Jewish calendar

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Jewish community calendar from 1831

 Today is: 


August 27 ,
2020 n. D. Z.

7. Elul
AM 5780
[ update ]

The Jewish calendar ( Hebrew הלוח העברי ha-luach ha-iwri) is a lunisolar calendar that dates back to 3761 BC. Chr. Greg. starts counting. As with simple lunar calendars , the months are aligned with the phases of the moon . In addition to a normal year with 12 lunar months (a good 354 days), there are leap years with 13 lunar months (a good 384 days) to align with the solar year . The calendar exception rules can lead to an extension or shortening of the ordinary year lengths by one day.

The Jewish year begins today in autumn with Tishri , which according to the Jewish conception is the month in which mankind was created. In biblical times, the year began with Nisan in spring. Nisan is the month of salvation when the Jewish ancestors left Egypt . Even today, the fact of redemption is valued higher than that of creation , in that the religious use of the Jewish calendar continues to regard the Nisan as the first month, but the Tishri as the seventh month of the year.

The month names are Chaldean and come from the Babylonian exile .

Origin and background

The development of the Jewish calendar was shaped by its own Israelite traditions as well as by elements of foreign cultures, especially during the Babylonian exile . Every Hebrew month starts around the new moon today . Since the Babylonian times, the beginning of the month was determined by witnesses after the visible evidence of the “birth of the moon”; the news of this was spread by beacons and messengers, which could take a long time in bad weather. The empirical calculation of the beginning of the month developed in pre-Roman times, especially in the diaspora, into a point of contention about who had the authority to interpret the divine will. The Jewish communities in Greece and Macedonia, like those in Palestine in early Roman times, used the lunar calendar, while the communities in Asia Minor and Syria used the Julian calendar. The Jews in Alexandria, in turn, used a special Egyptian lunar calendar.

The systematics and calculation of the Jewish calendar, which was kept a secret until the 4th century, was essentially only standardized and published by Patriarch Hillel II in AD 359, after the calculation of the Jewish calendar in the Roman Empire was adopted Christianity was banned as the state religion. The definition was also intended to prevent the Romans from endangering Jewish life by obstructing the rituals and courts. Using this calendar, everyone knew in advance which month is 29 and which is 30 days.

However, the regulation established by Hillel II has prevailed - especially with regard to the counting of the years which originally began at the beginning of the Seleucid era 312 BC. Was established - only from the 11th century. Today the calendar is arranged in a circle. It always starts in September or October.

Day counting

The Jewish calendar calculates the day from evening to evening (“and it was evening and it was morning, one day”, Gen. 1.5). In the earlier Jewish calendar, the day ended when at least three "middle" stars became visible, which could be connected to form a sky triangle, the term "middle" referring to stars of the first and second magnitude .

The second holiday

If the messengers of the judgment in Jerusalem did not reach the Jews living in the diaspora in time to inform them of the exact beginning of the month, they celebrated each festival mentioned in the Torah for two days instead of just one, because they did not know whether the previous month had 29 or 30 days. In order to prevent an error and not to desecrate the festival, they introduced this holiday. This has become the “second holiday in the diaspora”, a custom that has been preserved to this day.

Only the Day of Atonement is observed in a single day, because it was taken into account that it is difficult for people to fast for 48 hours in a row. The New Year festival also lasts two days in the land of Israel, because even there it was not always known whether the month of Tishri would begin after 29 or 30 days. To be on the safe side, the people stopped working at the end of the 29th Elul and “acted holy” like on an ordinary holiday. In order to rule out any errors from the outset, the Jewish scholars finally ordered the festival to last for two days. Despite the exact calendar that was later determined, the Diaspora still celebrates the “second holiday” on the grounds that it was “the custom of the ancestors”.

Structure of the calendar

The Jewish calendar is divided into years, months and days. Since this calendar is a lunisolar calendar (lunar-sun calendar), i.e. it is based on the lunar year as well as the solar year, the months are shifted compared to pure solar calendars , since twelve lunar months result in only 354 and not 365 days. So that the months do not wander through the solar year as in a purely lunar calendar , the Jewish calendar requires switching regulation to compensate. To compensate for the 11 day longer solar year, a 30-day leap month is added seven times in a cycle of 19 years before the actual Adar .

