Prediction

(Crossposted to Mah Rabu.)

The holiday season is now over. And something about it may have felt a bit out of the ordinary, unusual, abnormal. And based on recent experience, that feeling is accurate. But in the 2010s, abnormal is becoming the new normal.

In the last decade, as often as not, the Jewish calendar has followed the pattern in which all the fall holidays (except Yom Kippur) fall on weekends. This pattern is both loved and hated. People who work for Jewish organizations and observe 2 days of yom tov (so that the holidays are on Saturday and Sunday) dread this pattern because (unlike in other years, when the Jewish holidays are days off) they go from workweek to holiday to workweek to holiday, without a break to do laundry. People who work and go to school outside the Jewish world, whether they do 1 or 2 days, find this pattern easier, since it doesn’t require taking any days off of work/school, except for Yom Kippur (but that’s the one that your boss has heard of, and is much easier to explain than Shemini Atzeret).

Love it or hate it, we won’t see this pattern again until 2020. This Mah Rabu post from a couple of years ago covers all the details.

In its place, we see a new popular pattern emerging. This year, Yom Kippur was on Shabbat, but all the other holidays were on Thursdays (continuing into Friday for the 2-day people). This means that the 2-day people got a string of what are colloquially known as “3-day yom tovs”: when a 2-day yom tov falls immediately before or after Shabbat, resulting in 72 straight hours away from whatever one doesn’t do on Shabbat or yom tov. People working in the Jewish world appreciate all the 4-day weekends. Other people have to miss a lot of work or school: 3 or 4 days for 1-day-yom-tov people (depending on their stance on Rosh Hashanah), and 6 days for 2-day-yom-tov people, and that’s not including travel days.

Love it or hate it, this pattern is here to stay. We’ll do it all over next year, and then again in 2013, 2014, and 2017: half of the years in the 2010s.

The other half of the decade will see a different pattern that we haven’t seen in quite a while: Rosh Hashanah on Monday, with all the fall holidays falling on weekdays. This pattern also includes Shavuot starting on Saturday night, leading to another “3-day yom tov” for the 2-day crowd.

All told, the half-decade from 5771 to 5775 will include a total of 14 “3-day yom tovs”, and the decade from 5771 to 5780 will include 21. (But don’t worry, there’s only 18 more to go!)

This leads to my prediction (awaited since the title of the post): This decade, and especially this half-decade, will see lots of 2-day-yom tov people switching over to 1 day.

In a few years, we can come back and check this prediction and see whether the 1-day majority has gotten any larger. In the meantime, back to work.

6 Responses to “Prediction”

  1. [...] Over at Jewschool, the following was posted: Love it or hate it, this pattern is here to stay. We’ll do it all over next year, and then again in 2013, 2014, and 2017: half of the years in the 2010s. [...]


    Yom Tov Sheni | The Book of Doctrines and Opinions: · October 4th, 2010 at 12:12 am
  2. I’m more inclined instead of going from 2-day yomtov to 1-day yom tov, to 1-day + hybrid yomtov day. This could mean that Yom Tov Sheni has some of the mitzvah ta’aseh, but not all of the lo-taaseh. You do a Yom Tov light. For example: You can go to shul in the morning and have yuntif lunch, but travel to your next destination so you can be elsewhere for Shabbat. I like to call the 2nd day of Shavuot, Chol Hamoed Shavuot, especially when it lands right before Shabbat. Not sure what to call it for Pesach and Sukkot.


    Rebez · October 4th, 2010 at 4:00 pm
  3. The 2nd day of Shavuot (which is always on the same day of the week as the upcoming Rosh Hashanah) never lands right before Shabbat. The 1st day of Shavuot often does.


    BZ · October 4th, 2010 at 4:21 pm
  4. (Though, of course, it won’t again for a decade.)


    BZ · October 4th, 2010 at 5:03 pm
  5. This decade, and especially this half-decade, will see lots of 2-day-yom tov people switching over to 1 day.

    Not to argue needlessly, but “lot of… people” is thin gruel as far as forecasts go. Do you mean in total numbers? As a percentage? Of which population – Reform, Conservative, Unaffiliated, all together, etc.


    Victor · October 4th, 2010 at 5:21 pm
  6. I’ll go with total numbers (and the prediction was about individuals switching over, not taking into account births, deaths, etc.), and the overall Jewish population.


    BZ · October 4th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

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