Biblical Holidays

Chanukah

While Chanukah is not a “Biblical Holiday”, it has become an important holiday in the Jewish world because of its association with the re-consecration of the Temple. Noachides are permitted to celebrate this holiday but not in exactly the same manner as a Jew. It is permissible for Noachides to light Chanukah candles but the blessings should not be made and the candles should not be set in a window or at the door as the Jews would do. Prayers for the return of the Temple and the worship at the Temple may be said.

Pesach (Passover)

Pesach is a celebration of freedom from slavery. It is recommended that the Noachides do a thorough house cleaning in remembrance of the slavery of the Hebrews in Egypt, the benefits of the exodus for the entire world, and a cleansing of bad habits. On the eve of the first day of Pesach, Noachides should have a festive meal including wine and matzah as a celebration of the exodus and the freedom of all people. A special emphasis on freedom for all is a special part of Pesach that should be observed by Noachides. Agreeing to purchase chametz from a Jew during Pesach can be a mitzvah Noachides may perform (speak with a local rabbi for more information). It is permissible for Noachides to attend a Seder but it is recommended that one contact the rabbi before attending to find out what restrictions may be placed upon the Noachides.

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah is the day that G-d created mankind and is a day of introspection and a day of planning changes in one’s life for the next year. Noachides should spend the holiday in a time of reflection and introspection about oneself and one’s interaction with G-d and mankind. Noachides may recite certain prayers from the Machzor (speak with a local rabbi for more information). It is permissible for Noachides to attend services but it is recommended that one contact the rabbi before attending to find out what restrictions may be placed upon the Noachide.

Shavuot

Shavuot is a harvest festival that has become traditionally associated with the giving of Torah at Mount Sinai. Noachides should use this day as a time for Torah study – especially those sections dealing with the Noachide mitzvot. It is permissible for a Noachides to attend services but it is recommended that one contact the rabbi before attending to find out what restrictions may be placed upon the Noachides.

Sukkot

Sukkot is a harvest festival when the Jews and Noachides made a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. In Zechariah, it is predicted that the Temple will be rebuilt during Sukkot and all nations will make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Noachides should use this time to study Torah, observe and celebrate nature, and celebrate with fellow Noachides. It is permissible for a Noachides to attend services but it is recommended that one contact the rabbi before attending to find out what restrictions may be placed upon the Noachides.

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Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is a day set aside as a day to “afflict the soul,” to atone for the sins of the past year. Yom Kippur atones only for sins between man and G-d, not for sins against another person. To atone for sins against another person, you must first seek reconciliation with that person, righting the wrongs you committed against them. Noachides are not to fast on this day but the atonement for the sins is a responsibilty of Noachides on this day. Noachides may recite certain prayers from the Machzor(speak with a local rabbi for more information). It is permissible for Noachides to attend services but it is recommended that one contact the rabbi before attending to find out what restrictions may be placed upon the Noachide.

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