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Shevat       Adar (אֲדָר)       Nisan

Purim, the holiday of the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire,
being celebrated at a Tel Aviv carnival in 1934
by a Yemenite Jewish woman dressed as Queen Esther.
Month Number: 12
Number of Days: 29
Season: winter
Gregorian Equivalent: February–March

Adar (Hebrew: אֲדָר‎, Standard Adar Tiberian ʾĂḏār ; from Akkadian adaru) is the sixth month of the civil year and the twelfth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It is a winter month of 29 days. In leap years, it is preceded by a 30-day intercalary month named Adar Aleph (Aleph being the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet), Adar Rishon (First Adar) or Adar I and it is then itself called Adar Bet (Bet being the second letter of the Hebrew Alphabet), Adar Sheni (Second Adar) or Adar II. Occasionally instead of Adar I and Adar II, "Adar" and "Ve'Adar" are used (Ve means 'and' thus: And Adar). Adar I and II occur during February–March on the Gregorian calendar.

Based on a line in the Mishnah declaring that Purim must be celebrated in Adar II in a leap year (Megillah 1:4), Adar I is considered the "extra" month. As a result, someone born in Adar during a non leap year would celebrate his birthday in Adar II during a leap year. However, someone born during either Adar in a leap year will celebrate his birthday during Adar in a non-leap year, except that someone born on 30 Adar I will celebrate his birthday on 1 Nisan in a non-leap year because Adar in a non-leap year has only 29 days.[1]

Holidays in Adar

13 Adar (II in leap years) - Fast of Esther – on 11 Adar when the 13th falls on Shabbat - (Fast Day)
14 Adar (II in leap years) - Purim
14 Adar I (does not exist in non-leap years) - Purim Katan
15 Adar (II in leap years) - Shushan Purim - celebration of Purim in walled cities existing during the time of Joshua

17 Adar (II in leap years) - Yom Adar celebration feast

Adar in Jewish history

1 Adar - (1313 BCE) - Plague of Darkness

  • The ninth plague to be cast upon the Egyptians for their refusal to release the Israelites from slavery was a thick darkness across the entire land so "no man saw his fellow, and no man could move from his place" (Exodus 10:23). This started on the 1st of Adar, six weeks before the Exodus.

1 Adar - (1164) - Death of the Ibn Ezra

1 Adar - (circa 1663) - Death of the Shach

3 Adar - (515 BCE) - Second Temple completed

4 Adar - (1307) - Maharam's body ransomed

4 Adar - (1796) - Death of Rabbi Leib Sarah's

7 Adar - (1393 and 1273 BCE) - Moses' birth and passing

  • Moses was born in Egypt on the 7th of Adar of the Hebrew year 2368 (1393 BCE) and is said to have died on his 120th birthday, Adar 7, 2488 (1273 BCE)

7 Adar - (1828) - Death of Rebbe Isaac Taub of Kalov

9 Adar - The day, approximately 2,000 years ago, on which the initially peaceful and constructive conflict (machloket l’shem shamayim) between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, erupted into a violent and destructive conflict over a vote on 18 legal matters leading to the death of 3,000 students. The day was later declared a fast day, by the shulchan aruch, however, it was never observed as such. </small>

11 Adar - 18th century - Death of Reb Eliezer Lipman

13 Adar - (522 BCE) - war against enemies of the Jews in Persia

  • On the 13th of Adar of the Hebrew year 522 BCE, battles were fought throughout the Persian Empire between the Jews and those seeking to kill them in accordance with the decree issued by King Achashveirosh eleven months earlier. (Achashveirosh never rescinded that decree; but after the hanging of Haman on Nissan 16 of the previous year, and Queen Esther's pleading on behalf of her people, he agreed to issue a second decree authorizing the Jews to defend themselves against those seeking to kill them.) 75,000 enemies were killed on that day, and 500 in the capital, Shushan, including Haman's ten sons (Parshandata, Dalfon, Aspata, Porata, Adalia, Aridata, Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai and Vaizata), whose bodies were subsequently hanged. The Jews did not take any of the possessions of the slain as booty, though authorized to do so by the king's decree. (The Book of Esther, chapter 9).

