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Why do the Jewish holidays fall on different secular dates every year?


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Rabbi Gurkow: Welcome to the Rabbi's one on one chat room, how can I help you today?

tracy: Hi there, I was wondering if you can tell me why the Jewish holidays shift from year to year in relation to the secular calendar? Is it because the Jewish calendar is based on the moon's cycle?

Rabbi Gurkow: Yes, and the lunar year is 11 days shorter then the solar year.

tracy: But if the year is 11 days shorter than the solar year, shouldn't the holidays fall out earlier and earlier each year on the secular calendar?

Rabbi Gurkow: We readjust every three years or so by adding a thirteenth month to the Hebrew calendar.

tracy: Aha! So that explains it. Thanks very much - I never understood this before, and none of my Jewish friends knew the answer. :)

Rabbi Gurkow: You’re welcome. Anytime.

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.


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Holidays » General Information » Holiday Information