The Most Turnt Jewish Holidays

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Written by Shane


Art by Coco

Judaism to me is kind of like Rita Ora to the rest of the world. Pretty irrelevant, but we keep on giving it a try. This being said, I love being Jewish. I very much like the elitism that comes with being a “chosen person.” I love the unique lens I have on the world after 8+ years of a Jewish education. I love the food and Facebook stalking all my old high school classmates to see what modifications they’ve done to their old noses and white BMWs. But the intense connection you feel to your roots, the emotional significance of your Bar or Bat Mitzvah, and the communal spirit of Shabbat are fun too, right?

Ultimately, being Jewish is fucking awesome. We have overcome so much adversity. From being slaves to being your accountants. As said by my favourite Jew, Drake, “Started from the bottom, now we here”. This line is about so much more than just upward mobility. What Drake’s Torah portion is really trying to say is this: Jews know how to party.

Really the best parties I have ever been to have been religious ones. It’s no exaggeration to say Jews can not only persevere like no others in history, but can party while doing it. Also important to note: it isn’t just the bratty ones who studied abroad in Rome or Paris or are obsesSDT with their flock of freshers! The orthodox know how to get down, too. I mean, haven’t you seen ‘Fiddler On The Roof’?!

One last disclaimer: despite me committing blasphemy for one brief Internet article, I know and revere the rich, complex, spiritual, and diverse culture that Judaism is. However, just because it spans over millenniums, doesn’t mean I can’t be a millennial and share the best ones to #turnup to. Oh to be alive in 2016!

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Simchat Torah

Jews are pretty good with numbers and order. I accredit this to the gear-like accuracy of Torah reading. Each week in the Jewish Calendar (ours cycle by moons. Jews are night owls I guess… turn up!) and has Bible passages dedicated to it. You read the Bible in the same order in the same week in the same calendar week. What makes it different each year is that you are supposed to always be asking questions — trying to read more or less into certain sections. Judaism is fun because you get to interpret things however you want to. This holiday celebrates reading the end of the Torah as the first passage, and starting it over again. On this holiday you dance around the Torah, and it’s a mitzvah (mitzvah means commandment. See, you’re learning so much!) to get drunk.

Author note: When I was 16 I made out in a hot tub in Bel Air on this holiday with a girl who ended up becoming a Los Angeles Laker girl. She is engaged now to a basketball player. It’s that sort of holiday. It’s the holy equivalent of those nights where you and your tacky girlfriends get drunk and dance around their handbags at nightclubs.


Too easy. 8 days of presents. It is the festival of light, so you know it’s lit. But even with all that light, you’re guaranteed to blackout and cry over latkes because those shady family friends have been revelling in your parents’ divorce — or is that just me?

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Tu Bishvat

Literally a New Year’s for trees. Yeah, I never really understood this one either. But if you’re from California and have friends from a modern orthodox family, how would YOU celebrate it? Okkurrrr. Come thruuuuuu sneaking out of the house and smoking weed with weird bi-curious boys in kippahs!


Without a doubt, my favorite holiday ever. Basically Jewish Halloween, but even better because of Ester. But that’s a story for a different day. All you need to know here is that it is a COMMANDMENT to drink so much alcohol you forget who is in a costume and who isn’t. Yeah, Judaism wants you to get so turnt you lose grip on reality. Have you ever been a slutty gay boy in Israel on this holiday? Basically Christmas comes in Spring for us.

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This isn’t really a turnt holiday, but it was the Torah portion for my Bar Mitzvah. That was a turnt holiday. Also it’s the festival of shoving your face with meals that are mostly dairy. Not good for your skin, but definitely good for the soul. All this holiday needs is someone to invent wine made out of cheese.

If reading this has given you a crushing sense of envy, I get it. Being part of a religion that’s so attuned to the jew-fulness of existence is pretty incredible. But this isn’t me endorsing party-motivated conversions. If you’re desperate to experience the insane party circuit Judaism has to offer, just call up your closest Jewish friend and ask if you can be their +1 next time round — we’re a welcoming people.


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