordechai, and the faith of both.  A Purim Poem You know

Purim Greetings: Poetic Purim Blessings

Purim Greetings: Poetic Purim Blessings

Written by Rabbi Simon Jacobson, the director of the The Meaningful Life Center, this poem blesses the reader with the profound spiritual secrets of Purim.  Purim Greetings May you be turned inside out upside down and outside in May your masks be masked and your inside

Another Star/Another Queen: A Purim Spoken Word Poem

Another Star/Another Queen: A Purim Spoken Word Poem

Written and performed by Rachel Kann, this creative video (05:57) presents a feminist spoken word poem inspired by Vashti’s refusal to comply to the demands of King Achashverosh. The lyrics can be seen below.  Another Star/Another Queen (A Purim Poem) As the spiral of time unwinds

A Feminist Megillah Reading Ritual: Verses for Esther

A Feminist Megillah Reading Ritual: Verses for Esther

This post presents an innovative feminist ritual that some communities have adopted during the reading of Megillat Esther on Purim. Traditionally, four verses are read aloud in unison by the enter congregation for extra emphasis – three of which are about Mordechai. In order to celebrate

A Feminist Ritual: Vashti & Purim Flags

A Feminist Ritual: Vashti & Purim Flags

This post presents a new Purim ritual created by Ma’yan, a Jewish feminist, social justice and leadership training program for teen girls. They created flags celebrating the courage of two female characters in the Purim story, Vashti and Esther, to be waved during the readings

A Halachic Discussion of Women’s Obligation in Megillat Esther

A Halachic Discussion of Women’s Obligation in Megillat Esther

In this video (08:40), Rabbi Joel Finkelstein summarizes the various Orthodox perspectives in the halachic discussion regarding a women’s obligation to hear the reading of Megillat Esther on Purim, as well as whether or not it is permissible for women to read the Megillah for men. Rabbi Finkelstein is the

Purim on the Streets of Israel

Purim on the Streets of Israel

Produced by i24News, this short news clip (04:38) shares the spirit of Purim in Israel, where people of all ages throughout the country dress up and enjoy public parades and street parties. Filmed mostly from Tel Aviv’s huge annual street party, the video emphasizes how people

Easy & Unique Hamantaschen

Easy & Unique Hamantaschen

From ReformJudaism.org, this video (01:30) provides a basic introduction to the custom of eating Hamantaschen on Purim, along with four creative filling ideas. 

15 Creative Hamantaschen Recipes

15 Creative Hamantaschen Recipes

This article from Jewlish.com provides links to fifteen of the most creative and delicious sweet and savory Hamantaschen recipes, including taco, s’more and sushi inspired recipes. 

Purim Food Quiz

Purim Food Quiz

This five question quiz from My Jewish Learning tests your knowledge of traditional Purim foods and the significance behind them. 

Traditional Purim Foods for Your Seudat Purim

Traditional Purim Foods for Your Seudat Purim

An excerpt from Teaching Jewish Holidays: History Values and Activities by Robert Goodman, this article on My Jewish Learning introduces traditional Purim foods eaten in different communities and the symbolism behind them, including hamentaschen (an Ashkenazi dessert), keylitsch (a Russian challah), kreplach (an Ashkenazi savory dish), and folares (a

3 Creative Mishloach Manot Ideas

3 Creative Mishloach Manot Ideas

Created by ReformJudaism.org, this video (01:14) provides some basic information about how to fulfill the commandment of Mishloach Manot – delivering gifts of food on Purim – plus three creative ideas for themed Mishloach Manot. 