While the leap month in that year takes on the name Adar , the actual Adar, which lasts 29 days, is given the name We-Adar (“another Adar”). Leap years are the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th years.

The Jewish festivals are closely related to the season, they are related to their symbols and deal with natural phenomena or agricultural customs that give each festival its special character.

The year

The Jewish calendar counts the years from the time of the biblical creation of the world, which Hillel II. According to the biblical chronicles to the year 3761 BC. Calculated. As a result, the Jewish calendar is already in the sixth millennium. Occasionally, however, Jewish dates are only given with three digits, here the Jewish millennium is assumed to be known. In the transcription this spelling is occasionally marked with the addition "after the small count" (n. D. K. Z. - לפ"ק).

The Jewish new year (with the next higher year number) begins in autumn on the first day of the seventh month of Tishri, which is called Rosh Hashanah (“head of the year”). This day can only fall on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday. As the first month of the year, however, the spring month Nisan is numbered according to biblical tradition with the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt ( Ex 12.2). According to historians, this unusual arrangement goes back to the adoption of the Babylonian month names by the Israelites. In the Babylonian calendar , Nisannu was the first month. The discrepancy between the monthly count and the beginning of the year follows from the connection between these foreign traditions and Israel's own. This would explain why Samaritans celebrate New Year with the beginning of the first month to this day.

Lunar year

The length of a lunar cycle - the average time from one new moon to the next - lasts exactly 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 1/3 seconds (according to the Jewish time counting 29 days, 12 Sha'a and 793 Halakim - see section The Day ). With this month duration between 29 and 30 days, a lunar year has 354 days if the months alternate between 30 and 29 days. Such a year is called a “regular year”. However, compared to the lunar year (12 lunar cycles) it is too short by 8 hours, 48 ​​minutes and 40 seconds (eight Sha'a 870 chalakim). Therefore, a day is added to the month of Cheshwan approximately every three years, the year in question then has 355 days and is called “excessive”. Furthermore, in other years one day is deducted from the month of Kislew so that it only counts 29 days. Such a year is called "diminished". As a result of these measures, which were determined by lists of solar and lunar eclipses , on average there are only deviations of 0.42 seconds compared to the actual duration of the month.

Solar year

Since the solar year, which currently has an average duration of 365.2422 days, does not coincide with the lunar year, which lasts an average of 354.3671 days, the compensation must be created through a switching regulation. 19 solar years as the so-called Meton period are almost exactly 235 lunar months. Therefore, within 19 years in the Jewish calendar, the years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17 and 19 become leap years with an additional month of 30 days. This leap month is inserted before the month Adar . The actual Adar is then called “We-Adar” (“And-Adar”), “Adar -scheni” (“second Adar”) or simply “Adar II”. This creates twelve  common years with twelve months each (144 months) and seven  leap years with 13 months each (91 months), all of which can be "regular", "excessive" or "reduced" according to the switching rule of the lunar year. This adjusts the calendar so that it changes only slightly with the course of the sun and the seasons . The calendar year has an average length of 365.2468 days (365 days, 5 hours, 55 minutes and 25 seconds). A one-day deviation from the solar year with 365.2422 days occurs after 219 years .

The Karaites reject the rule-based insertion of the leap month and decide after the ripening of the barley in Israel, in a literal interpretation only the written Torah and with rejection of the oral Torah .

The month

Beginning of the month

As with most moon-oriented calendars, the beginning of each month is determined by the first appearance of the crescent moon after the new moon, the so-called new light ( moled ). However, the months are not always exactly based on the phases of the moon: If the start of the month for Rosh Ha-Schanah would result in a sequence of several days with a work ban (see Sabbath ), the start of the year will be postponed by one or two days, by to avoid this hardship (because according to the Jewish understanding God wants to make people's lives better, not worse, through his commandments). There are a total of five rules for postponing the beginning of the year, which are based on the calendar requirements of the solar and lunar years and also take into account the cultic needs of the holiday and Sabbath regulations.

