Wednesday, February 14, 2024

When 1 Adar Just Ain't Enough

Let Our Joy Increase 2X: Thank God it's Adar (and has been since last Shabbat)! When Adar arrives, our happiness goes way up. Which is good - because God knows we can use all the happiness we can get.

This year, especially. And, as it turns out - as it often does - this year we get twice the happiness we usually get.

Happy Adar

That's because this year (תשׁפ״ד = 5784) is a Leap Year. According, of course, to the Hebrew Calendar. 

You may wish to refresh your knowledge of the
Hebrew Calendar before proceeding. See

So. Your first question may (or, then again, may not) be:

Leap Year

How do we know it's a Leap Year?

Wikipedia explains how the Masters of the Hebrew Calendar have done it, like forever (but not really):

To determine whether year n of the calendar is a leap year, find the remainder on dividing [(7 × n) + 1] by 19. If the remainder is 6 or less it is a leap year; if it is 7 or more it is not.  
For example, the remainder on dividing [(7 × 5774) + 1] by 19 is 6, so the year 5774 is a leap year. The remainder on dividing [(7 × 5775) + 1] by 19 is 13, so the year 5775 is not a leap year.

And for this year:

The remainder on dividing [(7 × 5784) + 1] by 19 is 0, so the year 5784 is a leap year. The remainder in dividing [(7 × 5785) + 1] by 19 is 7, so the year 5785 is not a leap year.

So. Your next question may (or, then again, may not) be:

Plus One

What happens on a Leap Year?

We know, from our years of experience, that something ... something ... must be added. But what? Pope Gregory XIII - after a minor adjustment (Thursday October 4, 1582 was followed by Friday October 15, 1582) - said 

Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100, but these centurial years are leap years if they are exactly divisible by 400. 

For example, the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 are not leap years, but the year 2000 is.

 Feb 29

That's how we end up this year (2024) with a February 29th. Which was immediately OK for the Catholics, then (very gradually) for the Protestants - and eventually for most of the so-called "civil"-ized world. 

But we Jews are always up for a challenge. So (says Wikipedia):

Adar (Hebrew: אֲדָר‎) is the sixth month of the civil year and the twelfth month of the religious year on the Hebrew calendar. It is a month of 29 days.

The month's name, like all the others from the Hebrew calendar, was adopted during the Babylonian captivity. 

In leap years, it is preceded by a 30-day intercalary month ....

That's right! We've got Adar Alef Adar Rishon Adar I and we've got Adar Bet Adar Sheni Adar II. A whole extra month every leap year!

Lady or Tiger

And - once again, because we're Jews - the extra month is generally accepted as Alef Adar Rishon Adar I, not Adar Bet Adar Sheni Adar II. Which is to say: Adar I cuts in line. Wikipedia explains:

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 their birthday in Adar II during a leap year. 
However, someone born during either Adar in a leap year will celebrate their birthday during Adar in a non-leap year, except that someone born on 30 Adar I will celebrate their birthday on 1 Nisan in a non-leap year because Adar in a non-leap year has only 29 days.

It's Easy

So anyway. As we Jews tell each other every Adar:

Adar In Joy Up

Or, in other words:

When Adar Enters

Therefore, Abq Jew is happy to present Trina Emig (banjo), Trina Emig (bass), Trina Emig (mandolin), Trina Emig (guitar), and Trina Emig (fiddle), playing the old fiddle tune Soldier's Joy.

Want to find out how she did this? Click here.

It's True Ma

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