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2010 Jewish - Kabbalah Holidays

* 1/1: World Peace Day--Day to meditate for peace throughout the world. [Universal Hour of Peace: 7:00-8:00 a.m. EST.]

* 1/4: Day ethnic discrimination was outlawed world-wide (1969); day to mourn all manifestations of racism. [Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination: signed/adopted 3/7/1966; entered into force 1/4/1969.] [Text of Convention] [The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) monitors implementation of the Convention. For more information, see Human Rights Watch website.] [Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Article 2 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) also prohibit discrimination on account of race.] [The U.N. has designated 3/21 to 3/27 Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling against Racism and Racial Discrimination.]

* 1/12: Day genocide was outlawed world-wide (1951); day to mourn all victims of genocide. [Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide: signed/adopted 12/9/1948; entered into force 1/12/1951.] [Text of Convention] [For more information, see Prevent Genocide International website.] [In the name of Elohim/HaShem, and for love of Elohim/HaShem, Jews should condemn all past genocides and, to prevent future genocides, should demand an end to persecution on account of any nationality, ethnicity, "race" or religion.]

* 1/15 eve: Rosh Chodesh--Jewish women gather to worship the Shekhinah, the feminine manifestation of Elohim, the one universal Deity; and to pray and act for peace, social justice, and environmental healing, to bring about Tikkun Olam (reparation of the world and reunification of the Divine). [For discussion of the Shekhinah as the feminine Divine Presence honored at Rosh Chodesh, see Wikipedia article on Shekhinah and "Women and Rosh Chodesh" from My Jewish Learning.] ["Elohim" is a masculine plural of a feminine Hebrew word that refers to a singular Deity whose unity incorporates both masculine and feminine elements. See Wikipedia article on Elohim. Kabbalists believe that estrangement between the Divine masculine and feminine elements has resulted in violence, injustice, and environmental destruction, but human action can bring about reparation and reunification. See "The History of 'Tikkun Olam'" by Jill Jacobs. While Kabbalists, Jewish feminists, the Jewish Renewal Movement, and many Reconstructionist and Reform Jews perceive Elohim as gender-inclusive, other Jews do not. Some Jews of all denominations perceive Elohim as genderless, but most Orthodox and Conservative Jews perceive Elohim as exclusively male. See "The Divine Feminine in Kabbalah: An Example of Jewish Renewal" from My Jewish Learning.] [a/k/a Rosh Chodesh Sh'vat, Rosh Chodesh Shivat, Rosh Chodesh Shivath, Rosh Chodesh Shevat, beginning of the Jewish month of Shevat]

* 1/17: World Religions Day--Day to contemplate all religions as different paths to the one universal Deity of many names and aspects.

* 1/29 eve to 1/30 eve: Tu B'Shevat--Jewish Festival of Trees, celebrated with tree plantings and orchard blessings. [See Blessing for Tree Fruit/Beracha Borei P'ri Ha-Eitz.] [Tu B'Shevat is the new year for purposes of calculating the age of trees for tithing. Tree fruit is not to be eaten until the tree is five years old.] [In ancient times, the Hebrew people and priesthood honored Asherah in groves of trees as well as in the first Temple in Jerusalem (for two-thirds of the time the Temple existed). She was considered to be the consort of the Hebrew God YHVH/Adonai. See 1 Kings/Melachim 14:23; 2 Kings/Melachim 17:10; 2 Kings/Melachim 21:7; 2 Kings/Melachim 23:6; Jeremiah/Yirmiyahu 17:2. See also "An Altar of Earth: Reflections on Jews, Goddesses and the Zohar" by Rabbi Jill Hammer; Wikipedia article on Asherah; "The Hebrew Goddess" by Raphael Patai.] [In modern times, Tu B'Shevat has been treated as Jewish Earth Day. For articles on environmentalism in Judaism, see "The Modern Environmental Movement: Jewish Perspectives" by Preston Hunter; "Jewish Environmental Studies: A New Field" by Manfred Gerstenfeld; "Judaism and the Environment 101" by Hazon; "Ten Jewish Teachings on Judaism and Environmentalism" by C.O.E.J.L. See also Coalition on Environmentalism and Jewish Life (C.O.E.J.L.) website. C.O.E.J.L. is an organization dedicated to promoting environmental healing.] [a/k/a Tu B'Sh'vat, Tu B'Shivat, Tu B'Shivath, Tu Bi Shevat] [Shevat 15]

* 2/3: Day B'Tselem was founded to raise consciousness about the plight of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories (1989). [B'Tselem (the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories) is an organization that seeks to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories by confronting the Israeli government and people with accurate information about human rights abuses and injustices perpetrated by Israelis on residents in the Occupied Territories.] [See B'Tselem website.]

* 2/14 eve: Rosh Chodesh--Jewish women gather to worship the Shekhinah, the feminine manifestation of Elohim, the one universal Deity; and to pray and act for peace, social justice, and environmental healing, to bring about Tikkun Olam (reparation of the world and reunification of the Divine).  [The shofar is blown and a candle is lit to mark the new month. Some also recite the Kiddush Levana (Sanctification of the New Moon) outside under the Moon.] [See Kiddush Levana] [a/k/a Rosh Chodesh Adar, beginning of the Jewish month of Adar]

* 2/18: Nazi Resistance Day--Day to honor those who resisted Adolph Hitler's Nazi government during World War II. Members of the resistance attempted coups, rescued Jews, committed sabotage, encouraged work slow-downs, published anti-Nazi leaflets and newspapers, and conveyed information to the Allies. [The Nazis (aided by European collaborators) committed genocide, and invaded and occupied most of Europe and North Africa. Despite brainwashing of the population and execution of political dissidents, there were resistance movements (both organized and unorganized) in Germany and in all of the occupied countries. They were particularly active in Yugoslavia, Poland, France, Norway, Greece, and the Netherlands. See Wikipedia articles on the German Resistance and Resistance During World War II.] [2/18/1943 was the day leaders of the White Rose, Hans and Sophie Scholl, were arrested for distributing leaflets at the University of Munich that advocated active opposition to the Nazi regime. Both were executed four days later. See Wikipedia article on the White Rose.] [Though many Germans supported the  Nazis, some Germans gave their lives in resistance. As did other Europeans. And virtually all Germans (and Europeans) alive today disapprove of the Nazis' actions. While it is appropriate to expect atonement from the German government, it is immoral to blame all Germans (or Europeans) today for the evil committed by the Nazis in the past.]

