CHOL HAMOED

The Jewish Chronicle - - Judaism -

CHOLHamoed is the name for the days dur­ing Suc­cot and Pe­sach that fall in be­tween the Yom­tovim at the beginning and the end. In Is­rael there are six days of CholHamoed in Suc­cot; out­side Is­rael, there are five.

The name CholHamoed con­tains within it­self a ten­sion. Chol means sec­u­lar or pro­fane — the op­po­site of kodesh which is holy. Moed means a meet­ing, or a spe­cial time — thus moedim is the col­lec­tive name given to the Jewish hol­i­days as a whole. So CholHamoed, means the sec­u­lar time within the hol­i­days.

Nev­er­the­less, CholHamoed is a lot more moed and less chol than most peo­ple re­alise. The days are sup­posed to be a time of cel­e­bra­tion, al­most like Yom­tov. Ha­lachi­cally, the Yom­tov re­stric­tions on work ap­ply to CholHamoed, with two ma­jor, im­por­tant re­lax­ations; one may do work for a liv­ing if the con­se­quences of not do­ing it would be sub­stan­tial mon­e­tary loss, and one may do work which is nec­es­sary for the en­joy­ment of the hol­i­day — in­clud­ing ac­tiv­i­ties such as shop­ping, cook­ing and driv­ing.

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