In the Torah, God commanded the Israelites to travel to the Temple in Jerusalem to appear before the Lord, their God, three times a year, during the festivals of Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot.

These pilgrimage festivals which commemorate both agricultural festivals and historical events in the history of the Jewish people, were historically celebrated with temple sacrifices.

Today, in contrast to traditional streams of Judaism, Reform Jews no longer assign a central religious role to the ancient Temple. This, however, does not diminish the ritual importance of these ancient festivals. Prayers have replaced the animal sacrifices, and the historical and agricultural themes of the festivals have become the dominant aspects of the holidays wherever they are celebrated.