Shelter: A Resource for Sukkot from Limmud

Shelter: A Resource for Sukkot from Limmud

Created by the Limmud Chavruta Program for Sukkot, this 4-page long document contains a wide range of sources that explore the concept of shelter in Judaism, including traditional Jewish texts, modern Israeli writings, and even photographs. Accompanied by thought-provoking discussion questions, these texts reflect upon “the relationship

Pilgrimage: A Resource for Tikun Leil Shavuot from Limmud

Pilgrimage: A Resource for Tikun Leil Shavuot from Limmud

Created by the Limmud Chavruta Program for Shavuot, this 4-page long document contains sources that explore the concept of pilgrimage in Judaism, including traditional Jewish texts, quotes from modern Israeli poets and thinkers, and even photographs. Accompanied by thought-provoking discussion questions, these texts reflect upon “the relationship

Unity: A Resource for Hanukkah from Limmud

Unity: A Resource for Hanukkah from Limmud

Created by the Limmud Chavruta Program for Hanukkah, this 4-page long document contains sources that explore the complex concept of unity in Jewish tradition, including traditional Jewish texts, modern quotes, and references to current events. Accompanied by thought-provoking discussion questions, these texts discuss what unifies and divides

Miracles: A Resource for Hanukkah from Limmud

Miracles: A Resource for Hanukkah from Limmud

Created by the Limmud Chavruta Program for Hanukkah, this 4-page long document contains eight sources that explore the concept of miracles, including traditional Jewish texts, modern stories, and even the lyrics to a Queen song. Accompanied by thought-provoking discussion questions, these texts discuss “the relationship between the

A Hanukkah Songbook

A Hanukkah Songbook

This Hanukkah songbook contains the lyrics for many traditional Hanukkah songs, including some in English, Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino. Compiled by Aharon Varady and Nomi Raye Lerman, this resource was shared on The Open Siddur Project, which aims to liberate the creative content of Jewish spiritual practice as a commonly held

Looking into the Flame: A Hanukkah Light Meditation

Looking into the Flame: A Hanukkah Light Meditation

Written by Rabbi DovBer Pinson, an expert on Kabbalah, Jewish Philosophy and Rosh Yeshiva at the IYYUN Center for Jewish Spirituality, this complex article shares some deep mystical ideas to meditate on when looking into the holy flames of the Hanukkah candles. Most useful for

A Hanukkah Candle Lighting Kavvanah for Peace

A Hanukkah Candle Lighting Kavvanah for Peace

This post presents an intentional prayer for peace in Israel and the world to be recited when lighting the Hanukkah candles. It was written by the late Bonna Devora Haberman, founder of Women of the Wall, for Inner Fire, a performance piece created and performed by

A Replica of the Temple’s Menorah in the Old City of Jerusalem

A Replica of the Temple’s Menorah in the Old City of Jerusalem

Created by the Temple Institute, an organization working towards the building of the third Temple in Jerusalem, this video (05:28) presents a replica of the golden menorah once used in the Temple being moved to the top of the staircase leading down to the Western Wall during

Collections of Artistic Hanukkah Menorahs

Collections of Artistic Hanukkah Menorahs

This video (04:36) from the CBS American news network explores the Hanukkah menorah as a symbol of light and hope in Judaica art. From a family who have a personal collection of 154 Hanukkah menorahs to the enormous collection at the Jewish Museum in New

Hanukkah in the Old City of Jerusalem

Hanukkah in the Old City of Jerusalem

This short video (01:55) captures the magical festive atmosphere of Hanukkah in the Old City of Jerusalem, including tables of sufganiyot, the giant menorah at the Western Wall, and families lighting their Hannukah candles in the windows and alleyways. 

Lighting the Hanukkah Candles with a Rube Goldberg Machine

Lighting the Hanukkah Candles with a Rube Goldberg Machine

This entertaining video (0:58) presents an impressive Rube Goldberg machine that lights the Hannukah candle, created by students at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. 

