17
Apr

Passover & Jewish Leap Year

leapyear

This year Passover starts April 24th. It is one month later than Easter this year - why?

The Jewish Calendar is a true lunar calendar. The moon takes approximately 29 1/2 days to make a full rotation around the earth. Since 12 lunar months add up to about 354 days, the lunar year is about 11 days short of a full solar year (the time is takes the earth to make a full rotation around the sun).
If adjustments were not made, holidays such as Passover would come 11 days earlier each year (compared to a solar calendar). This would cause Passover (a spring festival) to end up being celebrated in winter - then fall - then summmer and eventually back in spring ) as the 11 day yearly shortage continued to make the holiday fall earlier each year.

A Jewish leap year occurs the third, sixth, eight, eleventh, fourteenth, seventeenth and nineteenth year of every nineteen year period. During a leap year, a 13th month is added. The month is Second Adar or Adar II. It occurs right after the normal month of Adar. During a leap year, Adar is called Adar I, follwed by Adar II.

Since Purim is celebrated in the month of Adar, this year we had Purim twice.

Unlike Easter, Passover is a festival ordained by God to be celebrated 7 days starting on a specific date - the 14th of Nissan.

Easter comes from pagan traditions of the celebration of the female Phoenician divinity Ashtoreth. The festival eventually became merged with the Christian Celebration of the resurrection of Christ. Constantine set the festival to always occur on a Sunday - to include several different groups of sun-worshippers along with the Christian sect he had legalized. Which Sunday became an issue till the early 1900's when it was set as the first Sunday after the second Saturday in April.

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5 comments

Comment from: Jennifer Kelly [Visitor]
Jennifer Kelly

I had read that Passover started April 12th off of a jewish website. It is supposed to be the 24th?

03/15/06 @ 02:15
Comment from: admin [Member]  
Barry

The original post was from 2005. The start date for Passover in 2006 is April 12th. You are corect.

03/15/06 @ 08:05
Comment from: Lisa [Visitor]
Lisa

A group of believers in my area are feeling led to start a home fellowship group. We are also very interested in studing our Jewish roots as followers of Christ. I love your blog and the pictures of your fellowship celebrating the Jewish festivals. In researching this tradition of celebration, I have come across various discussions as to whether it is biblical for believers to participate in these celebrations. As this is all new to us, could you please comment on those arguing against it? Here is one of the discussions I am referring to:
http://www.ichthys.com/mail-festivals.htm

Thanks for any input you can give! In Christ,
Lisa

06/15/06 @ 11:12
Comment from: admin [Member]  
Barry

Lisa,

I think a passage from Romans 14 kind of sums up my view on this:

5. One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God….13.Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.

Paul makes it pretty clear that we are not supposed to judge one another on what days we keep. I don’t believe our eternal destiny is dependent on if we celebrate or certain day or do not.

If God leads us to celebrate the festivals, then we should obey God. The problem comes when we start judging one another.

I am Jewish. When I met Jesus in 1970 I spent the next 10 years with people who celebrated the festivals and did not celebrate Christmas or Easter. Christmas was very foreign to me. For years I had negative attitudes towards those that celebrated it. Now God has softened my heart and told me not to judge those people. They are celebrating it as unto the Lord.

Likewise many people judge those of us who keep the festivals. We need to not listen to those judgements, but celebrate those days as unto the Lord.

This reminds me of a question I am often asked. I don’t eat Pork. People ask me, “do you think eating pork will keep you out of heaven” - to which I respond, “No, actually I think eating pork will get you to heaven a whole lot sooner :-)”

I’d have to say simlair on the subject of sabbath. Will not keeping a sabbath keep you out of heaven? No, but if you don’t have a day or rest you will probably get to heaven a whole lot quicker.

If we take a position that all believers are required to keep the festivals, and if they don’t they judgement of God will fall on them… then we are going beyond what God has said…

Years ago I was in a group that only used the name Yahweh and Yahshuah, we thought that to use God and Jesus as names and titles was wrong. We used to joke about churches that were filled with “Sunday keeping, pork eating, baal worshipers” :-) since then I have come to realize that my attitude was way out of line…..

hope that helps…

Barry

06/20/06 @ 08:24
Comment from: Alexander Mann [Visitor]
Alexander Mann

Good thoughts. I am part of a group that is Sabbath keeping, and learning to pay attention to the festivals. I will keep a look at this discussion over time. Thanks for the stimulation.

07/06/06 @ 11:56