* 2/24 eve to 2/28 eve: Jewish fast of Esther, Shabbat, and fest of Purim--Recalls a planned massacre of Persian Jews and their deliverance by Queen Esther; time for helping those in need. [The Book of Esther/The Megillah is read and acted out.] [See The Megillah.] [Fast of Esther a/k/a Ta'anis Esther, Ta'anit Esther, Feast of Lots] [Adar 13-14]

* 3/1: Day the production and use of landmines was outlawed world-wide (1999); day to mourn their victims. [Protocol on Prohibition or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps, and Other Devices a/k/a Convention on Landmines a/k/a Mine Ban Treaty, amending the 1980 Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects: Treaty signed/adopted 10/10/1980; entered into force 12/2/1983; Protocol signed 12/3/1997; entered into force 3/1/1999.] [Text of Convention] [Israel and the U.S. have not ratified the Protocol.] [Landmines maim and kill civilians, including children. Those that survive endure a lifetime of hardship.] [In the name of Elohim/HaShem, and for love of Elohim/HaShem, Jews should renounce the production and use of landmines, and should demand removal and destruction of all existing landmines.] [For more information, see International Campaign to Ban Landmines (I.C.B.L.) website; Landmine Monitor website.] [The U.N. has designated 4/4 International Day for Mine Awareness.]

* 3/8: International Women's Day--Day to mourn victims of gender-based oppression and misogyny (past and present), make peace, and celebrate women's empowerment.  [See U.N. website on International Women's Day; A history of International Women's Day.]

* 3/12: Day Pope John Paul II, in the name of the Catholic Church, asked Deity's forgiveness and apologized: to Christians of other denominations for intolerance to them, to Jews for anti-Semitism, to peoples of all non-Christian religions for intolerance and contempt for their religious traditions, to women for their humiliation and marginalization, and to the poor and the powerless for indifference to them (2000). [On the first Sunday in Lent in the Jubilee Year, as a part of the liturgy of the Mass inside St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II made this public confession with the aid of seven cardinals and bishops. See Transcript of Confession and Request for Forgiveness.] [While the Catholic Church instigated the Crusades, forcibly converted non-Christians, and killed Christian dissidents, ordinary Catholics at the time had no say in it. Nor did any Christian alive today. While it is appropriate to expect atonement from the Catholic Church, it is immoral to blame all Catholics/Christians for the past abuses committed by the Church.]

* 3/15 eve: Rosh Chodesh--Jewish women gather to worship the Shekhinah, the feminine manifestation of Elohim, the one universal Deity; and to pray and act for peace, social justice, and environmental healing, to bring about Tikkun Olam (reparation of the world and reunification of the Divine). [The shofar is blown and a candle is lit to mark the new month. Some also recite the Kiddush Levana (Sanctification of the New Moon) outside under the Moon.] [See Kiddush Levana] [a/k/a Rosh Chodesh Nisan, beginning of the Jewish month of Nisan]

* 3/16: Day Pope John Paul II expressed remorse for the failure of Christians to prevent the murder of six million Jews during World War II (1998). [This was expressed in "We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah".] [Pope Pius XII, who became Pope in 1939, was silent about the Nazi persecution of Jews, other than a 1942 Christmas message that acknowledged that "hundreds of thousands of persons...because of nationality or race, have been consigned to death".] [However, Pope John Paul II planned to beatify Pope Pius XII, until protests dissuaded him. And, in spite of protests, on 9/3/2000, he beatified anti-Semitic Pope Pius IX (who, on 7/14/1555, revoked Jews' previously-recognized rights and required Jews to live in a walled ghetto).]

* 3/18: Day the first bat mitzvah occurred - in Reconstructionist Judaism (1922). [In order to mark her religious coming-of-age, Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan had his daughter, Judith Kaplan, read the Torah and recite the blessings before the congregation. He wanted to recognize the equality of Jewish girls to boys, to recognize girls' obligation to fulfill the commandments, and to encourage girls to study the Torah. Bat mitzvahs are now universally practiced in Reconstructionist Judaism, Reform Judaism, and Conservative Judaism. Some congregations of Orthodox Judaism also conduct them.]

* 3/21: World Forest Day--Day to celebrate the complex living community of trees, plants, birds, and mammals that live in forests world-wide; day to give thanks for forests for cleaning the air of pollution. [Forest once covered 50% of the world. Today, forest covers only 30% of the world. Since 1600, 90% of the original forests that once covered the lower 48 states of the U.S. has been cleared away. Most deforestation of North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia occurred before 2000 and has stabilized. Deforestation continues to accelerate in South America and Africa. The rate of world deforestation averaged 5.2 million hectares per year between 2000 and 2010.] [For information about conservation of forests, see American Forests website; Forests.org website; International Union for Conservation of Nature (I.U.C.N.) website; World Wildlife Fund (W.W.F.) website; Greenpeace website. See also Statement of Principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests; Our Forests, Our Future: Summary Report of the World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development.] [In the name of Elohim/HaShem, and for love of Elohim/HaShem, Jews should demand an end to deforestation, and should demand universal observance of sustainable management practices of the world's forests.] [a/k/a World Forestry Day]

* 3/26: Day production and use of biological weapons was outlawed world-wide (1975); day to mourn their victims. [Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction a/k/a Biological Weapons Convention: signed 4/10/1972; entered into force 3/26/1975.] [Text of Convention] [Israel is believed to currently have a biological weapons program in spite of the Treaty's prohibition. Israel has not ratified the Treaty. In 2003, Syria proposed making the Middle East a region free of all weapons of mass destruction, but no commitments have been made to bring that about.] [In the name of Elohim/HaShem, and for love of Elohim/HaShem, Jews should renounce the production, acquisition, and use of biological weapons, and should demand destruction of all existing weapons.] [For more information, see Wikipedia article on Biological Warfare. See also U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs (U.N.O.D.A.) website; Federation of American Scientists (F.A.S.) Biological and Chemical Weapons Main Page.]

* 3/29: Birthday of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise (1819), who founded Reform Judaism in 1873. He advocated reforms in the service, including family pews, a mixed choir, and counting women in forming a minyan (religious quorum). [Death day 3/26/1900] [Reform Judaism affirms personal autonomy and the fundamental right of the individual to determine beliefs and practices. It is committed to social justice and inclusion of women equally with men.] [See Union for Reform Judaism website.]