Hanukkah at the White House

Hanukkah at the White House

This post presents video clips from the annual White House Hanukkah party, in which special guests are hosted at the official residence of the President of the United States for a celebration of the Jewish Festival of Lights, including a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony, traditional festive

Clips from A Rugrat’s Hanukkah

Clips from A Rugrat’s Hanukkah

This post presents two clips from a special episode of Nickelodeon’s Rugrats, the first ever Hanukkah episode of a children’s television series. It tells the story through the eyes of the Rugrats, with the two featured clips describing the revolt of the Maccabees (01:44) against the

A Hannukah Lesson Plan: Jewish Identity, Hellenism & Hanukkah

A Hannukah Lesson Plan: Jewish Identity, Hellenism & Hanukkah

This educational resource explores what our modern understanding of the Hannukah story says about our own Jewish identity, including sources about the impact of Hellenism on Jewish culture and the historical development of the interpretation of the Hasmonean revolt. With a detailed lesson plan, thought-provoking discussion

A Sephardic Hanukkah Recipe: Bimuelos with Honey-Orange Drizzle

A Sephardic Hanukkah Recipe: Bimuelos with Honey-Orange Drizzle

This post presents the recipe for bimuelos (a Ladino derivation of the Spanish buneolos, meaning fritters), a traditional Sephardic Hannukah dessert. The sweet dough balls are fried in oil, to remember the miracle of the oil, and then drizzled with a sweet syrup. 

Rededication: 8 Teachings and Practices for Hanukkah

Rededication: 8 Teachings and Practices for Hanukkah

Created by Rabbi Yael Levy, this complete Hannukah ceremony provides teachings and practices for each night of Hannukah, including quotes, songs, meditations, activities, and calls to action, each exploring a different theme. While the fourth night of Hannukah coincided with Shabbat on the year when

A New Light: Hanukkah Prayer

A New Light: Hanukkah Prayer

In this poem, Devon Spier prays for a new Hannukah light that has the power to unite and redeem the entire world. The writer, rabbinical student and spiritual entrepreneur shared her poem on Ritualwell, a project of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College that provides a platform for creating new Jewish practices

Hannukah Chant: Let The Flame Be Kindled

Hannukah Chant: Let The Flame Be Kindled

This post presents Rabbi Shefa Gold’s meditative chant for Hannukah, along with her own description of the visualizations that she practices while singing these words and lighting the Hannukah candles. Rabbi Shefa Gold is a Renewal and Reconstuctionist Rabbi who teaches chanting, devotional healing, spiritual community-building and meditation. This resource was

Miracle Meditations for Hannukah: Now & Then

Miracle Meditations for Hannukah: Now & Then

In this article, Rabbi Debra Orenstein takes us back to the first eight days in the rededicated Temple, trying to imagine the thoughts and emotions that arose when the Jews realized that the miracle of the oil was occurring. She applies those feelings and lessons

A Hannukah Candle Lighting Meditation

A Hannukah Candle Lighting Meditation

In this short video (03:10), Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell, a Program Director and teacher of Jewish mindfulness for the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, offers a brief meditation practice to do when lighting your Hannukah candles. He encourages first connecting with the physical and emotional darkness, then lighting the

Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Hannukah?

Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Hannukah?

Test your knowledge about the history and customs of Hannukah with this fun quiz from ReformJudaism.org. 

A Hannukah Website for Children

A Hannukah Website for Children

This link will take you to an entire website dedicated to teaching children about Hannukah holiday in a fun and interactive way. With holiday guides, videos, recipes, stories, games, and arts and crafts projects, this website from Chabad.org is an excellent resource for parents, teachers, community organizers, and

An Interactive Map of the Hannukah Story

An Interactive Map of the Hannukah Story

This article contains an interactive map that shows where the events and battles described in the Hannukah story are believed to have occurred and what they look like today.  

A Hannukah Booklet: Readings & Skits

A Hannukah Booklet: Readings & Skits

This Hannukah booklet contains short pieces of Jewish and universal wisdom for each night of the holiday, the text of the candle-lighting blessings, and the full scripts for two humorous, light-hearted skits – one about the miracle of the oil and the other about the story

8 Insights for 8 Nights of Hannukah

8 Insights for 8 Nights of Hannukah

Created by NCSY, an Orthodox organization dedicated to inspiring Jewish youth to engage with Judaism, this one-page document presents one Hannukah-themed thought for each night of the festival, along with guiding questions and suggestions to help apply these concepts to our lives in a practical, meaningful manner. 

