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 2023, which includes the last several months of the Jewish year 5783 and the first few months of the Jewish year 5784.
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 2023 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 2023 here are the major festivals.
- Passover begins at sundown April 04 (since 14 Nisan begins at sundown April 04) until sundown April 05. Traditional Seder night is Wed April 05th.
- 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 April 05 to sundown April 06.
- Matzot (Unleavened Bread) thus continues from sundown April 05 to sundown April 12
- Matzot (Unleavened Bread) ending with a SOLEMN ASSEMBLY (a.k.a. holy convocation: essentially an “extra” Shabbat) from sundown April 11 to sundown April 12.
- Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) (Lev 23:5, Deut. 16:1) Sundown May 25 to sundown May 26
- 40 Days of Personal Change (Repentance / Teshuvah – all of Elul plus first ten days of Tishrei) sundown August 17 to sundown of Yom Kippur September 25.
- Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) (Lev 23:23-24) from sundown Sept 15 thru sundown Sept 16
- Days of Awe – sundown Sept 15 to sundown September 25
- Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) (10 Tishrei) – SOLEMN ASSEMBLY (Lev 23:27) Sundown September 24 2023 to sundown September 25 2023
- Sukkot (Feast of Booths/Tabernacles) (Lev 23:41-43, Deut 16:13-17) Sundown Sept 29 to sundown Oct 06 (15 Tishrei thru 21 Tishrei) High Sabbath’s from sundown Sept 29 to sundown Sept 30 – at the beginning of Sukkot and sundown Oct 06 to sundown Oct 07 – aftert the end of Sukkot
- Shemini Atzeret (Eighth Day) – Sundown Oct 06 to sundown Oct 07
- Simchat Torah – Sundown Oct 07 to sundown Oct 08
Here are a few of the non-biblical holidays for Israel the nation for 2023:
- Yom Hasho’ah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Sundown April 17 to sundown April 18 (27 Nisan)
- Yom HaZichron (Israel Memorial Day) Sundown April 24 to sundown April 25 (3 Iyyar)
- Yom HaAtzma’ut (Israel Independence Day) Sundown April 25 to sundown April 26
- Tisha B’Av (Ninth of Av) Sundown July 26 to sundown July 27
- Chanukah (Feast of Dedication / Festival of Lights) Sundown Dec 07 to sundown Dec 15
For the remainder of Minor Fasts, Minor Holidays, Modern Holidays, Special Shabbatot and New Moons for 2023 please visit the website HERE