Calendar exception rules


If the new light of Tishri does not come in until after 6:00 p.m. Jewish time, Rosh Hashanah is to be postponed to the following day. This will be the case in about two out of five years.


If the new light of Tishri falls on a Wednesday , Friday or Sunday , Rosh Hashanah is also to be postponed to the following day. This rule applies approximately three out of seven years.


If after applying the Jach rule Rosh Hashanah falls on a Wednesday, Friday or Sunday, the rule Adu must also be applied, i.e. the New Year must be postponed by another day.


If the new light of Tishri in a common year does not come on a Tuesday before 9 a.m. and 204 Halakim Jewish time (see hourly division ), Rosh Hashanah must be postponed by two days. This rule applies approximately three out of 100 years.


If the new light of Tishri falls on a Monday not before 3 p.m. and 589 Halakim Jewish time in a year following a leap year, Rosh Hashanah is postponed to the following day. This very rare case occurs only about one in 200 years. The rule was last applied in the year 5766 ( Gregorian : 2005/2006), the next time only again in the year 6013 (Gregorian: 2252/2253). The Jach and Adu rules are for religious reasons, the other three are required to uphold the rules. Only about 39% of all years actually begin on the day of the new light, so exceptions at the beginning of the year are more common than the rule.

In practice, the postponement of Rosh Hashanah is achieved by adding a day to the month of Cheshwan or subtracting a day from the month of Kislev in the previous year. This gives you a total duration of 58, 59 or 60 days for Cheshwan and Kislev.

Taking into account the five exceptions, there are six different year lengths: A common year can have 353, 354 or 355 days, a leap year 383, 384 or 385 days. A distinction is therefore not only made between common and leap years, but also diminished (353/383 days), regular (354/384 days) and excessive (355/385 days) years.

Month names

The following overview provides the month names with their approximate position in the Gregorian calendar. The assignment to the classic signs of the zodiac ( zodiac ) is based on Jewish tradition and is ideal. It does not take into account the exception rules and therefore does not agree with astronomically exact calculations.

Number in the ... Jewish calendar month Length in days Beginning in the Gregorian calendar Zodiac signs
civil religious between and
01 07th Tishri 30th first third of September  the beginning of October Libra
02 08th Cheschwan , Marcheschwan  29 (30 in excessive years)  the beginning of October beginning of November Scorpio
03 09 Kislew 30 (29 in reduced years) beginning of November beginning of December  Sagittarius
04th 10 Tevet 29 end of November middle of December Capricorn
05 11 Schevat (or Schwat ) 30th last third of December mid-January Aquarius
06th 12 Adar 29 Early February at the beginning of March fishes
07th 01 Nisan 30th middle of March Mid-April Aries
08th 02 Ijjar 29 Mid-April middle of May bull
09 03 Siwan 30th middle of May first third of June Twins
10 04th Tammuz 29 first third of June beginning of July cancer
11 05 Aw 30th Mid-July mid August lion
12 06th Elul 29 mid August Mid September Virgin

The following table shows the Gregorian date of the beginning of the month for the years 5779 to 5783:

