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On Tue, 25 Apr 2000 17:58:40 +0100 James Campbell <[log in to unmask]>
writes:
> It's the old Jewish calendar, I think, as would have been used in
> the first
> century. I seem to recall that it's not calculated quite the same
> way in the
> current Jewish calendar, something to do with which years got the
> extra
> month. I can't check right now as I've been moving house today and
> I'm not
> in the same place as my references. Perhaps someone could confirm
> this, but
> IIRC Veadar was added to 7 years every 19 (I think), depending on
> when a
> certain full moon was seen, but in more recent times that was
> regularized to
> something like years 3,5,8,etc in every cycle. Or I could be
> remembering
> very badly. I have a good forgettory.

> James
-

Quick lesson in Jewish Calendar 101:

Back in the day, the calendar was set by the testimony of witnesses who
would come to the Sanhedrin and testify that they saw the first
appearance of the moon after the New Moon period of invisibility.

Then problems arrived, such as Roman persecutions, inter-sect
hostilities, etc., and eventually Hillel IV (i think it was him...maybe i
got the number wrong) calculated a perpetual calendar which could be
followed everywhere without the problems involved in getting the
"official" witness-based proclamation.

Before that, leap years would be ad-hoc'ly declared.  The only reason why
the Jewish Calendar is solilunar, and not purely lunar like the Muslim
calendar, is that the Torah states that Passover has to be in the spring
- so whenever it seemed like the lunar year was getting too far away from
the solar year, the month Adar would be doubled in order to push the
following month, Nisan, when Passover is, away from the winter and back
into the springtime.

The calendar is built on a 19-year cycle.  7 of those years, #s 3, 6, 8,
11, 14, 17, and 19 (known by the acronym GV"Hh 2DZ"Tt, pronounced [guaH
adzat]) are leapyears, with the extra month Adar Rishon (Adar I).  Notice
that the "real" Adar is Adar Sheini (Adar II), as can be seen from the
fact that the holidays that fall out in Adar are celebrated in Adar 2 in
a leap year.

So, the only difference between the "back in the day" calendar and the
current calendar is that today all the intercalations are done set and
mathematically instead of by witnesses' testimony.

ObConCalendar:  the Rokbeigalmki calendar is also solilunar, but doesn't
need adjustments since the moon-cycle surrounding the New Year (the day
after the Southern Hemisphere Winter Solstice) is split into two
"months", one from the beginning until the solstice, the second from
Dzu''Fa''Ri (new year's day) until the end.

-Stephen (Steg)
 "sleep, like a fog, blew over him."  ~  _gilgamesh_