Our Hebrew months got their current names in Babylonia over 2500 years ago and are associated with the signs of the Zodaic. Yes, those odd dates listed on your horoscope should be switched out for the Hebrew months, and the signs have resonances in some of the Jewish holidays, for example, Libra/scales and weighing our deeds in the month of Tishrei, which brings Rosh Hashanah. The Hebrew months of the year are usually counted beginning in the spring with Nisan, the first month and spring new year, the new year for cyclical time. Rosh Hashanah is celebrated at the new month of the seventh month of the year, Tishrei, and begins the new year for linear time.

Hebrew Months, Israeli Stamps

The Hebrew Months, the time they fall in the solar year, and some of the rituals associated with them:

Nisan ניסן (March-April): Spring in Israel, Passover at full moon

Iyar אייר (April-May): Full spring, Israel Independence Day and other observances of the Omer period

Sivan סיון (May-June): Summer’s first fruits and Shavuot, the holiday of the giving of the Torah

Tamuz תמוז (June-July): Full summer, begins a mourning period for the ancient Temple

Av אב (July-August): Heat of summer, fast of the destruction of the ancient Temple

Elul  אלול (August-September): End of Summer, spiritual preparation for the fall New Year

Tishrei תשרי (September-October): Early fall, a month full of holidays (Rosh Hashanah at the new moon, 10 days later Yom Kippur. Beginning at the full moon: Sukkot-Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah)

Heshvan (Cheshvan) חשון (October-November): The rainy season begins in Israel, and a month without holidays

Kislev כסלו (November-December): Winter, Hanukkah

Tevet טבת (December-January): Winter

Shevat שבט (January-February): Hints of spring in Israel, New Year of Trees at the full moon.

Adar אדר (February-March): End of winter in Israel, Purim at the full moon. Every few years a second Adar is added as a Leap Month to reconcile the lunar and solar calendars. The year is then called shanah me-uberet (literally, “a pregnant year”).

More Hebrew Calendar resources:

Convert dates from Gregorian to Hebrew and vice-versa, look up the Hebrew date, and get your own customized Hebrew calendar at Hebcal.

This site has a unique diagram of the Hebrew calendar, with links to Kabbalistic and Hassidic teachings about each month.

Jewish Book of Days Book Cover

Rabbi Jill Hammer offers ancient and modern spiritual teachings geared to every day and season of the year.

My Jewish Year, book cover

Abigail Pogrebin writes about her one year immersion in ALL the Jewish holidays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Image: Hebrew Months Zodiac Mosaic at Beit-Alpha, Israel

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