Pilgrim Festivals

(redirected from Shalosh regalim)
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Pilgrim Festivals

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The ancient Israelites were expected to celebrate three pilgrim festivals: Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot. They are referred to in Hebrew as the shalosh regalim, "three (foot) pilgrimages," because the Bible commanded that they be observed "in the place the Lord your God will choose." Adult males over the age of 13 traditionally made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem on these three occasions. But after the Temple there was destroyed, the law requiring pilgrimages lapsed. The obligation to rejoice on the three pilgrim festivals—by eating meat, drinking wine, and wearing new clothes—continued.
Today, Jews come from all over the world to spend these festivals in Jerusalem. But now they tend to be sorrowful voyages, made for the purpose of mourning the destruction of the Temple. It is for this reason that Jews traditionally gather at the Wailing Wall—the only remaining retaining wall of the Temple Mount, site of the First and Second Temples, built during the first century b.c.e. in the reign of Herod.
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