* 3/29 eve to 4/6 eve: Passover/Pesach--Jewish festival recalling their deliverance from slavery in Egypt and celebrating freedom from oppression. [Observed with dietary restrictions, the seder meal (representing their hardships), and recitation of the Haggadah (relating the Exodus).] [See "Judaism and Human Rights" by Rabbi David Rosen and Declaration on Judaism and Human Rights. See also Rabbis for Human Rights website. Rabbis for Human Rights (Shomrei Mishpat) is the rabbinic voice of conscience in Israel, giving voice to the Jewish tradition of human rights. It advocates for justice, equality, and recognition of the human rights of all in Israel and in the Occupied Territories. But see Human Rights Watch report: Israel.] [Reform Jews and Reconstructionist Jews celebrate 7 days instead of 8 days; the first and last days are holy.] [Passover Truce: Time to cease all forms of conflict (at least temporarily), extend a greeting to your adversary, and share a seder for peace.] [a/k/a Pesah, Feast of Unleavened Bread] [Nisan 15-22]

* 4/1: Day that same-sex marriage was first legally recognized (2001). [Same-sex marriage has been legalized in the Netherlands (2001), Belgium (2003), Spain (2005), Canada (2005), South Africa (2006), Norway (2009), Sweden (2009), Portugal (2010), Iceland (2010), and Argentina (2010). It has also been legalized in the U.S. states of Massachusetts (2004), Connecticut (2008), Iowa (2009), Vermont (2009), New Hampshire (2010), and Washington D.C. (2010). In addition, some countries and some U.S. states recognize same-sex civil unions or domestic partnerships. However, some U.S. states have passed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage, and others have statutes or judicial decisions banning same-sex marriage. A federal statute (Defense of Marriage Act -- 1996) bans same-sex marriage under federal law and allows states to not recognize same-sex marriages contracted elsewhere.] [For more information, see Wikipedia article on same-sex marriage.] [Congregations of Reconstructionist Judaism and Reform Judaism perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. Some congregations of Conservative Judaism also perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.]

* 4/7: World Health Day--Day to pray for healing of all those chronically and seriously ill; day to advocate for adequate health care for all. [Day the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) was founded in 1948.] [For information on World Health Day, see World Health Organization website.] [For information on the World Health Organization, see World Health Organization website.]

* 4/11: Holocaust Remembrance Day--Day to mourn Jewish victims of genocide and anti-Semitism, make peace, and celebrate empowerment of Jewish Americans. [Six million Jews were killed by the Nazis.] [See BBC Analysis: "Genocide Under the Nazis".] [a/k/a Yom Hashoa, Yom Hashoah, Yom HaShoah] [Nisan 27]

* 4/12: Day the first woman was ordained a rabbi in Orthodox Judaism (2006). [Rabbi Haviva Ner-David] [While some Orthodox Jews recognize the ordination, most do not. Orthodox Judaism still retains gender distinctions that prevent women from fully participating in Jewish ritual. See Wikipedia article on Women in Judaism, "American Jewish Feminism: Beginnings" from My Jewish Learning, and Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance website.]

* 4/14 eve: Rosh Chodesh--Jewish women gather to worship the Shekhinah, the feminine manifestation of Elohim, the one universal Deity; and to pray and act for peace, social justice, and environmental healing, to bring about Tikkun Olam (reparation of the world and reunification of the Divine). [The shofar is blown and a candle is lit to mark the new month. Some also recite the Kiddush Levana (Sanctification of the New Moon) outside under the Moon.] [See Kiddush Levana] [a/k/a Rosh Chodesh Iyyar, beginning of the Jewish month of Iyyar]

* 4/22: Earth Day--Day to honor the Earth and to meditate on Deity manifesting as Mother Earth. [For information about Earth Day activities, see Earthday Network website; Envirolink website; U.S. E.P.A. website for Earth Day.] [a/k/a International Earth Day, National Earth Day]

* 4/22: Day the world's nations guaranteed asylum to those persecuted in their homelands on account of their ethnicity, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group (1954).  [Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees: signed 7/28/1951; entered into force 4/22/1954.] [Text of Convention] [For more information, see United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (U.N.H.C.R.) website; Human Rights Watch website.]

* 4/28: Birthday of Oskar Schindler (1908), who protected 1200 Jews during the Nazi occupation of Poland by employing them in his factory and convincing the Nazis that they were necessary for the war effort. [Death day 10/9/1974] [Many Germans and other Europeans in Nazi-occupied countries risked their lives to protect Jews by hiding them or transporting them out of Nazi-occupied territory.]

* 4/29: Day production and use of chemical weapons was outlawed world-wide (1997); day to mourn their victims. [Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons a/k/a Chemical Weapons Convention: signed 1/13/1993; entered into force 4/29/1997.] [Text of Convention] [Israel is believed to currently possess chemical weapons in spite of the Treaty's prohibition. Israel has not ratified the Treaty. The U.S. is currently in the process of destroying its chemical weapons in compliance with the Treaty. In 2003, Syria proposed making the Middle East a region free of all weapons of mass destruction, but no commitments have been made to bring that about.] [In the name of Elohim/HaShem, and for love of Elohim/HaShem, Jews should renounce the production, acquisition, and use of chemical weapons, and should demand destruction of all existing weapons.] [For more information, see Wikipedia article on Chemical Warfare. See also U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs (U.N.O.D.A.) website; Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (O.P.C.W.) webpage; Federation of American Scientists (F.A.S.) Biological and Chemical Weapons Main Page.] [a/k/a Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare] [See U.N. website on Chemical Warfare Victims Remembrance Day.]

* 5/6: National Day of Prayer--Day to pray for freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and separation of religion and government throughout the world. [Freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and separation of religion and government is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment. For text and information on the First Amendment, see Cornell University's Legal Information Institute website. For domestic organizations that advocate for freedom of religion, see Americans United for Separation of Church and State website; American Civil Liberty Union website. For information on religious freedom in countries around the world, see U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report; Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief website.]

* 5/9: Day the world's nations committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which are causing climate change (1992); day to mourn the failure to reduce these emissions. [Due to these emissions, the planet has already started to experience the impacts of climate change: increased extremes of summer dryness (heat waves, droughts, and wildfires) and winter wetness (flooding); an increase in extreme weather (hurricanes and tornados); an increase of sea level (loss of coastline and loss of fresh water); a decrease in glaciers and polar ice caps; an increase in volcanic eruptions and earthquakes; loss of human habitat; loss of food availability (increase in food costs); and loss of plant and animal species (on land, in the oceans, and on the ice caps).] [Framework Convention on Climate Change: adopted 5/9/1992; signed 6/4/1992; entered into force 3/21/1994.] [Text of Convention] [The Kyoto Protocol, which includes mandatory reduction goals, was adopted by 180 nations 12/11/1997, signed 3/16/1998, and entered into force 2/16/2005.] [Text of Protocol] [The U.S. has refused to ratify the Protocol. The U.S. is the biggest polluter on the planet. 25% of the planet's carbon dioxide emissions is emitted by the U.S.] [For more information, see U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change website; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change website; Center for International Environmental Law website; Greenpeace website; EarthJustice website; Columbia University website on Assessments of Impacts and Adaptations to Climate Change in Multiple Regions and Sectors. See also Wikipedia article on the Kyoto Protocol.] [In the name of Elohim/HaShem, and for love of Elohim/HaShem, Jews should demand universal observance of practices that effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.]

