What is Chol Hamoed?
by Mrs. Dinka Kumer
Chol Hamoed (literally, "the weekdays of the holiday") are the intermediate days of Passover and Sukkot. They are the days sandwiched between the beginning and end holy days of both festivals.
For example, Passover is eight days long. The first two days and last two days are full fledged holy days. The middle four days, are Chol HaMoed. (In Israel, Passover is seven days long with the middle five being Chol HaMoed.)
Many activities which are forbidden on the festival days, are permitted on the days of Chol HaMoed (except if it is also Shabbat), such as using electricity or driving a car. However, we should try to avoid going to work, doing laundry, writing, and certain other activities (see What types of labor are permitted on Chol Hamoed?).
The special mitzvahs of the holiday are still relevant during Chol HaMoed; for example, we may not eat Chametz during Chol HaMoed Passover, and we eat in a Sukkah and shake the Lulav and Etrog on Chol HaMoed Sukkot. The days of Chol HaMoed include the Mitzvah to be joyous and celebrate.
Special prayers and Torah readings are read during Chol HaMoed, and in many communities men do not put on Tefillin (see Are Tefillin worn during Chol Hamoed?).
Holidays » Sukkot » Chol Hamoed
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