Monday, November 26, 2007

If it's Kislev it Must be Tuesday

Everyone is saying that Hanukkah is early this year. But Hanukkah starts at sunset on the same day each year on the Jewish calendar, the 25th of Kislev, which, this year falls on the 4th of December on the Julian calendar.

Next year, Hanukkah will begin on a totally different day on the Julian calendar but will fall, as it always has, on the 25th of Kislev.


This is because the Jewish calendar is based on the Earth's rotation on its axis, how it revolves around the sun, and how the moon revolves around the Earth. It's a big, complicated formula that, if I really thought about it, would keep me up at night.

Jewish months begin when the tiniest sliver of the new moon is visible. Some years have 12 months, others 13. And a year with 13 months is called a "Shanah Me'uberet" (pronounced shah-NAH meh-oo-BEH-reht), literally: a pregnant year.

Oy, and no wonder. With such a complex calendar who could keep track of their period? I'm surprised every year isn't pregnant.


JahTeh said...

Totally off topic Shpilkes but we in the Great Southern Land of Australia have just had an election and booted out your Preznit's best friend forever and his party as well. The incoming Prime Minister (a God botherer but harmless) has announced his Cabinet and shock, it has women in it with the first woman deputy PM ever. The ministers include two out and proud lesbians.

Liz said...

Gotta love that Kevin Rudd! Thanks for the update!