Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Jewish Calendar 101


While I did put a link to a lot of my Jewish Calendar Squidoo lenses in a previous entry on this blog, but I thought I would give a quick explanation of the Jewish calendar all in one place.

First of all, unlike the secular calendar which is solar (based on the movement of the earth around the sun), the Jewish calendar is lunar (based on the movement of the moon around the earth) but adjusted for solar year so that פסח (Pesah -- Passover) will always be חג האביב (Hag HaAviv -- the Spring Holiday), for example. We accomplish this by adding one month 7 times every 19 years.

Secondly, the Jewish year has two "first months" -- one, תשרי (Tishrei -- usually coinciding with September and October) is the anniversary of the creation of the world. The other (which is usually referred to as "the first month" in the Tora) is ניסן (Nissan -- usually coinciding with late March or April), the month that the בני ישראל (B'nei Yisrael -- Children of Israel) were freed from slavery in Egypt and became a nation.

I have created a chart that shows the Jewish year -- see below

These are about the Jewish Months:

Tishrei and Heshvan
Kislev and Tevet
Shevat and Adar
Nissan and Iyar
Sivan and Tammuz
Av and Elul

These are about Jewish Holidays:

Rosh Hashana
Pesah (Passover)
Jewish Holiday Haiku (Just for fun)