Blog > Demystifying the Hebrew Calendar: A Guide for Non-Hebrew Speakers

Demystifying the Hebrew Calendar: A Guide for Non-Hebrew Speakers

Demystifying the Hebrew Calendar: A Guide for Non-Hebrew Speakers


The Hebrew calendar is a unique and ancient system of timekeeping that has been used for thousands of years by Jewish communities around the world. While it may seem complex at first glance, understanding its basic principles can offer a fascinating glimpse into Jewish culture and history. In this blog post, we will break down the fundamentals of the Hebrew calendar and explain how dates can be converted to the more widely used Gregorian calendar.

The Hebrew Calendar: An Overview

1. Lunar and Solar Components
The Hebrew calendar is lunisolar, meaning it combines elements of both lunar and solar calendars. It is primarily based on the cycles of the moon, with each month beginning at the new moon. However, to align the calendar with the solar year, leap months are added periodically.

2. Months and Days
The Hebrew calendar has 12 or 13 months, alternating in a 19-year cycle. Each month can have 29 or 30 days. The names of the months are of Babylonian origin and are used to this day.

3. Names of the Months
- Tishrei
- Cheshvan
- Kislev
- Tevet
- Shevat
- Adar (or Adar I in leap years)
- Adar II (only in leap years)
- Nisan
- Iyar
- Sivan
- Tammuz
- Av
- Elul

Conversion to the Gregorian Calendar

1. Starting Point
The Hebrew calendar begins with the date traditionally considered to be the creation of the world, which is equivalent to Saturday, October 7, 3761 BCE in the Gregorian calendar.

2. Months and Leap Years
To convert a Hebrew date to the Gregorian calendar, the first step is to determine the current month in the Hebrew calendar. Since Hebrew months don't align perfectly with the Gregorian months, a simple conversion isn't always possible.

3. Leap Years
Leap years in the Hebrew calendar have an extra month called Adar II, which is inserted before the regular month of Nisan. This is done to ensure that the calendar remains synchronized with the solar year.

4. Calculating the Gregorian Equivalent
To convert a Hebrew date to the Gregorian calendar, one needs a conversion tool or access to a table that provides the equivalent dates. We recently added a date conversion tool to our BibleCodesApp which assists with the conversion of Gregorian to Hebrew dates and vice versa, as well as the numeric value of the date specified date in Hebrew letters that can be used to search the Torah and Bible Code.


The Hebrew calendar is a rich and intricate system that plays a central role in Jewish life. Understanding its fundamentals can deepen our appreciation for Jewish culture and history. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, non-Hebrew speakers can gain a better grasp of how to convert dates between the Hebrew and Gregorian calendars. Whether for cultural curiosity or practical reasons, this knowledge can be a valuable addition to one's understanding of the world.


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