As Hebrews in exile, we are subject to at least two major calendars which entail methods of dividing and naming days, weeks, months, and years. Practically speaking, it is impossible to live and work in “the world” without making concessions to the standard Gregorian calendar. Although there are many culture-based calendars that are not the Gregorian, every culture on the planet recognizes and refers to the Gregorian calendar as a common standard. The Hebrew calendar, like almost all non-Gregorian calendars, is lunisolar, meaning essentially that the changing of the months is based on phases of the moon and changes from one year to the next are based on the relative position of the Sun in relation to the Earth. Biblical references to times and dates are generally in relation to the Hebrew calendar.
The calendar can easily become a subject of much discussion, disagreement, and controversy. Agreeing on exactly which day(s) to observe the various moedim (appointed times; i.e., times appointed by YHVH through the instructions of Torah) can be challenging, and brethren have been known to discontinue fellowship over these types of disagreements. Our hope, desire, and intent at BYNA is to extend love, grace, and understanding toward any who might disagree so that the spirits of worship, devotion, obedience, grace, peace, and righteousness might prevail. With that in mind, we offer the following “calendar,” not as an expression of legal exactitude, but as a guide for personal consideration, examination, and observance. We include the biblical Feasts as well as some Jewish traditional commemorations and some Israeli civil holidays, for your information and as a reference for further study and research. We present this in the context of the Gregorian year designated 2021, which includes the last several months of the Jewish year 5781 and the first few months of the Jewish year 5782.
In the Hebrew manner of reckoning, the day begins at sundown, so the translation to Gregorian requires a two-date span of reference. Here are several verses for keeping Shabbat – Exodus 31:13-17, 35:2-3, Lev. 23:3, 26:2, Deut. 15:12-15, 28:9, Is. 58:13-14, Jer. 17:21-27. Verses for Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) – chodesh means “beginning, head, or renewal” (Num 10: 10, Num 28:11-15, Ps 81:3)
Our understanding of when the three Pilgrim Feasts for 2021 should be observed is as follows…
Pesach (Passover) one night – (Lev 23:5, Deut. 16:1) is when the commemorative seder meal should be shared among immediate family. (the traditional Jewish Seder is somewhat more elaborate than what scripture calls for) So, for 2021 here are the major festivals.
- Passover begins at sundown March 27 (since 14 Nisan begins at sundown March 27) until sundown March 28.
- The Feast of Matzot (Unleavened Bread), A SOLEMN ASSEMBLY (Ex. 12:15-20) (a.k.a. holy convocation to commence Matzot; essentially an “extra” Shabbat) begins at sundown March 28 to sundown March 29.
- Matzot (Unleavened Bread) thus continues from sundown March 28 to sundown April 04
- Matzot (Unleavened Bread) ending with a SOLEMN ASSEMBLY (a.k.a. holy convocation: essentially an “extra” Shabbat) from sundown April 03 to sundown April 04.
Shavu’ot (Feast of Weeks) (Lev 23:5, Deut. 16:1) Sundown May 16 to sundown May 18
- 40 Days of of Personal Change (Repentance / Teshuvah – all of Elul plus first ten days of Tishrei) sundown August 07 to sundown September 16
- Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) (Lev 23:23-24) from sundown Sept 06 thru sundown Sept 07
- Days of Awe – sundown Sept 06 to sundown Sept 16
- Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) (10 Tishrei) – SOLEMN ASSEMBLY (Lev 23:27) Sundown Sept 15 2021 to sundown Sept 16 2021
Sukkot (Feast of Booths/Tabernacles) (Lev 23:41-43, Deut 16:13-17) Sundown Sep 20 to sundown Sept 26 (15 Tishrei thru 21 Tishrei) SOLEMN ASSEMBLIES sundown Sept 20 to sundown Sept 21 – at the beginning of Sukkot and sundown Sept 25 to sundown Sept 26 – at the end of Sukkot
- Shemini Atzeret (Eighth Day) – Sundown Sept 26 to sundown Sept 27
- Simchat Torah – Sundown Sept 27 to sundown Sept 28
Here are a few of the non-biblical holidays for Israel the country for 2021:
- Yom Hasho’ah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Sundown April 07 to sundown April 08 (24 Nisan)
- Yom HaZichron (Israel Memorial Day) Sundown April 13 to sundown April 14 (2 Iyyar)
- Yom HaAtzma’ut (Israel Independence Day) Sundown April 14 to sundown April 15
- Tisha B’Av (Ninth of Av) Sundown July 17 to sundown July 18
- Chanukah (Feast of Dedication / Festival of Lights) Sundown Nov 28 to sundown Dec 06
For the remainder of Minor Fasts, Minor Holidays, Modern Holidays, Special Shabbats and
New Moons for 2021 please visit the website HERE