5779 5780 5781 5782 5783
month Beginning of the month Number of
Beginning of the month Number of
Beginning of the month Number of
Beginning of the month Number of
Beginning of the month Number of
Tishri September 10. 2018 30th 30. September. 2019 30th September 19th. 2020 30th 7th of September. 2021 30th September 26th. 2022 30th
Marcheschwan October 10th. 2018 30th 30th of October. 2019 30th October 19th. 2020 29 October 7th. 2021 29 October 26th. 2022 30th
Kislew November 9th. 2018 30th November 29th. 2019 30th November 17th. 2020 29 November 5th. 2021 30th 25. November. 2022 30th
Tevet 9th of December. 2018 29 December 29th. 2019 29 December 16. 2020 29 December 5th. 2021 29 25 December. 2022 29
Schevat January 7th. 2019 30th January 27th. 2020 30th January 14th. 2021 30th January 3rd. 2022 30th January 23. 2023 30th
Adar February 6th. 2019 30th February 26th. 2020 29 13th February. 2021 29 February 2nd. 2022 30th February 22. 2023 29
Adar II 8th of March. 2019 29 4th of March. 2022 29
Nisan April 6th. 2019 30th 26th of March. 2020 30th the 14th of March. 2021 30th 2nd of April. 2022 30th March 23. 2023 30th
Ijjar May 6th. 2019 29 April 25. 2020 29 April 13th. 2021 29 2.May. 2022 29 April 22. 2023 29
Siwan June 4th. 2019 30th May 24th. 2020 30th 12th of May. 2021 30th 31. May. 2022 30th May 21. 2023 30th
Tammuz July 4th. 2019 29 23rd June. 2020 29 June 11th. 2021 29 June 30th. 2022 29 20th June. 2023 29
Aw August 2nd. 2019 30th 22nd of July. 2020 30th 10th of July. 2021 30th 29th of July. 2022 30th July 19. 2023 30th
Elul September 1. 2019 29 August 21. 2020 29 August 9. 2021 29 August 28th. 2022 29 18th of August. 2023 29

The day

A day in the Jewish calendar begins with the previous evening. This is justified with statements from the creation account in the Torah : "And there was evening and morning - one day" ( 1st book of Moses ). From the creation story of the Jewish Bible it follows that every day also has a “pre-evening” ( Hebrew ערב Erev ) has. The Jewish day has no fixed length. It runs from the beginning of the evening until the next evening. In places of higher latitude in summer, e.g. B. where the sun does not sink below the horizon, a day is counted from the highest level of theday ofthe sun, local noon , to the next noon. In places of higher latitude in winter, e.g. B. where the sun does not rise above the horizon, one day is counted from the time of the lowest level of the sun on its celestial orbit, local midnight , to the next midnight. These local day lengths that vary over the course of the year must also B. betaken into accountfor the calculation of the Jewish prayer times . What makes it more difficult is that there are 12 halachic hoursfrom sunrise to sunset, as well as 12 halachic hours from sunset to sunrise, which, with the exception of the equinoxes and along the equator , showdifferent lengthsmeasuredin SI- derived time units also changes in principle every day. The length of these halachic hours and, accordingly, their parts vary with the season. Example: The morning prayer Shacharit must be prayed within 3 halachic hours after sunrise. Depending on your geographical position, you can take a lot of time to pray, or you have difficulties to fit it into your daily routine. There are hardly any problems in Israel because the country is very close to the equator.

Instead of using the international date line, there are various Jewish viewpoints about where the day changes. One point of view is the use of the 180 ° anti-meridian of Jerusalem . Jerusalem lies on the 35th east meridian ( geographical position : 35 ° 13 'east longitude) so the anti-meridian is the 144 ° west meridian (144 ° 47' west longitude, goes through Alaska ).

Simplified timing

In simplified terms, the Jewish day begins at 6:00 p.m. in the evening regardless of sunset . 6 o'clock Jewish time corresponds to midnight or midnight civil time. The day is divided into 24 hours ( Sha'a, pl. Sha'ot ). The lesson is divided into 1080 parts ( Chalakim ). One part ( Chelek , with the unit 1 P) therefore lasts 3 1/3 seconds and corresponds to the shortest Babylonian time unit digiti . The international time of 10:30 a.m. (morning) corresponds to 16 H 540 P according to the Jewish calendar. These dates can also be found in Israel's public life.

Names of the Jewish days of the week

The names of the Jewish days of the week are:

  • Yom Rishon (יום ראשון, literally "first day", Sunday)
  • Yom Sheni (יום שני, literally "second day", Monday)
  • Yom Schlischi (יום שלישי, literally "third day", Tuesday)
  • Yom Revi'i (יום רביעי, literally "fourth day", Wednesday)
  • Yom Khamishi (יום חמישי, literally "fifth day", Thursday)
  • Yom Shishi (יום שישי, literally "sixth day", Friday)
  • Shabbat (שבת, literally "rest", Saturday)

Creation day

In relation to the first day of the created world, Jewish researchers put October 6, 3761 BC. d. Z. fixed. Calculated backwards, according to the biblical tradition, must be immediately with Yom Rishon , October 6th (September 6th greg. ) 3761 BC. d. At 11  p.m., 11  minutes 20  seconds , the biblical word of God about creation ( Gen 1.3  EU ): "Let there be light , and there was light."


