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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



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.
Note. The Jewish readings given are those read in the Jewish diaspora and will sometimes vary from those read in Israel.


25 Jan / 15 Shevat / Tu B'Shevat
27 Jan / 17 Shevat / Parashat Beshalach
03 Feb / 24 Shevat / Parashat Yitro
09 Mar / 30 Shevat / Rosh Chodesh Adar I
10 Feb / 1 Adar I / Parashat Mishpatim
17 Feb / 8 Adar I / Parashat Terumah
23 Feb / 14 Adar I / Purim Katan
24 Feb / 15 Adar I / Parashat Tetzaveh
02 Mar / 22 Adar I / Parashat Ki Tisa
09 Mar / 29 Adar I / Parashat Vayakhel
10 Mar / 30 Adar I / Rosh Chodesh Adar II
11 Mar / 1 Adar II / Rosh Chodesh Adar II
16 Mar / 6 Adar II / Parashat Pekudei
21 Mar / 11 Adar II / Ta'anit Esther
23 Mar / 13 Adar II / Parashat Vayikra
24 Mar / 14 Adar II / Purim
25 Mar / 15 Adar II / Shushan Purim
30 Mar / 20 Adar II / Parashat Tzav

[Read a commentary on the parashah (Torah potion) from
Institute Saint Pierre de Sion-Ratisbonne,
Bat Kol-Christian Center for Jewish Studies.
Readings for the above dates availabe HERE ]

28 Jan / 4th Sunday Ordinary Time
02 Feb / Presentation of the Lord
04 Feb / 5th Sunday Ordinary Time
11 Feb / 6th Sunday Ordinary Time
14 Feb / Ash Wednesday
18 Feb / 1st Sunday of Lent
25 Feb / 2nd Sunday of Lent
03 Mar / 3rd Sunday of Lent
10 Mar / 4th Sunday of Lent
17 Mar / 5th Sunday of Lent
19 Mar / St Joseph Husband of BVM
24 Mar / Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion
28 Mar / Holy Thursday
29 Mar / Good Friday
30 Mar / Holy Saturday
31 Mar / Easter Sunday

[Read a commentary on the gospel from
Institute Saint Pierre de Sion-Ratisbonne,
Bat Kol-Christian Center for Jewish Studies.
Readings for the above dates available HERE]

28 Jan / 4th Sunday after Epiphany
02 Feb / Presentation of the Lord
04 Feb / 5th Sunday after Epiphany
11 Feb / Transfiguration Sunday
14 Feb / Ash Wednesday
18 Feb / 1st Sunday in Lent
25 Feb / 2nd Sunday in Lent
03 Mar / 3rd Sunday in Lent
10 Mar / 4th Sunday in Lent
17 Mar / 5th Sunday in Lent
19 Mar / St Joseph Husband of BVM
24 Mar / Passion Sunday
28 Mar / Maundy Thursday
29 Mar / Good Friday
30 Mar / Holy Saturday
31 Mar / Easter Sunday

[Readings for the above dates available HERE]


The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary by Robert AlterThe Hebrew Bible A Translation with Commentary by Robert Alter
[PAID LINKS - follow LINKS for detailed book information at Amazon]



The feast of the Presentation of the Lord is celebrated forty days after the Nativity (Christmas). The celebration recalls the presentation of the child at the Temple according to the Law. Jesus is welcomed at the Temple by two elderly people, Simeon and the prophetess, Anna, both of whom, beholding the child, praised God for the redemption of Israel.

The feast has a second dimension, the purification ceremony for Mary after having given birth. ...Read more

Simeon's Song of Praise
Simeon's Song of Praise (detail) — Aert de Gelder


2 MARCH 2022

Ash Wednesday begins the forty day period of Lent. Ash Wednesday is observed as a fast day. Ashes, a sign of repentance, are blessed and the foreheads of the faithful are marked with the ashes in the sign of the cross. The use of ashes today reflects an ancient practice and symbolizes mourning and sorrow for sin, and repentance before God.

"Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return"

Ash Wednesday - symbolic ash

The 40 day Fast of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes on Holy Saturday night. The 40 day Fast of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes on Holy Saturday night. Sundays are excluded in the 40 day count since Sunday is not a fast day.
[Liturgically Lent lasts 44 days begining on Ash Wednesday and ending before the Paschal Triduim, and includes Sundays.]