Exploring Jewish Peoplehood Through Hannukah Songs

Exploring Jewish Peoplehood Through Hannukah Songs

This educational resource compares the Hebrew, English and Yiddish versions of popular Hannukah songs “Chanukah Oh Chanukah” and “Mi Yimallel / Who Can Retell?”, exploring what the differences in translation reveal about the values of the communities. Created by Reuven Greenvald, this thorough resource provides links

Sukkot Food Traditions & Recipe

Sukkot Food Traditions & Recipe

This article presents the types of food traditionally eaten on the festival of Sukkot according to Sephardic and Ahskenazi customs, as well as a sample recipe. With an emphasis on the agricultural roots of this biblical festival, the foods symbolize bounty and abundance. This article is from Ritualwell,

How to Build a Sukkah: A Poem

How to Build a Sukkah: A Poem

This poem by Eve Lyons presents the spiritual steps to building a sukkah, emphasizing the importance of vulnerability, renewal, openess, and teamwork. The author shared her poem on Ritualwell, a project of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College that provides a platform for creating new Jewish practices and observances.  How

I in the Sukkah: A Poem

I in the Sukkah: A Poem

This poem by Rabbi Jill Hausman describes the author’s personal experience in the Sukkah. The Rabbi and Cantor of the progressive Actors’ Temple in New York City shared her poem on Ritualwell, a project of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College that provides a platform for creating new Jewish practices and observances.  I in the

Inviting Your Authentic Self Into The Sukkah: A Poem

Inviting Your Authentic Self Into The Sukkah: A Poem

This poem describes the welcoming personal spiritual homecoming of the festival of Sukkot, following the intensity of the Days of Awe. Devon Spier, a writer, rabbinical student and spiritual entrepreneur, shared her poem on Ritualwell, a project of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College that provides a platform for creating new Jewish practices and observances. 

Welcoming the Ushpizot: A Complete Guide

Welcoming the Ushpizot: A Complete Guide

This thorough article provides everything you need to know in order to run a meaningful, educational and spiritual program about the Ushpizot (Aramaic for female guests) in your community. According to the Kabbalistic tradition of Ushpizin, on each night of Sukkot we invite different Jewish forefathers to

A Kids’ Tour of the Sukkah Exhibit at Neot Kedumim

A Kids’ Tour of the Sukkah Exhibit at Neot Kedumim

This amusing video provides a virtual tour of some of the most unusual booths featured at the Sukkah Exhibit at the Neot Kedumim Biblical Nature Reserve in Israel, including a 32 foot tall Sukkah and one built on a boat! The exhibit builds full size

Exploring the Al Het Confessional Prayer Through Jewish Peoplehood

Exploring the Al Het Confessional Prayer Through Jewish Peoplehood

This post explores the idea of collective responsibility through the text of the “Al Het” confession liturgy from Yom Kippur prayer services. An educational resource created by Jewish Peoplehood, an organization offering leaders and educators resources focused on Jewish Peoplehood, this piece includes an English

Deconstructed Al Het Activity

Deconstructed Al Het Activity

This link will lead you to a detailed outline of a ritual activity based on the traditional “Al Het” confessional prayer, wherein the community collectively confess their sins together during Yom Kippur prayer services. This ritual, which can be performed during the month of Elul

Prayers, Meditations, Stories & Poems for Yom Kippur

Prayers, Meditations, Stories & Poems for Yom Kippur

This post offers a list of links to prayers, meditations, stories and poetry for Yom Kippur, written by Alden Solovy, a Jewish poet, liturgist and teacher whose prayers have been used by people of all faiths around the world. The materials are divided by topics relevant

