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Etz Hayim—"Tree of Life" exists to promote Christian-Jewish relations and dialogue, and a joint biblical, spiritual and liturgical self-consciousness and cooperation.

As Christians, we cannot consider Judaism as a foreign religion; nor do we include the Jews among those called to turn from idols and to serve the true God (cf. 1 Thes 1:9). With them, we believe in the one God who acts in history, and with them we accept his revealed word...

—Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium
24 Nov. 2013. Read the Document HERE


Jewish and Christian
Liturgical Readings

The readings list provided by Etz Hayim—"Tree of Life" follows the Torah Portion of the Week (Parashat Hashavuah) read by Jews every Sabbath, and the readings for Masses and Sunday liturgies used throughout the Christian world.


28 Feb / Adar 9 / Parashat Tetzaveh
04 Mar / Adar 13 / Ta'anit Esther
05 Mar / Adar 14 / Purum
07 Mar / Adar 17 / Parashat Ki Tisa
  [Read a commentary on this week’s parashah (Torah potion)
  from Bat Kol Institute or Light of Torah.]

01 Mar / 2nd Sunday of Lent
08 Mar / 3rd Sunday of Lent
15 Mar / 4th Sunday of Lent
19 Mar / St Joseph, Husband of the BVM
   [Read a commentary on the gospel from Bat Kol Institute.]

01 Mar / 2nd Sunday in Lent
08 Mar / 3rd Sunday in Lent
15 Mar / 4th Sunday in Lent

[LINK HERE to Liturgical Readings citations
for the dates above]


[See Etz Hayim's glossaries for more information on
Jewish or Christian Feasts, Festivals and Events.]


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Approaching events
04 MARCH 2014

תענית = "fast" | אסתר = Esther  
תַּעֲנִית אֶסְתֵּר

Ta'anit Esther [trans. Fast of Esther] observed on the 13th day of Adar, the day preceding Purim, commemorates the three day fast observed by Queen Esther and the Jewish people prior to Esther pleadingh the cause of the Jews before King Ahasuerus, when threatened with death by the evil Haman. The Fast of Esther is followed by the celebratory festival of Purim.

Ta'anit Esther is a fast which appears to be of late origin being mentioned in halakhic literature only in the 8th Century. Rabbinic notes suggest the fast was at one time held in Nisan soon after the time when Haman cast lots. Ta'anit Esther is a counterbalance in Rabbinic literature to the celebratory nature of the holiday of Purim.

Did you know...
The Hebrew word, Ta’anit, means “Day of Fasting”. There are six fast days in the Jewish calendar. Tzom Gedaliah, Yom Kippur, Asara B’Tevet, Ta’anit Esther, Tzom Tammuz and Tisha B’Av.

05 MARCH 2015

Purim celebrates the miracle of the deliverance frompersecution and suffering wrought for the Jewish people in Persia. The story is told in the Book of Esther (Megillat Esther) c. 4th Cent. BCE.

Purim is celebrated on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar. [In leap years (i.e. this year) Purim falls in Adar II.] Traditionally, the date of Purim marks the first day following the victory/deliverance of the Jews in Persia.Dreidel

"They [the Jews in the provinces] rested on the fourteenth day and made it a day offeasting and merry making" (Esther 9:17)

In cities that were surrounded by a wall in the time ofJoshua Purim is celebrated on the 15th day of Adar, also called Shushan Purim.

The story of Purim which is recounted in the Hebrew Bible, in the Megillat Esther [Scroll of Esther], dates from the 4th Century BCE. [Megillat Esther is the last of the canonical texts to be determined for inclusion in the Tanakh.] The Talmud attributes the account given in Megillat Esther to a redaction of an original text written by Mordechai (Baba Bathra 15a). The Book of Esther in the Septuagint [Greek Bible] differs from Megillat Esther and is understood as an interpretive adaptation. The Greek Esther (c. 2nd Century BCE) adds additional traditions, e.g., Ahasuerus is identified with Artaxerxes.Purim blessings - an image from 'Images from Megillot' in the HUC-JIR Library Collection

Jerome's Latin text [Vulgate] of the Book of Esther is a translation of the Hebrew text with additions based upon the Greek version. Read more...


06 MARCH 2015


The Book of Esther recounts that fighting continued in the city of Susa (capital of the Persian empire) on the 14th Adar, while the Jews elsewhere were celebrating the triumph of Mordecai's intercession and the deliverance of the Jews from Haman. Thus the Jews of Susa (Shushan) celebrated their deliverance on Adar 15 (Esther 9:18).

In memory of that event cities that were "walled" at the time of Joshua celebrated Purim on day later, on 15th Adar (Meg 1:1). Today, in keeping with that tradition, Jerusalem continues to celebrate Purim on Shushan Purim, 15th Adar.




for 2014-2015 | 5775-5776



Weekly Readings
for Christians and Jews
this 16 month interfaith calendar covers
Jewish Year 5775 & Christian Cycle:
Advent 2014–Advent 2015

The Jewish and Christian Liturgical Calendar 2014-2015/5775-5776

     Page Updated: 24 February, 2015      
    Last Site Update: 10 November, 2014 | 17 Cheshvan, 5775
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