1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Calendar/Hebrew Calendar

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Hebrew Calendar.[edit]

In the construction of the Jewish calendar numerous details require attention. The calendar is dated from the Creation, which is considered to have taken place 3760 years and 3 months before the commencement of the Christian era. The year is luni-solar, and, according as it is ordinary or embolismic, consists of twelve or thirteen lunar months, each of which has 29 or 30 days. Thus the duration of the ordinary year is 354 days, and that of the embolismic is 384 days. In either case, it is sometimes made a day more, and sometimes a day less, in order that certain festivals may fall on proper days of the week for their due observance. The distribution of the embolismic years, in each cycle of 19 years, is determined according to the following rule:—

The number of the Hebrew year (Y) which has its commencement in a Gregorian year (x) is obtained by the addition of 3761 years; that is, Y = x + 3761. Divide the Hebrew year by 19; then the quotient is the number of the last completed cycle, and the remainder is the year of the current cycle. If the remainder be 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17 or 19 (0), the year is embolismic; if any other number, it is ordinary. Or, otherwise, if we find the remainder

R = \left(\tfrac{7Y+1}{19}\right)_r

the year is embolismic when R < 7.

The calendar is constructed on the assumptions that the mean lunation is 29 days 12 hours 44 min. 3⅓ sec., and that the year commences on, or immediately after, the new moon following the autumnal equinox. The mean solar year is also assumed to be 365 days 5 hours 55 min. 25\tfrac{25}{57} sec., so that a cycle of nineteen of such years, containing 6939 days 16 hours 33 min. 3⅓ sec., is the exact measure of 235 of the assumed lunations. The year 5606 was the first of a cycle, and the mean new moon, appertaining to the 1st of Tisri for that year, was 1845, October 1, 15 hours 42 min. 43⅓ sec., as computed by Lindo, and adopting the civil mode of reckoning from the previous midnight. The times of all future new moons may consequently be deduced by successively adding 29 days 12 hours 44 min. 3⅓ sec. to this date.

To compute the times of the new moons which determine the commencement of successive years, it must be observed that in passing from an ordinary year the new moon of the following year is deduced by subtracting the interval that twelve lunations fall short of the corresponding Gregorian year of 365 or 366 days; and that, in passing from an embolismic year, it is to be found by adding the excess of thirteen lunations over the Gregorian year. Thus to deduce the new moon of Tisri, for the year immediately following any given year (Y), when Y is

ordinary, subtract \tbinom{10}{11} days 15 hours 11 min. 20 sec.,
embolismic, add \tbinom{18}{17} days 21 hours 32 min. 43⅓ sec.

the second-mentioned number of days being used, in each case, whenever the following or new Gregorian year is bissextile.

Hence, knowing which of the years are embolismic, from their ordinal position in the cycle, according to the rule before stated, the times of the commencement of successive years may be thus carried on indefinitely without any difficulty. But some slight adjustments will occasionally be needed for the reasons before assigned, viz. to avoid certain festivals falling on incompatible days of the week. Whenever the computed conjunction falls on a Sunday, Wednesday or Friday, the new year is in such case to be fixed on the day after. It will also be requisite to attend to the following conditions:—

If the computed new moon be after 18 hours, the following day is to be taken, and if that happen to be Sunday, Wednesday or Friday, it must be further postponed one day. If, for an ordinary year, the new moon falls on a Tuesday, as late as 9 hours 11 min. 20 sec., it is not to be observed thereon; and as it may not be held on a Wednesday, it is in such case to be postponed to Thursday. If, for a year immediately following an embolismic year, the computed new moon is on Monday, as late as 15 hours 30 min. 52 sec., the new year is to be fixed on Tuesday.

After the dates of commencement of the successive Hebrew years are finally adjusted, conformably with the foregoing directions, an estimation of the consecutive intervals, by taking the differences, will show the duration and character of the years that respectively intervene. According to the number of days thus found to be comprised in the different years, the days of the several months are distributed as in Table VI.

The signs + and - are respectively annexed to Hesvan and Kislev to indicate that the former of these months may sometimes require to have one day more, and the latter sometimes one day less, than the number of days shown in the table—the result, in every case, being at once determined by the total number of days that the year may happen to contain. An ordinary year may comprise 353, 354 or 355 days; and an embolismic year 383, 384 or 385 days. In these cases respectively the year is said to be imperfect, common or perfect. The intercalary month, Veadar, is introduced in embolismic years in order that Passover, the 15th day of Nisan, may be kept at its proper season, which is the full moon of the vernal equinox, or that which takes place after the sun has entered the sign Aries. It always precedes the following new year by 163 days, or 23 weeks and 2 days; and Pentecost always precedes the new year by 113 days, or 16 weeks and 1 day.