The IDF Sings Unetanneh Tokeh to a Melody Inspired by the Yom Kippur War

The IDF Sings Unetanneh Tokeh to a Melody Inspired by the Yom Kippur War

To the backdrop of footage from the Yom Kippur War, this moving video shows the IDF Chief Cantor Ltc. Shai Abramson and IDF soldiers singing the prayer “Unetanneh Tokef” to the melody composed by Yair Rosenblum at the request of Kibbutz Bet HaShita, a secular kibbutz

Sandy Koufax & Yom Kippur

Sandy Koufax & Yom Kippur

This short video from abc 7 news looks back at the impact of the historical moment in both sports and Jewish American life, when Sandy Koufax, a former American Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher, decided not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because the game

Yom Kippur in Tel Aviv

Yom Kippur in Tel Aviv

With scenes of empty highways, closed shops, and deserted beaches, this video shows how one day a year – on Yom Kippur, the fast-paced metropolis of Tel Aviv slows down, the usually busy streets empty of cars, oftentimes full of people riding their bikes and going

Menus for Before and After the Yom Kippur Fast

Menus for Before and After the Yom Kippur Fast

Taking into account medical advice for an easier fast and different Jewish ethnic traditions, this article offers menu ideas and recipes for the meals before and after the Yom Kippur fast, from the Ashkenazi chicken soup with kreplach to the Moroccan Harirra lamb soup with

The eScapegoat: A Modern Take on the Biblical Yom Kippur Ritual

The eScapegoat: A Modern Take on the Biblical Yom Kippur Ritual

This humorous, animated video introduces the eScapegoat – a modern take on the biblical ritual where the sins of the nation were symbolically transferred to a goat, who was then sent off to the wilderness on Yom Kippur to atone for the Jewish people. To

Jewish Emptiness: Kavannot for Kol Nidrei

Jewish Emptiness: Kavannot for Kol Nidrei

This post presents ideas and guiding questions to be contemplated to oneself or as a community before Kol Nidrei, the opening service of Yom Kippur, in which one preemptively annuls vows that will be made to God in the coming year. An intersection between Zen

Turning & Returning: A Yom Kippur Poem

Turning & Returning: A Yom Kippur Poem

This poetic prayer by Rabbi Shelly Barnathan asks God to help us connect to the pure essence of our divine soul on Yom Kippur – as both individuals and a community. Based on the idea that Teshuvah, often translated as “repentance,” is actually about “returning”

Mikveh Ritual of Purification for Yom Kippur

Mikveh Ritual of Purification for Yom Kippur

This post provides the outline and texts for a mikveh immersion ceremony to spiritually prepare for Yom Kippur. With guiding questions, kavanot (intentions), Hebrew and English blessings, and musical chants from biblical verses, this ceremony focuses on the transformative power of the ritual waters to help

A Book of Jonah Play for Yom Kippur Afternoon

A Book of Jonah Play for Yom Kippur Afternoon

This post offers the 12-page script of a creative play designed to supplement or replace the reading of the Book of Jonah on Yom Kippur afternoon. A novel way to bring out the deeper meaning of the biblical story, the play is set at a memorial service

Enhancing Our Fast with Meditation, Ritual, Blessing & Teaching

Enhancing Our Fast with Meditation, Ritual, Blessing & Teaching

This article provides resources to help one focus on the spiritual essence of the Yom Kippur fast, including a meditation adapted from the Talmud, a blessing to recite upon starting the fast, and various readings from biblical and philosophical works. Originally from The Book of Jewish

Meditation before Yom Kippur for One Who Cannot Fast

Meditation before Yom Kippur for One Who Cannot Fast

This poem is a meditation written by Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub to enable those who cannot fast on Yom Kippur due to medical conditions to infuse their eating with heightened intention and connect to the essence of the day. Rabbi Weintraub is the Rabbinic Director of the

