Hebrew Calendar

Hebrew Calendar: The Twelfth Month (“Adar”)

Shalom everyone! The Twelfth Month of the Hebrew calendar became known as “Adar” and the sixth month of the “civil year”, after the Babylonian Exile. The word “Adar” comes from the Akkadian word “adaru.” The month of Adar is mentioned in the Holy Scriptures in Esther 9:21.

In leap years, Adar is preceded by a 30-day extra month called “Adar Aleph” (“Adar I,” “Adar Rishon” or “First Adar”), and then it itself is called Adar Bet (“Adar II,” “Adar Sheni” or “Second Adar”); in leap years, Purim is always celebrated in Adar IIAdar has 29 days and typically occurs in Winter/Spring during the months of February to March on the Gregorian calendar.

The following are the holidays and special events that occur during the Twelfth Month, also known as Adar”:

  • 13 of Adar (II in leap years) – Fast of Esther – on 11 Adar when the 13th falls on Shabbat(Fast Day)
  • 14 of Adar (II in leap years) – Purim
  • 15 of Adar (II in leap years) – Shushan Purim – celebration of Purim in walled cities existing during the time of Joshua

The following are some of the significant events in Jewish history which occurred during the Twelfth Month, also known as Adar”:

Pre-Babylonian Exile

  • 1 of Twelfth Month (circa 1313 BCE) – Plague of Darkness, the ninth plague upon the Egyptians (Exodus 10:23). This started on the 1st of Adar, six weeks before the Exodus.
  • 2 of Twelfth Month (598 BCE) – Jerusalem falls to Nebuchadnezzar and Jeconiah is captured.
  • 7 of Twelfth Month (1393 BCE) – Birth of Moses
  • 7 of Twelfth Month (1273 BCE) – Death of Moses
  • 23 of Twelfth Month (circa 1312 BCE) – Mishkan assembled for the first time; “Seven Days of Training” begin.

Post-Babylonian Exile

  • 3 of Adar (515 BCE) – Second Temple completed
  • 9 of Adar (1st century BCE) – Academic dissension between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, erupted into a violent and destructive conflict over a vote on 18 legal matters leading to the death of 3,000 students.
  • 13 of Adar (522 BCE) – War between Jews and their enemies in Persia (Book of Esther, chapter 9).
  • 13 of Adar (161 BCE) – Yom Nicanor – The Maccabees defeated Syrian general Nicanor, in a battle fought four years after the Maccabees’ liberation of the Holy Land and the miracle of Hanukkah.
  • 14 of Adar (522 BCE) – Purim victory celebrated in the Persian Empire
  • 15 of Adar (522 BCE) – Purim Victory Celebrated in Shushan
  • 15 of Adar (1st century CE) – Jerusalem Gate Day – King Agrippa I (circa 21 CE) began construction of a gate for the wall of Jerusalem; the day used to be celebrated as a holiday.
  • 17 of Adar (522 BCE) – Yom Adar – the day the Jewish people left Persia following the Purim story
  • 25 of Adar (561 BCE) – Death of Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 52:31).
  • 27 of Adar (561 BCE) – Death of Zedekiah in Babylonian captivity. Meroduch, Nebuchadnezzar’s son and successor, freed him (and his nephew Jeconiah) on the 27th of Adar, but Zedekiah died that same day.



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