* 5/12: Day the first woman was ordained a rabbi in Conservative Judaism (1985).  [Rabbi Amy Eilberg] [Conservative Judaism now fully embraces the ordination of women and has abolished most gender distinctions that limit women from full participation in Jewish ritual. See Wikipedia article on Women in Judaism. See also United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism website and Women's League for Conservative Judaism website.]

* 5/13 eve: Rosh Chodesh--Jewish women gather to worship the Shekhinah, the feminine manifestation of Elohim, the one universal Deity; and to pray and act for peace, social justice, and environmental healing, to bring about Tikkun Olam (reparation of the world and reunification of the Divine). [The shofar is blown and a candle is lit to mark the new month. Some also recite the Kiddush Levana (Sanctification of the New Moon) outside under the Moon.] [See Kiddush Levana] [a/k/a Rosh Chodesh Sivan, beginning of the Jewish month of Sivan]

* 5/14: Remembrance day for Moses de Leon (1240-1305), Kabbalistic mystic. He compiled the Zohar, a Kabbalistic commentary on the Torah. [Kabbalists conceive of the boundless, formless, and genderless Deity as Ein Soph, whose emanations constitute the Tree of Life (11 Divine Sephiroth). Kabbalists recognize Elohim, the primary name of Deity in the Torah, to be the first unfolding of Ein Soph at the beginning of Creation. "Elohim" is a masculine plural of a feminine Hebrew word that refers to a singular complex gender-inclusive Deity. It does not signify a plurality of Gods and Goddesses. Another name for Elohim in the Torah is the unutterable YHVH, made up of the four Hebrew letters Yod-Heh-Vau-Heh. These letters signify to Kabbalists four elements of the singular Deity: Father, Mother, Son & Daughter. They are referred to as the Tetragrammatan.] [See article on Moses de Leon. See also "The Zohar" a/k/a "Sefer ha-Zohar (Book of Splendor, Radiance, Enlightenment)" by Moses de Leon.] [a/k/a Moses ben Shem Tov de Leon and Moshe ben Shem-Tov] [Birthday & death day unknown] [Sivan 1]

* 5/18 eve to 5/20 eve: Shavuot/Feast of First Fruits--Jewish festival of thanksgiving for the first fruits of the grain harvest. Originally, loaves of bread were offered to Elohim. Also commemorates Moses' receipt of the Ten Commandments. [See Blessing for Bread/Beracha Ha-Motzi Lechem.] [Moses identified Nehushtan with the Lord Adonai. Nehushtan was worshipped with Asherah. The serpents and trees that symbolized Nehushtan and Asherah were destroyed by King Hezekiah in 7th C BCE. See Numbers/Bamidbar 21:5-9; 2 Kings/Melachim 18:4.] [See also Wikipedia article on Nehushtan.] [Reform Jews and Reconstructionist Jews celebrate 1 day instead of 2 days.] [a/k/a Shavuoth, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Harvest, Hebrew Pentecost] [Sivan 6-7]

* 5/19: Day the first woman was ordained a rabbi in Reconstructionist Judaism (1974). [Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso] [Reconstructionist Judaism fully embraces the ordination of women and rejects gender distinctions that limit women from full participation in Jewish ritual. It also has developed gender-inclusive prayer books. See Wikipedia article on Women in Judaism and "American Jewish Feminism: The Movement Matures" from My Jewish Learning. See also Kolot: Center for Jewish Women's and Gender Studies.]

* 5/22: Biological Diversity Day--Day to recognize that the survival of humanity is dependent on the survival of the many diverse species on the Earth: The extinction of other species will bring about our own extinction. [There has been a 40% loss of species between 1970 and 2000 due to habitat destruction, over-harvesting, and pollution. Our unsustainable consumption exceeds the biological capacity of the Earth by about 20%.] [See U.N. website on International Day for Biological Diversity.] [And see the Convention on Biological Diversity: signed 6/5/1992; entered into force 12/29/1993.] [Text of Convention] [And see the Convention on Biological Diversity website.] [The Convention on Biological Diversity was contracted to ensure conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of biodiversity, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.] [For more information, see Center for International Environmental Law website.] [In the name of Elohim/HaShem, and for love of Elohim/HaShem, Jews should demand universal observance of practices that effectively preserve all species of life, and should demand an end to habitat destruction, over-harvesting, and pollution of all kinds.] [a/k/a International Day for Biological Diversity, World Biological Diversity Day, Biodiversity Day]

* 6/3: Day the first woman was ordained a rabbi in Reform Judaism (1972). [Rabbi Sally Priesand] [Reform Judaism now fully embraces the ordination of women and has abolished all gender distinctions that limit women from full participation in Jewish ritual. It also has developed gender-inclusive prayer books. See Wikipedia article on Women in Judaism and "American Jewish Feminism: The Movement Matures" from My Jewish Learning. See also Women of Reform Judaism website.]

* 6/8: World Oceans Day--Day to recognize the world's dependence on the oceans for food and medicine; day to advocate for the sustainable management of all ocean resources and for an end to the pollution of the oceans with toxins and trash. [See U.N. website on World Oceans Day.] [For information on ocean pollution and fisheries conservation, see Greenpeace website; EarthJustice website; Natural Resources Defense Counsel (N.R.D.C.) website.] [Fish stocks have collapsed in almost one-third of all ocean fisheries. The rate of decline is accelerating and total loss of fisheries could occur by mid-century. Fishery decline is caused by overfishing the stock, the loss of marine biodiversity associated with the stock, pollution, and climate change. Establishing core protected areas for each surviving stock and preventing the stock from being fished above the maximum sustainable yield are crucial for its survival.] [For information about the collapse of fishery stocks, see U.N. Environment Programme report "In Dead Water"; National Center for Policy Analysis article; Wikipedia article on Overfishing.] [In the name of Elohim/HaShem, and for love of Elohim/HaShem, Jews should demand an end to pollution of the oceans, and should demand universal observance of sustainable management practices of ocean fisheries.]