A Vidui Meditation

A Vidui Meditation

This post presents a personal, meditative approach to the Ashamnu prayer, an alphabetical acrostic of 22 sins recited during each of the five prayer services on Yom Kippur. With guiding questions to help us relate to the traditional words, this piece encourages people to look inward,

Ahavnu: A Positive Version of the Ashamnu Vidui Prayer

Ahavnu: A Positive Version of the Ashamnu Vidui Prayer

This post presents Rabbi Avi Weiss’ positive version of the Ashamnu prayer, an alphabetical acrostic of 22 sins recited during each of the five prayer services on Yom Kippur. Based on the idea that in order to move forward and cultivate a positive sense of

Egalitarian Versions of Hu Ya’anenu (Selichot & Yom Kippur)

Egalitarian Versions of Hu Ya’anenu (Selichot & Yom Kippur)

This post provides links to several different versions of “Hu Ya’anenu,” a prayer that recalls how God mercifully answered our forefathers in ancient times, assuring us that our prayers will be answered as well. While the original version only mentions biblical men (except for Esther,

Neil Diamond’s Kol Nidrei from “The Jazz Singer”

Neil Diamond’s Kol Nidrei from “The Jazz Singer”

This short clip is from the 1980 American drama film, The Jazz Singer, in which the son of a Jewish Cantor must defy the traditions of his religious father in order to pursue his dream of being a popular singer. The film stars Jewish singer-songwriter, musician

Where to Stream High Holiday Services Online

Where to Stream High Holiday Services Online

This article provides a list of non-denominational, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and Renewal synagogues around the world that live-stream their High Holiday prayer services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Because the use of electricity is prohibited on Jewish holidays according to Orthodox Jewish law, there are no Orthodox synagogues

A Yom Kippur Website for Children

A Yom Kippur Website for Children

This link will take you to an entire website dedicated to teaching children about Yom Kippur in a fun and interactive way. With holiday guides, videos, stories, games, and arts and crafts projects, this website from Chabad.org is an excellent resource for parents, teachers, community organizers, and synagogue and

Yom Kippur Cheat Sheet: Readings to Help You Focus

Yom Kippur Cheat Sheet: Readings to Help You Focus

This 4-page long PDF document is full of profound poems, prayers, quotes and readings that will help you focus on the essence of Yom Kippur – so you don’t “cheat” yourself out of all the holiday has to offer by focusing on food! With content

A Yom Kippur Glossary of Hebrew Terms

A Yom Kippur Glossary of Hebrew Terms

This glossary from ReformJudaism.org translates and explains many Hebrew words and phrases that one may come across over Yom Kippur, including traditional holiday greetings, biblical terminology, and words that appear throughout the liturgy. 

For Kids: Really, Really Sorry!

For Kids: Really, Really Sorry!

This entertaining animated video (9:08) teaches young children about the challenges and importance of saying sorry – and meaning it – as a step in making things right. Perfect for the High Holidays, it uses real-life examples, such as breaking something, borrowing something without permission, and making

Prayers Ascend to Heaven at the Western Wall

Prayers Ascend to Heaven at the Western Wall

Through beautiful imagery and animation, this video conveys the power of prayer, depicting the traditional Jewish belief that prayers of all types from all around the world ascend to heaven at the Western Wall. This video was produced by Aish.com to inspire meaningful prayer on

Who By Fire: A Poem of Doubt and Return

Who By Fire: A Poem of Doubt and Return

This poem by non-traditional rabbi and spiritual seeker, Rabbi Patrick A. Beaulier, explores many of the intense themes of Rosh Hashanah through a piece based on the liturgical prayer, Unetaneh Tokef. This poem was shared on Ritualwell.org, a project of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College that provides a platform for creating new

An Alternative Avinu Malkeinu: Our Parent, Our Sovereign

An Alternative Avinu Malkeinu: Our Parent, Our Sovereign

Written by Rabbi Burt Jacobson of the Jewish Renewal movement, this alternative version of the liturgical prayer, Avinu Malkeinu, refers to God not only as our Father and King, but also our Mother and Queen, Source and Destiny, and Guide and Truth. It is a prayer to

