Join Us Contact Us

Do Noahides Observe Special Holidays or Events?


These holidays are all God-made days for human celebration, thanksgiving and rest:


The Sabbath, the week's seventh day (Saturday or, according to the ancient Hebrew reckoning, Friday night to Saturday night).

 God blessed the Seventh day, and He declared it to be holy. - Genesis 2:3

We explore the phenomenon of the great gift of the Sabbath further in Should Noahides Keep the Sabbath?, The Sabbath and Holiness, Shabbat for the Universe, First Covenant Religion (and Maimonides).


The first day of every (lunar) month - that is to say, the first day of the new moon (in Hebrew, Rosh Chodesh/Hodesh, or "Head of the Month"), when the first sliver of moon comes out. It helps to have a Hebrew or Jewish calendar - despite being one of the world's most ancient calendars, it's probably history's most accurate calendar (See Science and the Hebrew calendar ) - to identify the exact time and date of the New Moon.

 It shall come to pass, that from one New Moon to another,
and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh
shall come to worship before Me, saith the Lord
. - Isaiah 66:23

New Moons are representative of God's wisdom and awesome power, and the glory of Creation.

Getting a Hebrew calendar should be easy. Ask a Jewish friend or neighbor how to get one, get one free off the internet, or, if all else fails, go to your nearest Jewish bookstore - or to any of the many Judaica-selling sites on the internet - and get a big, beautiful one.


Each of the four Hebrew pilgrimage festivals - Passover, or Pesach; Pentecost, or Shavuot ("Weeks"); Rosh HaShana, the New Year, including Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, 11 days later; Sukkot, or Tabernacles, the harvest festival - has tremendous universal significance and should be commemorated accordingly.


Passover recalls the history of Israel and the Gentile mixed multitude in Egypt, when the Lord, the God of freedom, humiliated the so-called gods of Egypt and "got honor" upon Himself by humbling both the slavemasters and their gods. With the Exodus, God spectacularly intervened in human history, to set men free from wickedness and slavery. The Exodus and the events surrounding it revealed God, HaShem, to the nations. This holiday, as Israel celebrates it, lasts for eight days (in the Land of Israel, seven days). That is, it always includes a day of the Sabbath.

Israel's celebration of Pesach always includes at least one seder celebration - an elaborate traditional meal and worship service. B'nai Noah have no obligation to do similarly - the seder, in essence, is a Jewish national celebration. Still, one would think that b'nai noah should celebrate the anniversary of the Exodus in some manner. Spectacularly and meaningfully, the Exodus and the events surrounding it revealed God, HaShem, to the nations. BThey may also attend a seder if Jewish seder to which they are invited.


Pentecost, 50 days after the beginning of Passover and the Exodus, commemorates the giving of the Torah: it's the anniversary of the day when God Himself first Revealed His Law and "spoke" to mankind at Sinai.


Rosh HaShana, mankind's spiritual New Year - as opposed to the solar New Year, about the time of the winter solstice (January 1, a Christian holiday, is the assumed date of the circumcision or b'ris of Jesus, eight days after his supposed birthday on December 25th, or the night of the 24th) - falls at the end of the summer, in the northern hemisphere, on the first day of the new lunar month of Tishrei. This is a holiday of new beginnings.


Yom Kippur, mankind's day of atonement, is connected to Rosh HaShanah.


Sukkot (sukkos) starts 15 days after Rosh HaShana. A sukkah is a booth, or casual dwelling, partially open to the rain and sun and the light from the stars; sukkot is simply the plural of sukkah. Israel celebrates this holiday for eight days - like the springtime Passover, which is related to Sukkot in many ways. This is one of the most explicitly universal of all the Torah holidays, as one sees from the traditional sacred readings connected with it.

In the Torah - specifically, in the Talmud, Avodah Zorah 3a - God challenges all the nations of the world to observe this "easy mitzvah," this easy commandment."

[Mitzvah, usually translated as commandment, or good deed, comes from a Hebrew root meaning "connection." To keep a commandment is to make a connection to God.]

One of the names of the holiday of Sukkot is the Feast of Tabernacles. See Zechariah 14:16-18:

 And it shall come to pass that every one. . . shall go up from year to year
to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts., and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles
[in Hebrew, chag sukkot, the Festival of Sukkot] . And it shall be,
that whosoever of the families of the Earth goeth not up unto Jerusalem
to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, upon them there shall be no rain.
And if the family of Egypt
[Egypt has always relied on irrigation from the Nile,
not on rain, to water its crops] go not up, and come not
they shall have no overflow
[i.e., from the Nile]; there shall be the plague,
wherewith the Lord will smite the nations
that go not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. . . .

Sukkot lasts for seven days: the eighth day is called Shemeni Atzeret, "the eighth day of solemn convocation," Leviticus 23:26. Shemeni means eighth, atzeret connotes completion. Shemeni Atzeret is not a universal holiday. As one sees from the Torah, including the Talmud and midrashim (ancient rabbinic commentaries and narratives), it's a special assembly - a happy one - for Israel alone. However, Shemeni Atzeret is celebrated for two days outside of the land of Israel. This has been the Jews' way since at least 347 BCE, as decreed by the prophet Ezra's Great Assembly of sages and prophets (See Nehemiah 8-9). And the second day of Shemeni Etzeret is, by ancient custom, the holiday of Simchat Torah, or "Rejoicing in the Torah." Israel finishes the yearly cycle of Torah readings by finishing Deuteronomy and then immediately begins the new cycle by starting Genesis. This is a joyful holiday of song and dance, often very child-centered, celebrating the gift of Torah. Many b'nai noah like to participate. They love the Torah too and want to honor it. If they attend no other Hebrew congregational service, the Simchat Torah service in Israel's synagogues or shuls is the one they attend.


Home | About Us | Articles | Newsletter | Seven Laws | FAQs | Community | Contact Us | Contribute

© Copyright 2005-2013
The First Covenant Foundation