* 6/11: Birthday of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (1881), founder of Reconstructionist Judaism. He perceived Deity to be a genderless Cosmic Force of Nature, and promoted a Judaism that recognizes gender equality and rejects violence and social injustice. [Death day 11/8/1983] [See article on Mordecai Kaplan.] [Rabbi Kaplan wrote "The Meaning of God in Modern Jewish Religion" and "Judaism as a Civilization".] [Reconstructionist Judaism values personal autonomy and democratic decision-making as well as religious law and tradition. It embraces science and diverse views of Deity. It exhorts Jews to work for progressive ethical and social evolution in Judaism and society. See "Who is a Reconstructionist Jew?" by the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation. See also Jewish Reconstructionist Federation website.]

* 6/12 eve: Rosh Chodesh--Jewish women gather to worship the Shekhinah, the feminine manifestation of Elohim, the one universal Deity; and to pray and act for peace, social justice, and environmental healing, to bring about Tikkun Olam (reparation of the world and reunification of the Divine). [The shofar is blown and a candle is lit to mark the new month. Some also recite the Kiddush Levana (Sanctification of the New Moon) outside under the Moon.] [See Kiddush Levana] [a/k/a Rosh Chodesh Tamuz, beginning of the Jewish month of Tamuz]

* 6/26: Day torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment were outlawed world-wide (1987); day to mourn their continued existence. [Torture is an illegal, immoral, and ineffective means of interrogation and punishment. All officials have a legal duty and moral obligation to refuse an order to commit torture and to prevent it from occurring. Anyone who attempts, conspires, or commits torture is legally culpable. All acts of torture should be investigated, prosecuted, and punished. Neither war nor civil strife nor emergency justifies torture.] [Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: adopted 12/10/1984; signed 2/4/1985; entered into force 6/26/1987.] [Text of Convention] [The Committee Against Torture monitors implementation of the Convention. For more information, see U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights website; Human Rights Watch website.] [Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Article 7 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) also guarantee freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.] [See U.N. website on Torture Victims' Day.] [In the name of Elohim/HaShem, and for love of Elohim/HaShem, Jews should condemn torture, and should demand an end to the use of torture - of anyone for any purpose.] [a/k/a International Day in Support of Victims of Torture]

* 7/1: Day the world's nations committed to stop proliferation of nuclear weapons (1968); vigil to protest the production and use of all nuclear weapons world-wide. [Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: signed 7/1/1968; entered into force 3/5/1970.] [Text of Convention] [The U.S. used 2 atomic bombs on Japan in 8/1945: over 270,000 civilians died from the bombs and radiation. The original nuclear powers have failed to destroy their nuclear weapons in spite of the Treaty's requirement that they work towards disarmament. Israel has developed nuclear weapons in spite of the Treaty's prohibition; Israel has not ratified the Treaty. 9 countries are known to currently possess nuclear weapons, and other countries (including Iran) are believed to be attempting to develop or acquire them. In 2003, Syria proposed making the Middle East a region free of all weapons of mass destruction, but no commitments have been made by Israel, Iran, or Syria to make the Middle East a nuclear-free zone.] [In the name of Elohim/HaShem, and for love of Elohim/HaShem, Jews should renounce the production, acquisition, and use of nuclear weapons, and should demand destruction of all existing weapons.] [For more information, see Wikipedia article on Nuclear Warfare. See also U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs (U.N.O.D.A.) website; International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) website. And see Federation of American Scientists (F.A.S.) nuke guide for information on Israel's nukes.]

* 7/1: Day endangered species became internationally protected (1975); day to celebrate all the world's creatures. [Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora a/k/a C.I.T.E.S.: signed/adopted 3/3/1973; entered into force 7/1/1975.] [Text of Convention] [For more information, see U.N. Environment Programme C.I.T.E.S. website; World Wildlife Fund (W.W.F.) website; Endangered Species Coalition website; National Wildlife Federation website; Defenders of Wildlife website; EarthJustice website; Natural Resources Defense Counsel (N.R.D.C.) website.]

* 7/2: Day discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, gender, and religion was prohibited in public accommodations, employment, and education (1964). [The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.] [Pub. L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, 42 U.S.C. 2000a et seq.] [Text of statute] [Title II prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, Title III and Title VI prohibit discrimination by local governments, Title IV and Title IX prohibit discrimination in education, and Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment.] [For information on fighting discrimination based on "race" and "color", see U.S. E.E.O.C. website, and for information on fighting discrimination based on national origin, see U.S. E.E.O.C. website. For information on fighting discrimination based on gender (including sexual harassment), see U.S. E.E.O.C. website. For information on fighting discrimination based on religion, see U.S. E.E.O.C. website.]

* 7/10: Day the World Union for Progressive Judaism was founded (1926). It was formed to promote progressive values within Judaism, including modernism, pluralism, equality, and social justice, and to serve Reform, Reconstructionist, and Liberal Jews around the world. [Its headquarters was moved from the U.K. to Israel in 1973, enabling it to found Progressive Jewish congregations, kibbutzim, and settlements there.] [See World Union for Progressive Judaism website and Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism website.]

* 7/11 eve: Rosh Chodesh--Jewish women gather to worship the Shekhinah, the feminine manifestation of Elohim, the one universal Deity; and to pray and act for peace, social justice, and environmental healing, to bring about Tikkun Olam (reparation of the world and reunification of the Divine). [The shofar is blown and a candle is lit to mark the new month. Some also recite the Kiddush Levana (Sanctification of the New Moon) outside under the Moon.] [See Kiddush Levana] [a/k/a Rosh Chodesh Av, beginning of the Jewish month of Av]

* 7/19 eve to 7/20 eve: Tish'a B'Av--Jewish fast day mourning the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem dedicated to Elohim. [The Talmud asserts that the Lord Adonai (the Holy One, Blessed be He), and the Shekhinah (Elohim's feminine manifestation) resided in the first Temple. Kabbalists believe Adonai and the Shekhinah became estranged with the destruction of the Temple. Kabbalists recite prayers and perform holy acts to reunite Them.] [See Shema Prayer.] [And see Wikipedia article on the Shema Prayer] [And see "The Hebrew Goddess" by Raphael Patai. The Talmud asserts that the Shekhinah is present whenever ten gather in prayer, whenever three sit as judges, and whenever She is needed. See Talmud Sanhedrin 39a, Talmud Berachot 6a, Talmud Shabbat 12b.] [a/k/a Tishah B'Av, Fast of the 9th Day of Av] [Av 9]