TABLE VI.—Hebrew Months.


Hebrew Month. Ordinary
Year.
Embolismic
Year.
Tisri 30 30
Hesvan 29+ 29+
Kislev 30- 30-
Tebet 29 29
Sebat 30 30
Adar 29 30
(Veadar) (...) (29)
Nisan 30 30
Yiar 29 29
Sivan 30 30
Tamuz 29 29
Ab 30 30
Elul 29 29
Total 354 384


The Gregorian epact being the age of the moon of Tebet at the beginning of the Gregorian year, it represents the day of Tebet which corresponds to January 1; and thus the approximate date of Tisri 1, the commencement of the Hebrew year, may be otherwise deduced by subtracting the epact from

Sept. 24 after an ordinary Hebrew year.
Oct. 24 after an embolismic Hebrew year.

The result so obtained would in general be more accurate than the Jewish calculation, from which it may differ a day, as fractions of a day do not enter alike in these computations. Such difference may also in part be accounted for by the fact that the assumed duration of the solar year is 6 min. 39\tfrac{25}{57} sec. in excess of the true astronomical value, which will cause the dates of commencement of future Jewish years, so calculated, to advance forward from the equinox a day in error in 216 years. The lunations are estimated with much greater precision.

The following table is extracted from Woolhouse's Measures, Weights and Moneys of all Nations:—


TABLE VII.—Hebrew Years.