The Jewish calendar has been used in Israel since the founding of the state alongside the Gerogorian calendar and is the state calendar in Israel with the passing of the National State Law on July 18, 2018. Not only the religious Jewish holidays, but also the secular holidays in the State of Israel (e.g. Israeli Independence Day) are based on the Jewish calendar. Since the Gregorian calendar is decisive at the international level as well as in tourism, the Israelis use both calendars in parallel in everyday life.

The feast days, public holidays and memorial days with a fixed date in the Jewish calendar are:

The Passover festival is celebrated on the 15th of Nisan, regardless of the actual full moon since the 10th century at the latest . This day is one of the most important Jewish holidays. The day of the death of Jesus of Nazareth is also directly related to the Passover festival, although it is unclear whether it is Nisan 14 (the so-called preparation day) or Nisan 15 (the Passover festival himself) acted. The Christian Easter festival therefore usually also takes place in this month, if it does not fall in an Adar II because of the Jewish leap year.

Yom Kippur is on Tishri , one of the highest Jewish holidays .

In leap years, the Purim festival takes place in Adar II.

The dates of the Jewish feast days for the years 5779 to 5783

The dates of the day from the civil calendar given here always designate the day that begins at midnight (midnight) on the corresponding Jewish day. According to the Jewish calendar, however, the festival actually begins at sunset of the previous day; the evening of this previous day is the 'previous evening' of the festival.

Jewish year
Gregorian year
Rosh Hashanah
Jewish New Year
September 10-11, 2018 September 30, 2019 to
October 1, 2019
September 19-20, 2020 September 7th to 8th, 2021 September 26-27, 2022
Yom Kippur
Day of Atonement
19th September 2018 October 9, 2019 September 28, 2020 September 16, 2021 October 5, 2022
Feast of Tabernacles
September 24, 2018 to
October 1, 2018
October 14-21, 2019 October 3 to 10, 2020 September 21-28, 2021 October 10th to 17th, 2022
Simchat Torah joy of
October 2, 2018 October 22, 2019 October 11, 2020 September 29, 2021 October 18, 2022
Festival of Lights
3rd to 10th December 2018 December 23rd to 30th, 2019 December 11th to 18th, 2020 November 29, 2021 to
December 6, 2021
December 19-26, 2022
Do biShevat
day of the trees
January 21, 2019 February 10, 2020 January 28, 2021 January 17, 2022 February 6, 2023
Los Feast
March 21, 2019 March 10, 2020 February 26, 2021 March 17, 2022 March 7, 2023
April 20-27, 2019 April 9-16, 2020 March 28, 2021 to
April 4, 2021
April 16-23, 2022 April 6-13, 2023
Yom HaScho'a
Holocaust Remembrance Day
2nd May 2019 April 21, 2020 April 8, 2021 April 28, 2022 April 18, 2023
Yom HaZikaron
soldiers memorial day
May 9, 2019 April 28, 2020 April 15, 2021 May 5, 2022 April 25, 2023
Yom HaAtzma'ut
Independence Day
May 10, 2019 April 29, 2020 April 16, 2021 May 6, 2022 April 26, 2023
Lag baOmer
Omer 33
23 May 2019 May 12, 2020 April 30, 2021 May 19, 2022 May 9, 2023
Yom Yerushalayim
Jerusalem Day
2nd June 2019 May 22, 2020 May 10, 2021 May 29, 2022 May 19, 2023
Festival of Weeks
June 9-10, 2019 May 29th to 30th, 2020 May 17-18, 2021 June 5-6, 2022 May 26-27, 2023
Tischa beAv
Temple destruction
11th August 2019 July 30, 2020 July 18, 2021 August 7, 2022 July 27, 2023


Important key dates of the Jewish calendar can be calculated using auxiliary formulas. The date of the Passover festival (15th Nisan) can be calculated for any year using the Gaussian Passover formula . Furthermore, the date of the following Jewish New Year (1. Tishri) follows from this formula. The character of any Jewish year (diminished, regular or excessive common or leap year) and the days of the week of the New Year and Passover can be determined by the Slonimski formula . Thus, the entire Jewish calendar of a year is fixed and easily determinable through these two formulas.