* 8/1: Day the production and use of cluster munitions was outlawed world-wide (2010); day to mourn their victims. [The Convention on Cluster Munitions a/k/a C.C.M.: Treaty adopted 5/30/2008, signed 12/3/2008; entered into force 8/1/2010.] [Text of Convention] [See Convention on Cluster Munitions website; Wikipedia article on Convention on Cluster Munitions.] [See also U.N. Charter Article 26, which gives the U.N. Security Council authority to regulate armaments.] [Text of U.N. Charter, chapter V, article 26] [The treaty was opposed by countries that produce or stockpile significant quantities of cluster munitions, including the U.S. and Israel. For more information, see Cluster Munition Coalition (C.M.C.) website; Cluster Munition Monitor website.] [Cluster bombs disperse smaller bomblets over a wide area. They are inherently inaccurate, making civilian casualties more likely. Unexploded cluster bombs remain a life-threatening hazard for civilians long after conflict ends.] [See Wikipedia article on Cluster Munitions.] [In the name of Elohim/HaShem, and for love of Elohim/HaShem, Jews should renounce the production and use of cluster munitions, and should demand removal and destruction of all existing cluster munitions.]

* 8/5: Death day of Rabbi Isaac Luria (1572), Kabbalistic mystic. He taught of the Shekhinah, the feminine manifestation of Ein Soph, the unknowable infinite being that created the Universe. Because the Shekhinah has become separated from Ein Soph, there is chaos and injustice in the world. But the Shekhinah will restore cosmic order with the reunification of the Godhead. [See Kabbalistic Unification Blessing/Beracha Tikkun.] [See articles on Isaac Luria and Lurianic Kabbalah. See also "Window of the Soul: The Kabbalah of Rabbi Isaac Luria," Translated by James David Dunn.] [Born 1534: exact date unknown]

* 8/10 eve: Rosh Chodesh--Jewish women gather to worship the Shekhinah, the feminine manifestation of Elohim, the one universal Deity; and to pray and act for peace, social justice, and environmental healing, to bring about Tikkun Olam (reparation of the world and reunification of the Divine). [The shofar is blown and a candle is lit to mark the new month. Some also recite the Kiddush Levana (Sanctification of the New Moon) outside under the Moon.] [See Kiddush Levana] [a/k/a Rosh Chodesh Elul, beginning of the Jewish month of Elul]

* 8/10 eve to 9/8 eve: Elul--Jewish month of self-reflection, peace-making, and renewal. [Jews ask for, and grant, forgiveness for harm done.] [Elul-Rosh Hashanah Truce (through Yom Kippur): Time to cease all forms of conflict (at least temporarily), extend a greeting to your adversary, and break bread together for peace.] [For information on peace in Judaism, see "Judaism and Peace" by Rabbi David Rosen. See also "Jewish Ideas of Peace and Nonviolence" and "Holy War: A Jewish Problem, Too" from My Jewish Learning. And see the Jewish Peace Fellowship (J.P.F.) website. (J.P.F. promotes non-violence, peace, and justice.) And the Peace Now (Shalom Achshav) website. (Peace Now advocates a negotiated peace with the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories and creation of a Palestinian state.)] [During Elul, Jews also visit cemeteries and remember their ancestors.] [See Psalm/Tehillim 23.]

* 8/17: Birthday of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (1924), founder of the Jewish Renewal Movement. [Rabbi Schachter-Shalomi broke with the Lubavitcher Hasidic sect of Ultra-Orthodox Judaism to found the Jewish Renewal Movement in 1969. The Jewish Renewal Movement seeks to fully embrace modernism, egalitarianism, environmentalism, pacifism, and deep ecumenism. It incorporates Kabbalistic and Hasidic theology and practices, traditional prayer, meditation, joyous chant, and ecstatic dance. Both personal spiritual practice and social action are emphasized. See Wikipedia article on Jewish Renewal and ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal website.]

* 8/27: Birthday of Rabbi Yisrael Ben Eliezer (Israel Baal Shem Tov) (1698), Kabbalistic mystic and founder of Hasidic Judaism. He believed that the whole Universe and all things are manifestations of Deity and that nothing can be separated from Deity. [Because of the Divine within, he believed all are inherently good. He rejected asceticism, embracing joy from the sense of oneness with the Divine, and emphasized service to Deity out of love, not fear.] [Death day 5/22/1760] [a/k/a Yisroel Ben Eliezer, Baal Shem Tov (Master of the Good Name), the holy Baal Shem, and the Besht] [See Baal Shem Tov Foundation website and Wikipedia article on Baal Shem Tov.]

* 8/28: Opening of the Second World Parliament of Religions (1993), attended by members of all the world's religions. A Global Ethic was adopted that condemns hatred, aggression, oppression, and environmental abuses committed in the name of religion.  [Text of Global Ethic] [See also website for the Parliament of the World's Religions.]

* 9/3: Day gender discrimination was outlawed world-wide (1981); day to mourn all manifestations of sexism. [Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women: adopted by U.N. General Assembly 12/18/1979; signed 3/1/1980; entered into force 9/3/1981.] [Text of Convention] [The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) monitors implementation of the Convention. For more information, see U.N. Women: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women website; Feminist Majority Foundation website; Human Rights Watch website.] [Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Article 2 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) also prohibit discrimination on account of gender.]

* 9/8 eve to 9/10 eve: Rosh Hashanah/Jewish New Year (Year 5771)--Commemorates Creation of the World by Elohim, the one universal Deity; begins ten days of self-examination and penitence for harm done. [This signifies day five of Creation, when humans were created.] [See Blessing for Life/Beracha Shehechiyanu.] [On Rosh Hashanah, everyone is judged by Elohim based on his or her actions during the previous year. The resulting judgment is inscribed, and everyone's future is determined for the following year. Though that judgment is inscribed, it is not yet sealed and can still be changed until Yom Kippur, when the book is sealed for the year. Regret for past misdeeds, commitment to future good deeds, prayer, and charity can change a bad decree. The shofar is blown to mark the new year and the beginning of the ten Days of Penitence.] [See Psalm/Tehillim 106:3: "Happy are those who act justly, who do right at all times" and Psalm/Tehillim 119: "Happy are those who keep the judgments, and practice righteousness at all times".] [See Prayers of Confession/Viddui.] [Rosh Hashanah a/k/a Rosh Hashana, Rosh HaShanah; Days of Penitence a/k/a Days of Repentance, Days of Awe, High Holy Days, Aseret Yemei Teshuva, Yamim Noraim] [Tishri 1-2]

* 9/13: Day Israelis and Palestinians committed to peaceful coexistence (1993); vigil for true peace, justice, religious tolerance, and equal rights for all in the Middle East. [Declaration of Principles (a/k/a Oslo Accords) was signed by Israel & the P.L.O. on 9/13/1993.] [See Wikipedia article on the Oslo Accords. See also The History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.]

