Today we’ll present the most common greeting we say in Hebrew during every holiday.
The word holiday is ‘chag’, and happy is ‘sa•me•ach’. Both words are biblical and so is the commandment (yes, a request from God to rejoice in His holidays and feasts):
‘And you shall rejoice in your feast, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are inside your gates’.
‘You shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goes with a flute to come to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel’.
The word ‘chag’, holiday or feast illustrate the continuity of God’s holidays. This root means ‘to turn in circles’. Cyclicality of God’s chosen day are of importance that we don’t fully understand. We have a hint about this cyclicality in the very first chapter of the Bible when the word ‘mo•a•dim’ is used for seasons:
‘And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years;’
‘He appointed the moon for seasons; the sun knows its setting time’.
But ‘mo•a•dim’ is not only ‘seasons’. It is also the Hebrew names for holidays or feasts.
‘He appointed also the king’s portion of his wealth for the burnt offerings, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the appointed feasts, as it is written in the Torah of the Lord’.
‘Moed’, the singular form of ‘moadim’ is equal to our word of the day and carry, as translated above, the circular nature of God’s holidays such as Passover:
‘And all the people of Israel assembled themselves before the king at the feast which is in the seventh month’.
For all of you who celebrate holidays – ‘chag sa•me•ach’!