296 Cycle.
Jewish
Year
Number
of
Days
Commencement
(1st of Tisri).
5606 354 Thur. 2 Oct. 1845
07 355 Mon. 21 Sept. 1846
08 383 Sat. 11 Sept. 1847
09 354 Thur. 28 Sept. 1848
10 355 Mon. 17 Sept. 1849
11 385 Sat. 7 Sept. 1850
12 353 Sat. 27 Sept. 1851
13 384 Tues. 14 Sept. 1852
14 355 Mon. 3 Oct. 1853
15 355 Sat. 23 Sept. 1854
16 383 Thur. 13 Sept. 1855
17 354 Tues. 30 Sept. 1856
18 355 Sat. 19 Sept. 1857
19 385 Thur. 9 Sept. 1858
20 354 Thur. 29 Sept. 1859
21 353 Mon. 17 Sept. 1860
22 385 Thur. 5 Sept. 1861
23 354 Thur. 25 Sept. 1862
24 383 Mon. 14 Sept. 1863
297 Cycle.
5625 355 Sat. 1 Oct. 1864
26 354 Thur. 21 Sept. 1865
27 385 Mon. 10 Sept. 1866
28 353 Mon. 30 Sept. 1867
29 354 Thur. 17 Sept. 1868
30 385 Mon. 6 Sept. 1869
31 355 Mon. 26 Sept. 1870
32 383 Sat. 16 Sept. 1871
33 354 Thur. 3 Oct. 1872
34 355 Mon. 22 Sept. 1873
35 383 Sat. 12 Sept. 1874
36 355 Thur. 30 Sept. 1875
37 354 Tues. 19 Sept. 1876
38 385 Sat. 8 Sept. 1877
39 355 Sat. 28 Sept. 1878
40 354 Thur. 18 Sept. 1879
41 383 Mon. 6 Sept. 1880
42 355 Sat. 24 Sept. 1881
43 383 Thur. 14 Sept. 1882
298 Cycle.
5644 354 Tues. 2 Oct. 1883
45 355 Sat. 20 Sept. 1884
46 385 Thur. 10 Sept. 1885
47 354 Thur. 30 Sept. 1886
48 353 Mon. 19 Sept. 1887
49 385 Thur. 6 Sept. 1888
50 354 Thur. 26 Sept. 1889
51 383 Mon. 15 Sept. 1890
52 355 Sat. 3 Oct. 1891
53 354 Thur. 22 Sept. 1892
54 385 Mon. 11 Sept. 1893
55 353 Mon. 1 Oct. 1894
56 355 Thur. 19 Sept. 1895
57 384 Tues. 8 Sept. 1896
58 355 Mon. 27 Sept. 1897
59 353 Sat. 17 Sept. 1898
60 384 Tues. 5 Sept. 1899
61 355 Mon. 24 Sept. 1900
62 383 Sat 14 Sept. 1901
299 Cycle.
5663 355 Thur. 2 Oct. 1902
64 354 Tues. 22 Sept. 1903
65 385 Sat. 10 Sept. 1904
66 355 Sat. 30 Sept. 1905
67 354 Thur. 20 Sept. 1906
68 383 Mon. 9 Sept. 1907
69 355 Sat. 26 Sept. 1908
70 383 Thur. 16 Sept. 1909
71 354 Tues. 4 Oct. 1910
72 355 Sat. 23 Sept. 1911
73 385 Thur. 12 Sept. 1912
74 354 Thur. 2 Oct. 1913
75 353 Mon. 21 Sept. 1914
76 385 Thur. 9 Sept. 1915
77 354 Thur. 28 Sept. 1916
78 355 Mon. 17 Sept. 1917
79 383 Sat. 7 Sept. 1918
80 354 Thur. 25 Sept. 1919
81 385 Mon. 13 Sept. 1920
300 Cycle.
Jewish
Year
Number
of
Days
Commencement
(1st of Tisri).
5682 355 Mon. 3 Oct. 1921
83 353 Sat. 23 Sept. 1922
84 384 Tues. 11 Sept. 1923
85 355 Mon. 29 Sept. 1924
86 355 Sat. 19 Sept. 1925
87 383 Thur. 9 Sept. 1926
88 354 Tues. 27 Sept. 1927
89 385 Sat. 15 Sept. 1928
90 353 Sat. 5 Oct. 1929
91 354 Tues. 23 Sept. 1930
92 385 Sat. 12 Sept. 1931
93 355 Sat. 1 Oct. 1932
94 354 Thur. 21 Sept. 1933
95 383 Mon. 10 Sept. 1934
96 355 Sat. 28 Sept. 1935
97 354 Thur. 17 Sept. 1936
98 385 Mon. 6 Sept. 1937
99 353 Mon. 26 Sept. 1938
5700 385 Thur. 14 Sept. 1939
301 Cycle.
5701 354 Thur. 3 Oct. 1940
02 355 Mon. 22 Sept. 1941
03 383 Sat. 12 Sept. 1942
04 354 Thur. 30 Sept. 1943
05 355 Mon. 18 Sept. 1944
06 383 Sat. 8 Sept. 1945
07 354 Thur. 26 Sept. 1946
08 385 Mon. 15 Sept. 1947
09 355 Mon. 4 Oct. 1948
10 353 Sat. 24 Sept. 1949
11 384 Tues. 12 Sept. 1950
12 355 Mon. 1 Oct. 1951
13 355 Sat. 20 Sept. 1952
14 383 Thur. 10 Sept. 1953
15 354 Tues. 28 Sept. 1954
16 355 Sat. 17 Sept. 1955
17 385 Thur. 6 Sept. 1956
18 354 Thur. 26 Sept. 1957
19 383 Mon. 15 Sept. 1958
302 Cycle.
5720 355 Sat. 3 Oct. 1959
21 354 Thur. 22 Sept. 1960
22 383 Mon. 11 Sept. 1961
23 355 Sat. 29 Sept. 1962
24 354 Thur. 19 Sept. 1963
25 385 Mon. 7 Sept. 1964
26 353 Mon. 27 Sept. 1965
27 385 Thur. 15 Sept. 1966
28 354 Thur. 5 Oct. 1967
29 355 Mon. 23 Sept. 1968
30 383 Sat. 13 Sept. 1969
