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These are the holidays that man says we may have off.

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day and the following Friday
  • Christmas Eve (1/2 day)
  • Christmas Day

However, it is not man we are here to serve. The reason we are here is to serve HaShem and draw closer to Him, but how can we expect to do this if we do not keep and observe His Moedim {appointed times}? None of the previous holidays are in the Bible except for New Years and even that is on the wrong day. Thankfully, HaShem compiled the Moedim into one chapter of the Torah! Vayikra {Leviticus} 23 explains when each Moed {festival} is, what it is celebrating, and whether or not we may work. It is very important to purchase a Hebraic calendar and study Vayikra 23. The Hebraic calendar is also available online at www.hebcal.com. Throughout the year there are 7 days we are commanded not to work as listed below for the year 2010.

  • Pesach – the first and last day – March 30, Tuesday and April 5, Monday
  • Shavuot– May 19, Wednesday
  • Rosh Hashanna– September 9, Thursday
  • Yom Kippur – September 18, Saturday
  • Sukkot– the first and last day – September 23, Thursday & September 29, Wednesday

It is important to note though these dates and days may vary from year to year, HaShem’s calendar does not change. He is an unchangeable and eternal G-d and His Moedim are “appointed times” during the year. We should all be examples in our workplace and request these days off. Most companies should grant permission for time off because they are required by law not to discriminate against religions. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that it is prohibited to deny a requested reasonable accommodation of an applicant’s or employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs or practices – or lack thereof – if an accommodation will not impose more than a de minimis cost or burden on business operations.1 Most likely your boss and coworkers will inquire about why you have these days off which becomes a great opportunity to share Torah and our obligation to keep it. Many people have said they were first introduced to Torah and began keeping the Mitzvot {commandments} after attending a Pesach seder, a Shabbat service, a Sukkot party, or any other Biblical celebration. HaShem desires our observance of His wonderful Moedim so we may keep His Torah and draw closer to Him. Let us be a light and an example for our friends, families, and coworkers. Let us be Tzadikim {righteous ones}.

1 http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda_religion.html

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