A Mikveh Immersion Ceremony for Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

A Mikveh Immersion Ceremony for Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

This post provides the outline and texts for a mikveh immersion ceremony to spiritually prepare for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. With guiding questions, kavanot (intentions), and Hebrew and English blessings, this ceremony focuses on the transformative power of the ritual waters to help us

Kesher V’Gesher: A Prayer for Rosh Hashanah

Kesher V’Gesher: A Prayer for Rosh Hashanah

This poem by Trisha Arlin describes the intensity of the process of repentance and growth of the High Holiday season, focusing on the power of Jewish liturgy and community in transforming these days into ones of joy and celebration. Trisha Arlin is a writer/performer of kavanot and a rabbinic student at

A Rosh Hashanah Website for Children

A Rosh Hashanah Website for Children

This link will take you to an entire website dedicated to teaching children about the Jewish New Year in a fun and interactive way. With holiday guides, videos, recipes, stories, games, and arts and crafts projects, this website from Chabad.org is an excellent resource for parents, teachers, community organizers,

A Rosh Hashanah Glossary of Hebrew Terms

A Rosh Hashanah Glossary of Hebrew Terms

This glossary from ReformJudaism.org translates and explains many Hebrew words and phrases that one may come across over Rosh Hashanah, including traditional holiday greetings, biblical terminology, and words that appear throughout the liturgy. 

The Power of Celebrating Rosh Hashanah in Uman

The Power of Celebrating Rosh Hashanah in Uman

This video gives an insight into the annual pilgrimage of tens of thousands of Jews from all over the world to Uman, Ukraine, to spend Rosh Hashanah praying by the burial site of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. Those featured in the video speak of the

Traditional Rosh Hashanah Recipes

Traditional Rosh Hashanah Recipes

This article presents recipes for traditional Rosh Hashanah dishes eaten in different communities. The Rosh Hashanah-themed foods are divided into sections for each part of the meal, with a special list of recipes featuring symbolic Rosh Hashanah foods used in the Sephardic Simanim Seder. A

A Blessing for Kindness on Shavuot

A Blessing for Kindness on Shavuot

This poetic prayer by Devon Spier explores the themes of chessed (kindness), social justice, and communal responsibility through agricultural imagery. These concepts are often associated with Shavuot, due to their prevalence in the Torah and the Book of Ruth, which is traditionally read in synagogue on Shavuot. Devon

Kavannot (Intentions) for Shavuot

Kavannot (Intentions) for Shavuot

In this thought provoking piece, Rabbi Rachel Barenblat lays out her personal intentions for Shavuot in the form of a prayer to God for heightened awareness and connection through engagement with the Torah. Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, also known by the name of her blog, The Velveteen Rabbi, serves the trans-denomination

Revealing Torah, Revealing Me: A Prayer for Shavuot

Revealing Torah, Revealing Me: A Prayer for Shavuot

This thought provoking and poetic prayer by Devon Spier explores the emotions of the moment before the revelation at Mount Sinai, and asks God to bless one with a personal revelation of the self. Devon Spier, a writer, rabbinical student and spiritual entrepreneur, shared her poem on Ritualwell, a project

Festival of the First Fruits: A Shavuot Poem

Festival of the First Fruits: A Shavuot Poem

This descriptive poem in Hebrew and English by Kaila Shabat paints a lovely picture of the festive Shavuot celebrations in the moshavim and kibbutzim of Israel. Often secular and deeply connected to the Land of Israel, these communities often focus on agricultural roots of the Festival of

The Jewish Educator Journal: Shavuot Resources

The Jewish Educator Journal: Shavuot Resources

This link opens up the Winter 2018 issue of the The Jewish Educator journal, full of articles, resources, activities, and lesson plans about Shavuot, created especially for Jewish educators. With high quality, interactive, holistic programs aimed towards people of different ages and backgrounds, this is an excellent

