Monmouth Council Jewish Committee on Scouting
The MCJCoS meets at the Monmouth Council Scout Service Center on the fourth Monday of each month, except for July and August. You are invited to attend. If you have additional questions, please contact the Committee Chair, Stan Weinstein
Judaism has four major branches – Reconstructionist, Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox – and a great diversity of observance within these branches themselves. All Jewish holy days begin at sundown and end at nightfall (darkness) 1 or more days later.
Jewish Holy Days
The primary Jewish holy day is the weekly Sabbath, or Shabbat (pronounced “Shah-Bot”). It begins at sundown on Friday and ends at nightfall on Saturday. As God rested after creation, so a time is set aside to enjoy what has been created for us and what we have created. The Sabbath is a special time to re-establish our relationship with God. To this end, work (“creative acts”) is prohibited. This does not mean, however, that many or even most Scouting activities cannot be conducted. For example, a nature hike is a permissible and meaningful Sabbath activity. The Sabbath is very much a day of learning, and a Scouting atmosphere can support parents and rabbis to help children and young men and women feel God’s presence. A useful source for additional information is the pamphlet Keeping the Sabbath While Camping, No.15-109.
In accordance with the BSA National Relationships Division calendar, the next major Jewish holy days are listed on the Council's Holidays calendar
All Jewish holy days begin at sundown (darkness) of one day and end at sundown of another day.
A brief explanation of the major Jewish holy days are:
- Shavuos / Shavout (pronounced sha-VOO-os / sha-VOO-oat): Shavous/Shavout celebrates the receipt of the Torah (the 5 books of Moses) by the Israelites. Scouting activities are precluded during this holy day.
- Rosh Hashanah (pronounced rush ha-SHA-nah). It is the Jewish new year, but unlike the secular new year (December 31st), it precludes most Scouting activities in deference to religious worship.
- Yom Kippur (pronounced yome-key-POOR). It is the Day of Atonement – the most solemn holy day for Jews, and is characterized by worship, fasting, and repentance.
- Sukkos / Sukkot (pronounced SUE-cus / Sue-COAT). Sukkos/Sukkot celebrates the harvest. Scouting activities are precluded on the 1st, 2nd, 8th, and 9th days, but not in between.
- Simchat Torah (pronounced Sim-HAT TOE-rah). Simchat Torah celebrates the reading of the end, then the starting of the beginning again, of the Torah. Scouting activities are precluded on this day (the 9th day of Sukkos/Sukkot).