13 Adar - (161 BCE) - Maccabee victory / Yom Nicanor

13 Adar (5746-1986) - Rabbi Moshe Feinstein passes away.
14 Adar - (1393 BCE) - Moses' brit milah

  • Moses was born on the 7th of Adar of the Hebrew year 2368 (1393 BCE); accordingly, Adar 14 was the 8th day of his life and the day on which he was circumcised in accordance with the divine command to Abraham.

14 Adar - (522 BCE) - Purim victory celebrated

  • The festival of Purim celebrates the salvation of the Jewish people from Haman's plot "to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day." See Timeline.

15 Adar - (522 BCE) - Purim Victory Celebrated in Shushan
15 Adar - (1st century CE) - Jerusalem Gate Day

  • King Agrippa I (circa 21 CE) began construction of a gate for the wall of Jerusalem; the day used to be celebrated as a holiday.

17 Adar - (522 BCE) - Yom Adar

  • The day the Jewish people left Persia following the Purim story

20 Adar - (1st century BCE) - Choni the Circle Maker prays for rain

  • "One year, most of Adar went by and it didn't rain. They sent for Choni the Circle Maker. He prayed and the rains didn't come. He drew a circle, stood in it and said: 'Master of The World! Your children have turned to me; I swear in Your great name that I won't move from here until You have pity on Your children.' The rains came down." (Talmud, Taanit 23a)

20 Adar - (1640) - Death of the "Bach"

21 Adar (Adar II in leap years)- (1786) - Death of Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk

23 Adar - (1312 BCE) - Mishkan assembled for the 1st time; "Seven Days of Training" begin.

  • During the week of Adar 23-29, the Mishkan was erected each morning and dismantled each evening; Moses served as the High Priest and initiated Aaron and his four sons into the priesthood. Then, on the "eighth day," the 1st of Nissan, the Mishkan was "permanently" assembled (that is, put up to stand until the God-given command would come to journey on), Aaron and his sons assumed the priesthood, and the divine presence came to dwell in the Mishkan.

23 Adar - (1866) - Death of 1st Rebbe of Ger

24 Adar - (1817) - Blood Libel declared false

25 Adar - (561 BCE) - Nebuchadnezzar died

25 Adar - (1761) - Death of Rabbi Abraham Gershon of Kitov

  • Rabbi Abraham Gershon of Kitov was the brother-in-law and leading foe-turned-disciple of the Baal Shem Tov. Rabbi Gershon was the recipient of a letter from the Baal Shem Tov describing his heavenly prophecy regarding the coming of the Messiah. Rabbi Gershon's gravestone, which lists 25 Adar as his day of passing, was discovered in the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem after the Six-day War.

27 Adar - (561 BCE) - Death of Zedekiah

  • Zedekiah was the last king of the royal house of David to reign in the Holy Land. He ascended the throne in 597 BCE, after King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia (to whom the Kingdom of Judah was then subject) exiled King Jeconiah (Zedekiah's nephew) to Babylonia . In 588 BCE Zedekiah rebelled against Babylonian rule, and Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem (in Tevet 10 of that year); in the summer of 586 BCE the walls of Jerusalem were penetrated, the city conquered, the (first) Holy Temple destroyed, and the people of Judah exiled to Babylonia. Zedekiah tried escaping through a tunnel leading out of the city, but was captured; his sons were killed in front of him, and then he was blinded. Zedekiah languished in the royal dungeon in Babylonia until Nebuchadnezzar's death in 561 BCE. Meroduch, Nebuchadnezzar's son and successor, freed him (and his nephew Jeconiah) on the 27th of Adar, but Zedikiah died that same day.

28 Adar - (from the 2nd century onwards) - Talmudic holiday

  • In 1524, the Jews of Cairo were delivered on the 28th of Adar from the plot of Ahmad Pasha who sought revenge against the Jewish minter Abraham de Castro who had informed Selim II of Ahmad's plan to cede from the Ottoman Empire. To this day, Adar 28th is considered the Purim of Cairo, with festivities including a special Megilah reading.

Other uses

  • Azar or Adhar (Arabic: آذار‎) is the name for the month of March in the Levant.
  • Adar or Ada is Sindarin for "father".