* 9/15: International Day of Democracy--Day to celebrate democratic systems of government throughout the world, bound by rule of law, principles of human rights, and civilian control. Day to affirm democracy's compatibility with all peoples, all cultures, and all religions. [In a democracy, both military and police are subject to rule of law and subordinate to civilian government. The military exists to protect the lawful civilian government and civilians; the police exists to enforce the law and protect people from criminals.] [See U.N. website on International Day of Democracy.] [a/k/a Democracy Day]

* 9/17 eve to 9/18 eve: Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement--Jewish day of fasting, prayer, reconciliation, making reparation for harm done, and helping those in need. [See Prayers of Confession/Viddui.] [The shofar is blown to mark the end of the ten Days of Penitence.] [Tishri 10]

* 9/21: International Day of Peace--Day to demonstrate for peace with justice throughout the world. [Peace can be realized where there is recognition of sovereignty/autonomy, compliance with just law, respectful behavior, responsible sharing of resources, cooperation to attain common goals, and reasonable compromise to enable all to meet lawful goals.] [See International Day of Peace website; International Day of Peace Vigil website.]

* 9/22 eve to 9/29 eve: Sukkot/Feast of Ingathering--Jewish thanksgiving for the fruit harvest. Originally, a dance procession was made to vineyards and wine was offered to Elohim. Also commemorates the years in the wilderness after leaving Egypt. [See Blessing for Wine/Beracha Borei Pr'i Ha-Gafen.] [Temporary dwellings are built, in which Jews eat, sleep, and pray during the festival, to remind them of the Shekhinah, the Divine Presence, who protected them in the wilderness. A prayer for world peace is recited.] [a/k/a Sukkoth, Feast of Tabernacles] [Tishri 15-21]

* 9/29 eve to 9/30 eve: Shemini Atzeret/Feast of Assembly--Jewish festival of praise and thanksgiving for life-giving rain. [See Blessing for Rain/Beracha Mashiv Ha-Ruach.] [a/k/a Shemini Atsereth, Shemini Atseret] [Reform Jews and Reconstructionist Jews celebrate Simchat Torah on the same day as Shemini Atzeret and call it Atzeret-Simchat Torah or Atzeret Ha-Torah.] [Tishri 22]

* 9/30 eve to 10/1 eve: Simchat Torah/Rejoicing with the Torah--Jewish festival celebrating the Torah. [Simchat Torah marks the end of the annual cycle of congregational Torah readings and the beginning of a new cycle. The ark is opened, and Torah scrolls are carried around the synagogue seven times, accompanied by singing and dancing.] [a/k/a Simhat Torah, Simhath Torah] [Tishri 23]

* 10/8 eve: Rosh Chodesh--Jewish women gather to worship the Shekhinah, the feminine manifestation of Elohim, the one universal Deity; and to pray and act for peace, social justice, and environmental healing, to bring about Tikkun Olam (reparation of the world and reunification of the Divine).  [The shofar is blown and a candle is lit to mark the new month. Some also recite the Kiddush Levana (Sanctification of the New Moon) outside under the Moon.] [See Kiddush Levana] [a/k/a Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, beginning of the Jewish month of Cheshvan]

* 10/18: Day the Clean Water Act was enacted (1972); day to give thanks for the water we drink. [Pub. L. 92-500, 86 Stat. 896, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.] [Text of statute] [For information on water pollution, see U.S. E.P.A. website; Clean Water America Alliance website; Clean Water Action website; EarthJustice website ; Natural Resources Defense Counsel (N.R.D.C.) website; American Rivers website.]

* 10/21: Day military attacks on civilians were outlawed world-wide (1950); day to mourn all civilian victims of war. [All soldiers have a legal duty and a moral obligation to refuse an order to attack a noncombatant. Anyone who plans, orders, or carries out such an act is legally culpable. All attacks on noncombatants should be investigated, prosecuted, and punished.] [Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War a/k/a Fourth Geneva Convention: signed 8/12/1949; entered into force 10/21/1950.] [Text of Convention] [See Wikipedia article on Fourth Geneva Convention.] [In the name of Elohim/HaShem, and for love of Elohim/HaShem, Jews should condemn all attacks on noncombatants, and should demand an end to them.]

* 11/5: World Community Day--Day for celebrating the unity behind diversity and remembering we are all one people - all children of the one universal Deity of many names and aspects.

* 11/7 eve: Rosh Chodesh--Jewish women gather to worship the Shekhinah, the feminine manifestation of Elohim, the one universal Deity; and to pray and act for peace, social justice, and environmental healing, to bring about Tikkun Olam (reparation of the world and reunification of the Divine).  [The shofar is blown and a candle is lit to mark the new month. Some also recite the Kiddush Levana (Sanctification of the New Moon) outside under the Moon.] [See Kiddush Levana] [a/k/a Rosh Chodesh Kislev, beginning of the Jewish month of Kislev]

* 11/9 eve: Krystallnacht--Night of the Nazi attacks on Jewish homes, synagogues, and shops in Germany, beginning the persecution that would end with the deaths of six million Jews (1938); night for meditating on the evil of all religion-based hatred.

* 11/16: Tolerance Day--Day to promote harmony in diversity through mutual respect and understanding of all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, nationality, or economic status. [Despite international and domestic laws providing for equal rights, freedoms, and protections, members of minority groups are still harassed and discriminated against because of societal intolerance arising from fear and ignorance.] [Intolerance often results from projection of "collective guilt": it is immoral to blame an entire group for the acts of a member unless the entire group empowered the member who acted or endorsed the acts.] [See U.N. website on International Day for Tolerance; Wikipedia article on Declaration of Principles on Tolerance.] [a/k/a International Day for Tolerance]

* 11/18: Fast for an Abundant World Harvest--Day to fast and commit to action to help prevent deaths from malnourishment world-wide. [For more information, see Oxfam America website.] [a/k/a Fast for a World Harvest]

* 11/25: Thanksgiving Day--Day to give thanks for the abundance of our land and for our food, clothes, shelter, and health.

* 11/29: International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People--Vigil for recognition of the state of Palestine, for recognition of all human rights of all its citizens (whether Muslim, Jewish, or Christian), and for peaceful coexistence with the state of Israel. [See U.N. website on Solidarity with the Palestinian People Day. See also The History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.]