31 354 Thur. 1 Oct. 1970
32 355 Mon. 20 Sept. 1971
33 383 Sat. 9 Sept. 1972
34 355 Thur. 27 Sept. 1973
35 354 Tues. 17 Sept. 1974
36 385 Sat. 6 Sept. 1975
37 353 Sat. 25 Sept. 1976
38 384 Tues. 13 Sept. 1977
303 Cycle.
5739 355 Mon. 2 Oct. 1978
40 355 Sat. 22 Sept. 1979
41 383 Thur. 11 Sept. 1980
42 354 Tues. 29 Sept. 1981
43 355 Sat. 18 Sept. 1982
44 385 Thur. 8 Sept. 1983
45 354 Thur. 27 Sept. 1984
46 383 Mon. 16 Sept. 1985
47 355 Sat. 4 Oct. 1986
48 354 Thur. 24 Sept. 1987
49 383 Mon. 12 Sept. 1988
50 355 Sat. 30 Sept. 1989
51 354 Thur. 20 Sept. 1990
52 385 Mon. 9 Sept. 1991
53 353 Mon. 28 Sept. 1992
54 355 Thur. 16 Sept. 1993
55 384 Tues. 6 Sept. 1994
56 355 Mon. 25 Sept. 1995
57 383 Sat. 14 Sept. 1996
304 Cycle.
Jewish
Year
Number
of
Days
Commencement
(1st of Tisri).
5758 354 Thur. 2 Oct. 1997
59 355 Mon. 21 Sept. 1998
60 385 Sat. 11 Sept. 1999
61 353 Sat. 30 Sept. 2000
62 354 Tues. 18 Sept. 2001
63 385 Sat. 7 Sept. 2002
64 355 Sat. 27 Sept. 2003
65 383 Thur. 16 Sept. 2004
66 354 Tues. 4 Oct. 2005
67 355 Sat. 23 Sept. 2006
68 383 Thur. 13 Sept. 2007
69 354 Tues. 30 Sept. 2008
70 355 Sat. 19 Sept. 2009
71 385 Thur. 8 Sept. 2010
72 354 Thur. 29 Sept. 2011
73 353 Mon. 17 Sept. 2012
74 385 Thur. 5 Sept. 2013
75 354 Thur. 25 Sept. 2014
76 385 Mon. 14 Sept. 2015
305 Cycle.
5777 353 Mon. 3 Oct. 2016
78 354 Thur. 21 Sept. 2017
79 385 Mon. 10 Sept. 2018
80 355 Mon. 30 Sept. 2019
81 353 Sat. 19 Sept. 2020
82 384 Tues. 7 Sept. 2021
83 355 Mon. 26 Sept. 2022
84 383 Sat. 16 Sept. 2023
85 355 Thur. 3 Oct. 2024
86 354 Tues. 23 Sept. 2025
87 385 Sat. 12 Sept. 2026
88 355 Sat. 2 Oct. 2027
89 354 Thur. 21 Sept. 2028
90 383 Mon. 10 Sept. 2029
91 355 Sat. 28 Sept. 2030
92 354 Thur. 18 Sept. 2031
93 383 Mon. 6 Sept. 2032
94 355 Sat. 24 Sept. 2033
95 385 Thur. 14 Sept. 2034
306 Cycle.
5796 354 Thur. 4 Oct. 2035
97 353 Mon. 22 Sept. 2036
98 385 Thur. 10 Sept. 2037
99 354 Thur. 30 Sept. 2038
5800 355 Mon. 19 Sept. 2039
01 383 Sat. 8 Sept. 2040
02 354 Thur. 26 Sept. 2041
03 385 Mon. 15 Sept. 2042
04 353 Mon. 5 Oct. 2043
05 355 Thur. 22 Sept. 2044
06 384 Tues. 12 Sept. 2045
07 355 Mon. 1 Oct. 2046
08 353 Sat. 21 Sept. 2047
09 384 Tues. 8 Sept. 2048
10 355 Mon. 27 Sept. 2049
11 355 Sat. 17 Sept. 2050
12 383 Thur. 7 Sept. 2051
13 354 Tues. 24 Sept. 2052
14 385 Sat. 13 Sept. 2053
307 Cycle.
5815 355 Sat. 3 Oct. 2054
16 354 Thur. 23 Sept. 2055
17 383 Mon. 11 Sept. 2056
18 355 Sat. 29 Sept. 2057
19 354 Thur. 19 Sept. 2058
20 383 Mon. 8 Sept. 2059
21 355 Sat. 25 Sept. 2060
22 385 Thur. 15 Sept. 2061
23 354 Thur. 5 Oct. 2062
24 353 Mon. 24 Sept. 2063
25 385 Thur. 11 Sept. 2064
26 354 Thur. 1 Oct. 2065
27 355 Mon. 20 Sept. 2066
28 383 Sat. 10 Sept. 2067
29 354 Thur. 27 Sept. 2068
30 355 Mon. 16 Sept. 2069
31 383 Sat. 6 Sept. 2070
32 355 Thur. 24 Sept. 2071
33 384 Tues. 13 Sept. 2072


TABLE X.—Principal Days of the Hebrew Calendar.


Tisri 1, New Year, Feast of Trumpets.
  "  3, [1] Fast of Guedaliah.
  "  10, Fast of Expiation.
  "  15, Feast of Tabernacles.
  "  21, Last Day of the Festival.
  "  22, Feast of the 8th Day.
  "  23, Rejoicing of the Law.
Kislev 25, Dedication of the Temple.
Tebet 10, Fast, Siege of Jerusalem.
Adar 13, [2] Fast of Esther, } In embolismic
  "  14, Purim, } years. Veadar.
Nisan 15, Passover.
Sivan 6, Pentecost.
Tamuz 17, [1] Fast, Taking of Jerusalem.
Ab 9, [1] Fast, Destruction of the Temple.

^  If Saturday, substitute Sunday immediately following.

^  If Saturday, substitute Thursday immediately preceding.