The Solemnity of St. Joseph is celebrated on March 19th each year [because it is a solemnity the celebration is moved to another day should 19th March be a Sunday.]

The feast honors Joseph, the husband of Mary and foster father of Jesus. Joseph, in the gospels and Christian tradition, is portrayed as a man of faith attentive to the word and revelation of God and one who, despite the difficult circumstances occasioned by the pregnancy of his espoused wife Mary, attentive to the divine will protected her and her child, Jesus thus facilitating the plan of God for the world.





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(FOR 2023–2024 Jewish Year 5784–5785)



Weekly Readings
for Christians and Jews
this 16 month interfaith calendar covers
Jewish Year 5784-5785 & Christian Cycle:
Advent 2023–Advent 2024

The Jewish and Christian Liturgical Calendar download



Tu BShevat is one of four Jewish New Years. The holiday is connected to the practice of tithing and the establishment of the “legal” age of a tree in order to determine when the fruit should be tithed and when one could eat the produce. Read more...

Pomegranate fruit

“And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as forbidden; three years shall it be as forbidden unto you; it shall not be eaten. And in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy, for giving praise unto the LORD. But in the fifth year may ye eat of the fruit thereof...” (Leviticus 19:23-25)

Tu B'Shevat (the word Tu is “15” written in Hebrew “טו”) falls near the beginning of spring after the bulk of the winter rains have fallen and trees are in bud with new growth and fertility.

The holiday is celebrated is different ways.
* Many eat fruit of the land, especially that of the “seven species” grown in Israel.
* New year for trees is also a time to focus on planting trees or raising money to plant trees, especially in Israel.
* In the 17th Century the Kaballists of Safed established a special seder which focused on the esoteric meaning to be found in the biblical statement, “Man is like the tree in the field” (Deut. 20:19). The practice spread among Sephardim and later to Ashkenazim who may celebrate a special seder modelled on the Passover seder on Tu B'Shevat.

Tu B'Shevat is not mentioned in the Torah but is found in the Mishnah in the context of establishing the correct date.

“There are four ‘new year’ days... the First of Shevat is the new year for trees, according to the ruling of Beit Shammai; Beit Hillel, says, the fifteenth of that month.” (Mishnah. Rosh Hashanah 1:1)

Celebrating the Jewish Year

Celebrating the Jewish Year: The Winter Holidays: Hanukkah, Tu B'Shevat, Purim

[PAID LINKS - follow LINKS for detailed book information at Amazon]



In a leap year, as in this year, there are two months of Adar (Adar I & Adar II) and the celebration of Purim is moved to Adar II. However, Purim, together with Shushan Purim is celebrated in a minor way in Adar I. This celebration is called Purim Katan [and Shushan Purim Katan.] The word katan means “little” or “small.”

There is a strong connection between Purim Katan and Purim since it is the only observance (together with Shushan Purim Katan) which remains to be celebrated twice, in both months of Adar, in a leap year. The Talmud states, that

“There is no difference between the fourteenth of the first Adar [Purim Katan] and the fourteenth of the second Adar [Purim Sheni] save in the matter of the reading of the Megillah and gifts to the poor”
(BT. Megillah 6b).

Although it is a “little” Purim without the set observances of Purim, Jewish practice is to avoid mourning and fasting on Purim Katan, to omit the Tachanun (supplication prayers) after the Amidah prayer during Shacharit (morning) and Minchah (afternoon) services, and to celebrate the holiday with joy.


21 MARCH 2024 |11 ADAR II

תַּעֲנִית אֶסְתֵּר
תענית = "fast" ;  אסתר = Esther

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 pleading 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.


24 MARCH 2024 | 14 ADAR II

Purim celebrates the miracle of the deliverance from persecution 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 of Joshua 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).
Purim blessings - an image from 'Images from Megillot' in the HUC-JIR Library CollectionThe 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.

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



According to the Book of Esther (9:20-22) the Jews in the City of Shushan, where the story of Purim took place, battled with their enemies on both Adar 13 and 14 and rested on the 15th day of Adar. The rabbis determined that Jews living in walled cities, [Shushan and Jerusalem both being described as walled cities] should memorialise the saving of the Jews, after a battle that lasted two days in Shushan, should celebrate Purim on 15 Adar, whilst Jews living in unwalled cities should celebrate Purim on 14 Adar only. Today, Shushan Purim is celebrated only in Jerusalem.

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