Monday, February 15, 2010

The month of Adar: Understanding our calendar(part 1)

1st day of the month of Adar, and the second day of Rosh Chodesh Adar, 5770.

As we previously explained, whenever the preceding month (in this case, Shebat) has 30 days (the months in the Hebrew calendar could have 29 or 30 days) then Rosh Chodesh is celebrated for two days: the 30th day of the preceding month and the 1st day of the new month.
Adar is a special month. First, misheNikhnas Adar Marbim beSimcha. “Once the month of Adar begins, our happiness increases”!!! The joy and celebration of Purim, spreads over the entire month, as it is written in Megillat Esther: haChodesh asher Nehpakh Lahem… “the month (=Adar) that turned for the Jews from sorrow to joy".
Second: The month of Adar is the twelfth and therefore the last month of the Jewish months. In the Hebrew calendar, although the New Year (Rosh haShana) begins in the month of Tishri, the beginning of the months –the first month- is the month of Nissan.
There is a third special thing about the month of Adar. During some years (leap years) we add an extra month to our calendar, a 13th month, a second Adar. Tomorrow B'H we will explain why we need to add a thirteenth month.

Chodesh Tov!

And now a question for you: What happens if for example, a boy is born during a year that has only one Adar, and his Bar Mitzva falls on a year that has two Adars. Does he celebrate his Bar Mirtzva, during the first or during the second Adar? Send your answer today: