April 20, 2022
We are in the middle of Passover. I hope everyone is having a meaningful holiday. You’ve likely heard friends and family saying “Chag Sameach” or even more specifically, “Chag Pesach Sameach.” These greetings are traditional during Jewish holidays and literally translate to “Joyous Festival” or “Joyous Passover Festival.”
Here’s a cool addition to special greetings during Passover (this is also true for Sukkot). The first, second, and last days are celebrated as Yom Tov, meaning they are considered a special holiday like Shabbat where no work is performed. And that’s when we say Chag Sameach. But the days in between are referred to as Chol HaMoed, which means, the regular days of the festival and are not observed as special holidays. During these days, it is traditional to greet people instead with “Moadim L’simcha!” which also means Joyous Festivals, or may your times be happy. But it doesn’t stop there because we respond to this greeting with “Chagim u’zmanim l’sasson!” This means Joyous holidays and seasons!
All of this teaches us about Jewish time and its rhythms.These greetings signal to us that we are observing sacred time together and even point us exactly where we are in the weeklong festivals of Passover and Sukkot. Additionally, the words simcha, sameach, and sasson, emphasize the joy of the season.
If you want to really get this down, here is a wonderful video with a song, Moadim L’Simcha, to bring it all together.
So while we are in chol HaMoed right now, the regular days of the festival, soon we will be nearing the end of Passover and enter into sacred holiday time again. The last night of Passover is this Friday, April 22nd. We will indeed be sharing our joy at the Community Seder on Zoom. I hope to see you there! We will enhance our holiday experience with wonderful Seder Dinners to go! See the eblast for all the details. Today is the last day to order.
For now Modaim L’simcha! And on Friday evening at the Seder we will greet each other again with Chag Pesach Sameach.
May the joy and freedom of the season be felt and realized in every corner of the world!