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The Tabernacle Times
October 2015                             Tishrei - Cheshvan 5776                         Volume 10 Issue 10

Why Babylonian Names
for Jewish Months?

Rabbi & Brenda
by Rabbi Jeremy
& Brenda Storch








Have you ever looked at our Hebrew calendar and wondered about the names of the months? You may have noticed that some of them (like Tammuz) don't look very, well, Hebrew, and there is a good reason for this. Our calendar is actually a souvenir of our exile in Babylon.

In the pre-Babylonian era, we find in the Scriptures only four months on the calendar that are identified by name:

High Holy Days


The first month (Nissan): Aviv
The second month (Iyar): Ziv
The seventh month (Tishrei): Eitanim
The eighth month (Cheshvan): Bul

The other months were just known by their place in the calendar—e.g., third month, fourth month—starting from the first month: first by virtue of the fact that it is the month when our nation left Egypt, the month when we became a nation.

The original system was to count months in numeric order, starting from Nissan. Thus, any time a person mentioned a month, he was in effect recalling the exodus from Egypt: we are in, say, the sixth month—six months since the month of the Exodus. Thus, the numeric naming served as a constant reminder of our deliverance from Egypt.

(Apparently, even the four months that had names were more often than not referred to by their numeric place on the calendar, with the names serving as secondary titles accompanying their numbers.)
               (Continued on Page 2)

Inside This Month's Issue:

Why Babylonian names for Jewish Months Torah Overview Ministries of The Tabernacle
Or Ha Olam
Kosher Korner Coming Events Beit Midrash
Torah Portions Be One in a Million Business Directory
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