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The Yearly Cycle

Learn more about the structure and the special days that mark the Jewish calendar.

The Jewish Calendar
Audio | 49:03
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The Jewish Calendar
This class introduces the key components that comprise and determine the structure of the Jewish calendar which follows the lunar cycle.
The Year of Hakhel
Audio | 43:27
The Year of Hakhel
Every seven years – following the shemitah year – is a hakhel year; marked in Temple times by the king reading the Torah before all on Sukkot. Discover its significance and relevance today.
A Siege of Support
Audio | 30:12
A Siege of Support
The Tenth of Tevet
The tenth of Tevet is a fast day commemorating the date on which the Babylonians laid siege around the walls of Jerusalem, leading to the eventual destruction of the Holy Temple.
10 of Tevet
Audio | 43:30
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10 of Tevet
The tenth of Tevet is a fast-day when we mourn the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.
Purim Katan
Audio | 43:57
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Purim Katan
The significance of Purim Kattan; the semi-festive day celebrated on a Jewish leap year in the first Adar.
The Four Parshiot
Audio | 51:12
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The Four Parshiot
In the weeks prior to Pesach we read from the Torah special parshiot in addition to the weekly parshah; here we examine the order of these readings.
Parshat Shekalim
Audio | 49:36
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Parshat Shekalim
On the Shabbat preceding the month of Adar we read the Torah portion of shekalim – the giving of the half shekel.
7 Adar
Audio | 43:53
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7 Adar
The birth and yahrtziet of Moses
The seventh of Adar is the birthday and yahrtzeit of Moshe; discover the special quality of the day he was born.
Parshat Zachor
Audio | 41:36
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Parshat Zachor
On the Shabbat before Purim we read the portion of remembering amalek; here we explore why a special Torah reading was instituted specifically for this remembrance.
Parshat Parah
Audio | 45:11
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Parshat Parah
On the Shabbat prior to the month of Nissan we read a special Torah portion which details the laws of the red heifer; an offering used to cleanse the ritually impure before bringing the Paschal lamb.
Parshat HaChodesh: Souls on Fire
On the Shabbat before the month of Nissan we read the Torah portion concerning the Passover offering. Learn profound spiritual symbolism in the intricate laws associated with the Pascal Lamb.
The Month of Iyar
Audio | 42:35
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The Month of Iyar
This class details the special spiritual dimension of the month of Iyar.
Rosh Chodesh Sivan
Audio | 46:38
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Rosh Chodesh Sivan
On the first day of the month of Sivan the Jewish people arrived at Mt. Sinai after leaving Egypt: what is its significance?
2 of Sivan
Audio | 43:13
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2 of Sivan
The second day of Sivan – a few days before the giving of the Torah – is called “yom hameyuchas”, the special day; why is this day special at all?
The Significance of Erev Shavuot
This class teaches the significance of Erev Shavuot, the day before the giving of the Torah.
The Days Following Shavuot
Audio | 42:45
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The Days Following Shavuot
The six days following Shavuot are special because they too are days for bringing the holiday sacrifices; why are the times for these sacrifices on ordinary, non-holidays?
The Summer Months
Audio | 47:00
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The Summer Months
This class presents the kabbalistic approach to the meaning of the summer months.
The Secret of the Leap Year
Audio | 52:02
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The Secret of the Leap Year
This class presents the mystical elements of the Jewish leap year; an extra month is added to compensate for the difference of days between the solar and lunar year.
The Month of Miracles
Life Lessons from Parshat HaChodesh
On the Shabbat preceding the month of Nissan a special Torah reading is added, which discusses establishing the Jewish months and the Passover offering. Discover the special spirit of this month.
Unity, Awe and Leadership
Three Central Themes of the Hakhel Year
The year of Hakhel is marked with gatherings to strengthen our Judaism, our connection to G-d and to each other—similar to the mitzvah in Temple times when the king would read from the Torah to inspire all of Israel. Discover Hakhel’s relevance and empowering message to us today.
Our Implacable Enemy: Never Forget!
The Torah commands us to remember six pivotal events that occurred in the formative period of our history. Of all of them only the commandment to remember what Amalek did to us is observed by a public Torah reading. This class explains why and offers the solution to the current rise of anti-Semitism.
Time, Space, and Eternity
The significance of Nissan as the first month of year
In reconciling the different opinions of our Sages regarding the creation of Adam and Eve – Nissan or Tishrei – this class brings to light the essential and critical role of women in bringing about Redemption. (Based on the Maamar 'Hachodesh Hazeh Lochem' and other sources)