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What are the names of the Jewish months?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus

  

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Although the Jewish New Year is on the first of the Jewish month Tishrei (around September), the Torah refers to the Jewish months as beginning from Nissan (around March), the month in which the Jewish people left Egypt. So here they are beginning from Nissan:

1. Nissan (March/April), contains the holiday Passover.

2. Iyar—pronounced ee-yahr—(April/May), contains the Second Passover and Lag b'Omer.*

3. Sivan (May/June), contains the holiday Shavuot.

4. Tammuz (June/July), contains the fast day 17th of Tammuz.*

5. Av (July/August), contains the fast day Tishah B’av.*

6. Elul (August/September), month of introspection leading up to the New Year.

7. Tishrei (September/October), contains Rosh Hashanah, the fast of Gedaliah*, Yom Kippur and Sukkot.

8. Mar Cheshvan (October/November)—commonly known as Cheshvan.

9. Kislev (November/December), contains Chanukah.*

10. Tevet (December/January), contains the fast day 10th of Tevet.*

11. Shevat (January/February), contains Tu Bishvat (New Year for trees).*

12. Adar (Febuary/March), contains the fast of Esther and the holiday of Purim.*


*This is not a biblical holiday and thus "work" is not prohibited.


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Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Passover
A Biblically mandated early-spring festival celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the year 1312 BCE.
Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year. An early autumn two day holiday marking the creation of Adam and Eve. On this day we hear the blasts of the ram's horn and accept G-d's sovereignty upon ourselves and the world. On Rosh Hashanah we pray that G-d should grant us all a sweet New Year.
Sukkot
A seven day autumn festival commemorating the miracle of the Heavenly Clouds which enveloped the Jews while traveling in the desert for forty years. On this holiday we dwell in makeshift booths and shake the Four Species.
Shevat
The eleventh month on the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to January-February.
Tishrei
The seventh month of the Jewish calendar. This month, which arrives in early autumn, has more holidays than any other month: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah.
Yom Kippur
Day of Atonement. This late-autumn high-holiday is the holiest day of the year. We devote this day to repentance and all healthy adults are required to fast.
Purim
A one-day holiday celebrated in late winter commemorating the miraculous deliverance of the Jewish people from a decree of annihilation issued by Persian King Ahasuerus in the year 356 BCE.
Chanukah
An eight day mid-winter holiday marking: 1) The miraculous defeat of the mighty Syrian-Greek armies by the undermanned Maccabis in the year 140 BCE. 2) Upon their victory, the oil in the Menorah, sufficient fuel for one night only, burned for eight days and nights.
Adar
The twelfth month on the Jewish calendar. This month (which falls out approx. February-March), is the most joyous month on the calendar due to the holiday of Purim which is on the 14th and 15th of this month.
Nissan
The first month of the Jewish calendar. This month, which falls out in early spring, is known for the holiday of Passover which starts on the 15th of Nissan.
Tevet
The tenth month on the Jewish calendar. Falls out in mid-winter.
Shavuot
Early summer festival marking the day when the Jews received the Torah at Mount Sinai in the year 2448 (1312 BCE).
Iyar
The second month on the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to April-May. The 18th of this month is the holiday of Lag b'Omer.
Sivan
The third month on the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to May-June. This month features the holiday of Shavuot.
Kislev
The ninth month on the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to November-December. The holiday of Chanukah starts on the 25th of this month.
Elul
The 6th month on the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to August-September. This is the month which precedes Tishrei, the month of the High Holidays, and is a month of introspection and repentance.
Cheshvan
The eighth month of the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to October-November.
Av
The fifth month of the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to July-August. The saddest month of the year due to the destruction of the Temples, and the many other tragedies which befell the Jews in this month.
Tammuz
The fourth month on the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to June-July.