* 12/1: World AIDS Day--Day to pray for healing of all those suffering with AIDS and HIV. [For information on World AIDS Day, see World AIDS Day website. For information about the global fight against AIDS, see UNAIDS website.]

* 12/1 eve to 12/9 eve: Hanukkah/Festival of Lights--Jewish festival commemorating a victory in their struggle for religious freedom and rededication of the second Temple in Jerusalem to Elohim. Menorah candles are lit. [See Hanukkah Prayers.] [Though there was only enough oil for one day at the rededication, it miraculously burned for eight days.] [For articles on freedom of religion and Judaism, see "Religious Freedom as a Basic Human Right: The Jewish Perspective" by Asher Maoz and "Freedom of Religion in Israel" by Prof. Shimon Shetreet. See also U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2009: Israel and the Occupied Territories.] [a/k/a Chanukah, Channukah] [Kislev 25-Tevet 2]

* 12/7 eve: Rosh Chodesh--Jewish women gather to worship the Shekhinah, the feminine manifestation of Elohim, the one universal Deity; and to pray and act for peace, social justice, and environmental healing, to bring about Tikkun Olam (reparation of the world and reunification of the Divine). [The shofar is blown and a candle is lit to mark the new month. Some also recite the Kiddush Levana (Sanctification of the New Moon) outside under the Moon.] [See Kiddush Levana] [a/k/a Rosh Chodesh Tevet, beginning of the Jewish month of Tevet]

* 12/10: Day the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, and fundamental rights were recognized world-wide (1948). [The U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (U.D.H.R.) in Resolution 217 A(III).] [Text of Declaration] [For information on the history of the U.D.H.R., see Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute website. The U.D.H.R. is generally recognized as binding customary international law: all countries are required to respect the rights within it. In 1966, the concepts of the U.D.H.R. were expanded and drafted into two binding international treaties with enforcement mechanisms. The Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) is enforced by the Human Rights Committee. The Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (Text of Covenant) is enforced by the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. For more information, see U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights website; Human Rights Watch website; Amnesty International website.] [In the name of Elohim/HaShem, and for love of Elohim/HaShem, Jews should demand universal observance of all rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - for all people.] [a/k/a International Human Rights Day]

* 12/15: Day the Bill of Rights became part of the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing fundamental rights to all (1791).  [Text of Bill of Rights] [For more information about the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution, see U.S. National Archives & Records Administration website and the Bill of Rights Institute website. For information on organizations that advocate for enforcement of rights and liberties in the Bill of Rights, see Center for Constitutional Rights website; American Civil Liberties Union website.] [a/k/a Bill of Rights Day]

* 12/17: Day the Clean Air Act was enacted (1963); day to give thanks for the air we breathe. [Pub. L. 88-206, 77 Stat. 392, 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.] [Text of statute] [For information on air pollution, see U.S. E.P.A. website; American Lung Association website; EarthJustice website; Natural Resources Defense Counsel (N.R.D.C.) website.]

* 12/22: Birthday of Lily Montagu (1873), who co-founded Liberal Judaism in the U.K. in 1902. She was the first Jewish woman to serve as lay minister, both officiating and preaching. [Death day 1/22/1963] [She advocated reforms in the service, including use of English as well as Hebrew, use of musical instruments, and allowing men and women to sit together. Liberal Judaism stresses ethical conduct above ritual observance, affirms each individual's freedom to act in accordance with conscience, and recognizes the full equality and participation of men and women.] [See Jewish Women's Archive article on Lily Montagu.]

* 12/28: Day the Endangered Species Act was enacted (1973); day to mourn those creatures already extinct. [Pub. L. 93-205, 87 Stat. 884, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.] [Text of statute] [For information on endangered species preservation, see U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website; Endangered Species Coalition website; National Wildlife Federation website; Defenders of Wildlife website; EarthJustice website; Natural Resources Defense Counsel (N.R.D.C.) website.]

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[The Jewish holy scripture is the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), which includes the Torah (Law), the Neb'im (Prophets), and Kethubim (Writings). Another holy book that reflects Jewish oral tradition is the Talmud. Jews believe that Deity is a unity, but recognize that Deity has many attributes. The Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat) is from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. On the Sabbath, Jews attend temples or synagogues to hear readings from the Torah. Jews also abstain from labor and use this time for prayer and study of the Torah. Home rituals are also performed. The Four Covenants with YHVH/Elohim are a foundation of Judaism. Jews follow the Ten Commandments. Beliefs, ritual practice, and the length of Jewish holidays vary between Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism, Reform Judaism, Reconstructionist Judaism, Liberal Judaism, Progressive Judaism, and Humanistic Judaism. The Kabbalah (also known as Kabbalism) is the mysticism of Judaism.]

[The Jewish calendar (also known as the Hebrew calendar) year is a lunisolar year. In order to harmonize the lunar months with the solar year, some years (ordinary years) have 12 months, while other years (leap years) have 13 months. The Jewish year and Jewish months begin at, or one day after, the New Moon. Jewish days begin and end at sundown. This Jewish calendar includes all days observed by any Jewish denomination for that holiday. It also includes dates commemorating the lives and teachings of Jewish mystics.]

[Please note: Because this calendar is a multifaith calendar, the term "God" is used only when referring to a male deity. The term "Deity" is used to refer to the Universal gender-neutral Deity that encompasses both male and female characteristics and all Gods and Goddesses.]

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About the Feminine Aspect of Deity...

Biblical & Apocryphal Sources:
The Suppression of Asherah
The Feminine Holy Spirit
Eloah/Hokhma/Shekhinah/Ruach/Holy Spirit as Supernal Co-Creatrix
Eloah/Hokhma/Shekhinah/Ruach/Holy Spirit as Life & Bounty
Eloah/Hokhma/Shekhinah/Ruach/Holy Spirit as Wisdom & Understanding
Eloah/Hokhma/Shekhinah/Ruach/Holy Spirit as Justice & Mercy

Non-Biblical Sources:
The Lord & The Shekhinah
The Tetragrammatan: YHVH/Yod-Heh-Vau-Heh
The Matronit/Maggid
The Kabbalistic Tree of Life

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Permission to use and distribute these excerpts is granted for non-commercial purposes, provided the following information is included:

Excerpted from
THE MYSTIC'S WHEEL OF THE YEAR 2010
A Multifaith Calendar Reflecting Eco-Egalitarian Spirituality
© 2009 Marija Miovski
www.WheeloftheYear.com