How to Organize a Feminist/Women’s Tikkun Leil Shavuot

How to Organize a Feminist/Women’s Tikkun Leil Shavuot

Noting that women are learning more Torah than ever before in Jewish history, this article from Ritualwell encourages women to further reclaim their relationship with Torah by organizing a feminist Tikkun Leil Shavuot learning program with a group women. The author, Susan Sapiro, provides tips and resources for

Dairy Recipes for Shavuot

Dairy Recipes for Shavuot

In celebration of the Ashkenazi tradition of eating dairy foods on Shavuot, My Jewish Learning provides lots of different recipes, often fresh twists on traditional foods, such as cheesy challah, Mozzarella and Tomato Caprese Blintzes, and 31 different cheesecake recipes. 

How to Make Shavuot Meaningful & Fun for Your Community

How to Make Shavuot Meaningful & Fun for Your Community

This post provides ideas for how to make Shavuot meaningful and fun for your community and family. Focusing on the themes of social justice and communal responsibility in the Torah and Shavuot, the article encourages communities to mark the holiday by collecting items for charity

Shavuot Activities for Elementary School Students

Shavuot Activities for Elementary School Students

This link provides resources designed to teach elementary school students about Shavuot in a fun and interactive way. Through word searches, crossword puzzles, activities, trivia questions, songs, and games, these resources introduce students to many of the customs and themes of Shavuot, such as receiving the Torah, eating

Shavuot Resource Booklet for Youth Leaders

Shavuot Resource Booklet for Youth Leaders

This link will open up a 28 page long PDF file full of resources designed to teach youth about Shavuot in a fun and interactive way. With games, activities, discussion questions, stories, trivia questions and more, this booklet created by the National Council of Young Israel for synagogue youth

Celebrate Shavuot with Shalom Sesame

Celebrate Shavuot with Shalom Sesame

This video from Shalom Sesame tells the story of Moses receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai. This link from ReformJudaism.org offers discussion topics, activities and two more videos from “Shalom Sesame” all created to engage children in learning about Shavuot in a fun way. The videos teach children

The Jewish Trivia Quiz: Shavuot

The Jewish Trivia Quiz: Shavuot

This link will take you to a Jewish Trivia game website, where you can select “Shavuot” from the drop down menu (Topic), and enjoy an interactive quiz that will ask multiple choice questions about the customs, origins and stories related to the holiday. With the

A Shavuot Website for Children

A Shavuot Website for Children

This link will take you to “a Shavuot wonderland for kids,” an entire website dedicated to teaching children about the holiday in a fun and interactive way. With holiday guides, videos, recipes, stories, games, and arts and crafts projects, this website from Chabad.org is an excellent resource

The Ten Commandments: A Shavuot Lesson Plan for High School Students

The Ten Commandments: A Shavuot Lesson Plan for High School Students

This link opens up a detailed hour long lesson plan where students explore a theory regarding the division of the Ten Commandments onto two tablets. Created by Moshe Abelesz for high school students, this resource was shared by The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education. 

Sinai Poetry: A Resource for Tikkun Leil Shavuot

Sinai Poetry: A Resource for Tikkun Leil Shavuot

This 9-page long PDF document provides a collection of poetry reflecting the revelation of the Torah at Mount Sainai from both Jewish and non-Jewish sources. These poems were compiled to be studied on Shavuot in pairs or independently by Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, the Community Educator at The

Reenactment of the Biblical Shavuot First-Fruits & Twin Loaves Offerings

Reenactment of the Biblical Shavuot First-Fruits & Twin Loaves Offerings

This 4-minute long video presents a reenactment of the first-fruit and twin loaves offerings, as they were performed in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem on the festival of Shavuot. Due to the lack of commandments associated with this holiday, many customs observed today do not have Biblical

Click here to show less What else? content