See also


Web links

Commons : Jewish Calendar  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Joseph Jacobs, Cyrus Adler: Calendar, History of. In: Jewish Encyclopedia .
  2. ^ Martin Goodman : Judaism in the Roman World. Leiden 2007, p. 40.
  3. “Under the reign of Constantius (337-361) the persecutions of the Jews reached such a height that all religious exercises, including the computation of the calendar, were forbidden under pain of severe punishment. The Sanhedrin was apparently prevented from inserting the intercalary month in the spring; it accordingly placed it after the month of Ab (July-August). "- Joseph Jacobs, Cyrus Adler: Calendar, History of , in: Jewish Encyclopedia 1906 [1]
  4. Eli Barnavi (ed.): Universal history of the Jews. From the origins to the present , Verlag Christian Brandstätter, Vienna 1993, p. 72.
  5. a b The Brockhaus multimedia 2009
  6. Glossary .  Jewish graves in Hesse. In: Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen (LAGIS).
  7. Ludwig Basnizki: The Jewish calendar: origin and structure . Jüdischer Verlag, Frankfurt 1998, ISBN 978-3-633-54154-6 , pp. 29–31.
  8. Ludwig Basnizki: The Jewish calendar: origin and structure . Jüdischer Verlag, Frankfurt 1998, ISBN 978-3-633-54154-6 , p. 9.
  9. ( Gen 1.5  ELB ), ( Gen 1.8  ELB ), ( Gen 1.13  ELB ), ( Gen 1.19  ELB ), ( Gen 1.23  ELB ), ( Gen 1.31  ELB ) and ( Gen 2.2  ELB ).
  10. The evening begins e.g. B. According to Jewish tradition with the visibility of at least 3 medium-sized stars, or is calculated astronomically.
  11. ^ Cyrus Adler, Michael Friedländer:  Calendar. In: Isidore Singer (Ed.): Jewish Encyclopedia . Funk and Wagnalls, New York 1901-1906.
  12. Chajm Guski: Halachic time units. Jüdische Allgemeine , August 3, 2017, accessed April 22, 2018 .
  13. In the Halachic Times. Jü, accessed April 22, 2018 .
  14. Chaim Guski: Times - Halachic Times., May 29, 2017, accessed April 22, 2018 .
  15. See the essay by Willie Roth The International Date Line and Halacha ( Memento of the original from July 18, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  16. Appendix II: Baal HaMaor , Interpretation of 20b and its relevance to the date line, in Talmud Bavli , Schottenstein Edition, Tractate Rosh HaShanah , Mesorah Publications Ltd. (“ArtScroll”) 1999, where “20b” references page '20' Folio 'b' of the tract Rosh HaShanah.
  17. Ludwig Basnizki: The Jewish calendar: origin and structure . Jüdischer Verlag, Frankfurt 1998, ISBN 978-3-633-54154-6 , p. 25.
  18. The number 1080 of the 1080 chalakim of an hour can be broken down into a number of prime factors and is therefore mathematically very cleverly chosen. 1080 = 2 * 2 * 2 * 3 * 3 * 3 * 5. One chelek is further broken down into 76 regaim. 76 = 2 * 2 * 19. 1 Rega = 0.044 seconds .
  19. Ludwig Basnizki: The Jewish calendar: origin and structure . Jüdischer Verlag, Frankfurt 1998, ISBN 978-3-633-54154-6 , pp. 29-30.
  20. Knesset adopts national law In: , July 19, 2018, accessed on August 5, 2018.