Torah Tidbits

3 September 2014 / 8 Elul 5774
Issue 1029
Shabbat Parshat Bo
January 17, 2013

Word of the Month

Word of the Month

Take the Minhag Yerushalayim practice of saying Kiddush L’vana from 3 full days after the molad.
Many people mix that up with the days of the month and think that the first op is the 3rd or the 4th of the month. Not so. We count from the molad. This month, the molad was on Rosh Chodesh early morning. Three full days brought us to Tuesday morning, with the first op being Tuesday night, the eve of the 5th of Sh’vat. It might seem “late”, but it isn’t. The molad was “late” because of three 29-day months in a row.
The Jewish Calendar is a special gift that G-d gave us, His People, on the occasion of the birth of the Nation.
In appreciation, we should take an interest in how the Calendar works. After all, it is OURS.
Here then are some basics of our fixed calendar (Plan B), in use until the restoration of a Sanhedrin and Plan A of Kiddush HaChodesh.
There are 14 year-types - 7 types of plain (12-month) years and 7 types of intercalated (13-month) years. Years are coded PEI for P’SHUTA or MEM for M’UBERET.
A second letter code indicates what day of the week the year started. Because of LO ADU ROSH, the code for day of the week will be a BET, GIMEL, HEI, or ZAYIN (for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Shabbat respectively).
A third letter code tells us if the year is of regular length - months alternating 30 and 29 days for a total of 354 days in the year or 384 with the addition of a 30-day ADAR. Such years are coded KAF for K’SEDER, meaning in order. Or if the year has an extra day, that day being the 30th of Marcheshvan. Such a year is called SHALEIM and is coded SHIN. Or if the year has one day removed, that day being 30 Kislev. Years with only 29 days in Kislev are called CHASEIR, deficient, and are coded CHET.
This year, 5773, is a PEI BET CHET year, meaning 12-months (PEI), started on a Monday (BET), missing 30 Kislev (CHET).
Next year, 5774, will be a MEM HEI SHIN year.

In This Issue of Torah Tidbits

Candle Lighting and Havdala

Candle Lighting Sponsored By: