How our family calculates the hebrew calendar

Recently my wife and I put together an informal explanation (meant for our family alone) explaining in depth how we’ve decided to determine the days, months, and years of the Hebrew Calendar. Over the course of our walk, like most, we’ve studied and adjusted, and then restudied and readjusted…but for the past decade or so, we’ve found shalom in this area and wanted to make sure our reasons were understood by our next generation of descendants. We also included screenshots, using a common astronomy app, of what we look for in the heavens and detail the reasons why. At the very end, we attached the actual dates for the 2024 calendar for quick reference. Without any intention of causing discord or divisiveness within the larger body, we also decided to share this document on for the first time. We hope you are blessed by it.

So here it is:

“And God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons (moed), and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.  And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.”  Genesis 1:14-18

This verse tells us the primary purpose of the sun, moon, and stars (in that order) is for timekeeping.  As the verse literally says, the signs in the heavens collaborate to determine His appointed times.

What do the sun, moon, and stars show us?

  • The sun, “the greater light” determines the DAYS, and perhaps hours (fragments of days) if you want to go back to sundials.  Sunset marks the beginning and end of each day.  Although seasonal equinoxes or solstices are also “sun signs”, and serve important agricultural purposes, those solar events are not used in determining days, months, or years.  In the world’s system of time measurement, the sun is used for hours, days, and years—in the Hebrew system we do NOT use the Sun to track years.
  • The moon, “the lesser light” determines the MONTH, which we can see by closely watching the beginning and ending of the moon cycle.  The English word “month” is based on the word “moon”.  The Hebrew word chodesh does not mean “moon”, but instead implies “to renew” or “repair”.  We can watch the moon go through a cyclical phase from darkness (no visible moon, otherwise called the “new moon”) then progressing through various degrees of higher visibility into a full moon (in the dead center of each month) and then gradually back into darkness.  This full cycle from darkness to darkness takes roughly 29.5 solar days.  
  • The stars display to us the cycle of a YEAR, through the fixed twelve constellations rotating overhead like a wheel.  Throughout the year, the sun gradually shifts to rise and set visually “within” each of the twelve constellations.   When we say “the sun is in Pisces” for example, this simply means that for roughly a month (a lunar month) the sun rises and sets at the same time Pisces rises and sets on the earth’s horizon.  Even as the sunlight masks the stars through the daytime, the sun seems to be within those same star patterns from our perspective on earth.  The moon, however, cycles through all 12 constellations in a single month.  For example, the dark moon in month one is in Pisces, but by the time it becomes full (only two weeks later) it’s in Virgo—literally on the opposite side of the wheel of stars.

Each of these lights and signs exist for every human to see by simply looking up to witness the patterns of the clock set forth by our Creator.  They move in a consistent, reliable, and predictable mathematical progression that should serve as the literal definition of clockwork.

More about the year:

The 12 constellations of stars (in Hebrew called “the Mazzaroth”, in Job 38:32) complete a full cycle in one biblical year.  Biblical New Year’s Day is known as Rosh Chodeshim, literally meaning “Head of Months”.   Month one is known as Aviv meaning “ripe” (referring to the barley harvest) but can also be translated as “spring” (as all plants and animals spring back to life after a cold winter).   Each Aviv 1, we see the same group of stars in the same place in the sky.  Usually, the wheel of stars completes the annual turn in 12 lunar month timeframe, but sometimes a 13th lunar month kicks in to calibrate.  This leap-month (needed in most calendar variants across most cultures) used to disturb us as a man-made outlier, since 12 is clearly a significant Hebrew number that signifies divine rule (12 Tribes and 12 Disciples, for example).  However, instead of counting months which vary by design, we count the 12 fixed sectors in the night sky, each one with its own unique designated star-pattern. The Mazzaroth does not determine our destiny. In no way do we worship it.  We simply are appreciating and trying to understand the biggest and most wonderful clock ever designed in the same way the Magi in the New Testament apparently did. 

Both scripture and Hebrew history recognize Aviv as the beginning of the Biblical calendar as we see in Exodus 12:2. We also know that March 20th-21st on our current (Gregorian) western calendar marks the Spring Equinox, albeit through the sun alone. This season marks the beginning of the annual barley harvest, so the agricultural season signs also give us a confirmation that spring has sprung…but we aren’t commanded to look to the plants to determine the start of the year.  For simplicity, we can use the fixed modern date of the Spring Equinox as a hint to when to begin looking at the night sky, especially if we’ve lost track throughout the rest of the year.  Pesach (the 14th day of the first month) certainly will occur on or after March 21st each year—so that really narrows the celestial search window. Likewise, by design, the barley will always be ripe enough to celebrate the “spring feasts” by the time the sun, moon, and stars are in the right place.

More about stars:

  • The constellation of The Virgin (Bethula) rises above the eastern horizon along with the full moon on the eve between Pesach and Matzah and sets in the west with the sun and lunar sliver at the end of Yom Teruah (a vision described allegorically in Revelation 12:1.)   The night skies in the first and the seventh months display chiastic symmetric beauty as all of the lights prescribed in Genesis are observed in harmony.
  • The star cycle we are describing here is not as fixed at it seems.  It too shifts a little each year…but so gradually that The Virgin has been centric to the timing of the feasts since 400 BC and won’t shift out until 2440 (when the constellation of the Lion shifts in).   The night sky that we see today remains almost the same as when the Magi saw it during Messiah’s earthly ministry.
  • Since the number 12 can be divided in half, it makes the skies of month 1 and month 7 (the start of the second half of the year) important, adding even more beauty and symmetry to the design of a full celestial year.   This “1 through 6, then re-setting on 7” timing is the only place in nature where you can observe that pattern visually.

More about the moon and the month:

Since we know that mid-March is when to begin to watch for the start of the biblical new year, we pay closer attention to the moon phases to determine when to start counting the days of the first month.  Most agree that a biblical month begins when the moon is “new”, but like the rest of this puzzle, the agreed to definition of “new” has also been lost to time.  Some religions consider the moon “new” when the first sliver is just visible, for others it’s the day before that, and even for others it’s the day before that.  Even for those who agree that the first sliver marks day one, there’s still disagreement as to whether cloud-cover (for example) would be a reason to postpone the start of a month.  Unfortunately, the Bible does not define these nuances clearly for us and there are different opinions in various modern factions of Judaism, and even with Islam (who venerate the moon as Catholics venerate the sun).  All of these definitions of “new” have reasonable cases which can be frustrating when hunting for the truth. 

For us and our house, we visually spot the final sliver of each moon cycle (the last visible moon of the prior month) as well as the first sliver of the proceeding one.  The last completely dark lunar day in between those last and first slivers is the day of the new moon, and thus day one of the lunar month.  This is not nearly as hard as it sounds, and the balance and symmetry of the moon cycle makes it too amazing to only use one of its phases as a sign.  Syncing the (dark) new moon as day one also syncs the full moon to day 15, which acts as a second witness of the High Sabbaths in the feasts at the start of both Matzah and Sukkot.

Last Sliver Notes: 

  • When observing the moon cycles, it is important to understand that the stars, sun and moon all rise (appear above the horizon) from the same direction – from the East (meaning that’s where you’d look to first see them).  Of course, this is mostly due to the rotation of the earth in that fixed direction, not because sun or stars are orbiting the earth.  The moonrise of the thin last sliver of a month can only be observed just before the sun rises, because as the sun dawns its light masks the ability to see the faint moon sliver in the sky thereafter.  The moon rises literally just minutes before the sun does, so you need to get up early, watch closely, and have a good view of the eastern horizon.
  • When determining the Biblical New Year we will see both the sun and the last sliver of the moon rising in the constellation of Pisces. This confirms the last sliver of the last year and tells us that the upcoming new moon (a couple of days later) begins the Biblical New Year.  This will be consistent and true whether it’s the 12th or 13th lunar month of the prior year (Adar I or Adar II in the Jewish Calendar).

No Moon/New Moon/Dark Moon Notes: 

  • On the day of the new moon, you will not see any moon at sunrise, through the day nor at sunset.  It is a cleaned-slate sky, a fresh new beginning.
  • The first sighted sliver of the moon will confirm that day one has ended, and day two is beginning.
  • The term “conjunction” comes from the moment where the sun and moon meet each other (thus conjoining) in the sky…for this one day each month the sun is no longer chasing the moon, and their daily race is tied (they appear to rise and set together which causes the moon to be invisible since the sun is shining on its back side).  The following day, however, the moon starts chasing the sun again, which is when and why we can see the sliver after the sun is set.
  • Eclipses of the sun ONLY happen on the day of the new moon (because the moon is perfectly in front of the sun and blocks its light from hitting earth.)
  • Prior to the Jewish diaspora, it was understood that the conjunction (dark new moon) was the start of each month.  Hillel’s Calender, still used by Judaism today, was a brilliant algorithmic system to pre-calculate the dates without having to watch the moon phases.  After 1500 years, however, the math needs to be updated, as the moon phase has shifted to sometimes be 24 hours off.  Our modern sky apps, etc… allow us the best of both worlds–perfect algorithms as well as way to see the night sky from anywhere on earth, and at any time of day.
  • Another name for this lunar method could be “The Sighted Conjunction” as we use the sighting of both the closing and opening slivers to spot the otherwise invisible conjunction.
  • In 1Samuel 20 we read about Saul holding a “new moon feast” which lasted three days.  Although that reference is both traditional and vague, it does align with the period of time when we watch the last sliver fade away, note the dark moon completely, and then sight the first sliver as a final witness.  It’s also a good excuse for a party.
  • Rosh Chodesh (“head of a month”) refers to the start of any month, but Rosh Chodeshim (“head of months”) only refers to the start of the FIRST month (the new year).  This is the phrase used in Exodus 12:2, “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.”

Full Moon Notes:

  • When observing the full moon in the night sky, it may appear to the naked eye to be full for up to three days.  However, seasoned observers CAN see the difference at the sunset entering the true full moon and the sunrise exiting the true full moon.  At the arrival of the true full moon, we see the sun on the horizon setting in the west simultaneously as the moon is rising on the horizon in the east.
  • This chiastic symmetry of the sunset and moon rise is called “between the evenings” (Leviticus 23:5) and is the moment between Aviv 14th & 15th when we are commanded to eat the Pesach meal.
  • The full moon in Aviv is called the “Paschal” (Latin for Passover) Moon even by the Church, and it’s used, along with the Spring Equinox to determine Easter every year.  Ironically, the Catholic Church is a second witness as to the use of the moon regarding keeping Hebrew feast days.
  • The following sunrise (on the first High Day of Matzah) will be your second witness as the full moon sets at the same exact moment the sun is rising.
  • Another simple way to find The Biblical New Year’s Day is to find the first full moon (through technological means) that will occur after March 21st (the equinox) and count backwards 15 days – That is the Biblical New Year Day on the Gregorian calendar for that year.
  • Eclipses of the moon only occur when the moon is truly full, because the earth is directly in between the sun and the moon and blocks the light from hitting the moon.  What we are seeing is the shadow of the round earth (emphasis mine) on the moon in real time.
  • Psalm 81 is notoriously hard to translate, but it begins with the idea of blowing the shofar on the new moon, “toward” the full moon (the new moon and the full moon are obviously NOT the same thing, as some bad interpretations imply.)   This Psalm is a celebration of Rosh Chodeshim, inviting us to celebrate on day one, and to begin preparations “toward” the Pesach meal that occurs during the rising of the full moon.  This translation matches the clear Pesach theme of the rest of the Psalm.  

First Sliver Notes:

  • To complete the bookends of chiastic symmetry, the first sliver is visible just minutes after the sun sets.  Just like the last sliver a few mornings previous, we have to wait for the sun to set just enough to allow the dim light of the sliver to be bright enough to see.
  • The evening sliver moon will first become visible higher and higher above the western horizon as it gets “older” each night of the month.   On day one, it might only be 10 or 15 degrees above the horizon, but by night two, it may be as much as 20 or 30 degrees above.   If it was cloudy on night one, for example, even an ancient observer could still have predicted where the moon would have been a night or two earlier.

More about the sun and the days:

  • So many aspects of the calendar show beautiful chiastic symmetry, and the nature of sunset is no different.  When we understand that the day begins and ends at sunset, it makes the morning dawn the chiastic center (the core point) of each day.  Starting and ending in darkness doesn’t diminish the nature and power of the light, it chiasticly focuses the entire day upon the promised re-arrival of the light!
  • When we start each day with night and sleep (a euphemism for death) it enhances the idea of “dying daily” as well as adding a daily resurrection upon waking.  This adds to the beauty of Messiah dying and being entombed at sundown and Mary arriving at Yeshua’s tomb just before sunrise.

Why don’t fellow Hebrews’ reckonings always match ours?

Obviously, there are many methods people have used to reckon the Biblical calendar, with most falling within a day or two window.  Occasionally, one factor or another will knock one method a whole month off, when the same methods would have otherwise aligned just one year prior!  We all try to understand and choose a method, but we ALL rely on the grace and mercy of the Father to bless our attempts to understand what was not preserved by our ancestors.  He knows we are handicapped in this way and sees that we are trying – so I implore you to be humble, gracious, and kind in your choices and differences! 

We are going to leave the most fringe methods and their variations out of this conversation such as the Zedok Calendar, Lunar-only Calendar, Enoch-Solar-only calendar and so on.  We have explored those options enough to find issues that are beyond reconciliation with the evidence we can confirm. Our choice to use the Sighted Conjunction method is because it has its own embedded checks and balances built in (what we see as second and third witnesses).  We have not seen good fruit in those other fringe methods, and they tend to isolate people out of the greater body of Messiah.  Even within the system we’ve chosen, small discrepancies are inevitable, reminding us as always that our heart attitude towards one other is more crucial than any system of time keeping.

These are the general reasons why we believe the Sighted Conjunction better fulfills the patterns of scripture differently than the other common and not so common methods:

  • It uses ALL THREE lights that Yah stated were to be used to determine the days, months, years, and seasons – the sun, moon and stars.  These other methods exclude the totality of the three signs and therefore become lopsided.
  • It can be used anywhere on the earth and understood by those who understand and observe Yah’s Creation.  We are all invited to witness the purpose, rotation, and function of each of the sun, moon, and stars.  This is so gracious and shows the heart of Yah that no man should perish. (2 Peter 3:1-18, 1 Tim 2:3-4, Matt 18:14, Mark 1:15, John 1, John 3:16, Ezekiel 18:32, 33:11, Romans 2:12).
  • It can now be confirmed technologically.
  • It does not use plants (barley) for calendar determination, except for as a second witness.  That subjective method can be controlled or misinterpreted by man and affected by region, weather or culture, planting variety, etc…  However, we have witnessed that the barley is always ripe using the Sighted Conjunction method.  We also understand that the sign of the barley is represented in the star “Spica” in the constellation of The Virgin.  This constellation is rising with the full moon during the first month of the barley harvest, so the focus on Aviv barley is even included in the stars themselves! 
  • It does not rely on math alone, but instead invites us to personally observe Yah’s creation.  We do not have to leave interpretation to the Rabbinic elite to understand.  The Rabbinic dates are the most common dates used by Judaism and Messianic Judaism for the Biblical Feasts.  That calendar came about after the destruction of the temple as an attempt to unify Jews in the diaspora.  It is based on mathematical predictions of the heavens that were developed a couple thousand years ago.  However, as time has worn on, modern scholars have identified flaws in the equations used that did not effectively account for the very slow shift in moon-phases over extended time.  These are the dates that appear on Jewish calendars and even noted in some secular western calendars.  Also, there are other further traditions in the Talmud that intentionally override the observed sun, moon, and stars.  There are also some interpretation differences – for example, Judaism sees the timing of First Fruits as always falling after the first High Day of Matzah (sabbath) instead of the beginning day after the weekly Sabbath.  
  • We aren’t forced to use technology (but it does help and it’s fun!)  The most common method (used by 119 Ministries, for example) to mark day one uses the sunset BEFORE the scientific conjunction happens in the sky—a moment which can only be verified via scientific resources (the internet).  That exact moment cannot be witnessed by lay people looking up at Yah’s clock.  This method determines the Gregorian day that “contains” the moment of the scientific new moon, calling it ”day one” without needing to sight either the ending or beginning slivers of the moon as witnesses.  This method will often fall one day earlier than our Sighted Conjunction method, which also causes the full moon to be off on day 15—making that second monthly witness not agree.
  • Pre-calculating ahead or using technology alone is no substitute for directly witnessing the clock with our own eyes in real time, but with the modern need to schedule events, it can be handy to know when the feasts will fall in the coming year (or even years in advance).  These dates can be pre-calculated, and the method we described here is exactly how that’s done.
  • We like to think of the waning and waxing slivers as parenthesis, encapsulating the dark new moon in between as demonstrated above and beautifully illustrated in the photo below. 

A Breakdown of the Whole Process with Visual Aids for 2024

Below are visual aids to help by using screen shots of our astronomy app (Sky Guide) for 2024, but any similar app will do.  Note the time stamp in the left corner.  We will give you a tour of observing sunrise and sunset as the last month of the year ends and begins with all the signs annotated to confirm.  The screenshots are taken from Jerusalem’s point of view, but that doesn’t change the day of each feast for us here in the States.

This is basically a 5-step process:

  1. We start by observing the sky just before sunrise towards the end of 12th biblical month (usually in early March, typically no earlier than the 6th or 7th).  We are looking for the last sliver of the moon on the horizon in the eastern sky just before the sun rises. This sliver will typically look like the beginning of a parenthesis.  (

2) Later that evening there will be no sign of a moon.  We know we are getting close to the day of the New Moon, but we are not quite there yet.  Only via an app, or a chart of sun/moon rise times could you tell if the sun or the moon is setting first—because you can’t see the moon at all, once the last sliver of last month has come and gone.

3) The next morning, keep watching just before the sunrise. If there is no visible sliver on the horizon, we are still in the old year/month.  (If you do happen to see one, then yesterday was not the last sliver, go back to step one.)  When it is approaching the true new moon, the sun and moon get closer and closer to each other on the horizon, which makes the moon impossible to see.  Of course, it is still present, just not visible.  The label in the app shows you the proximity of the moon to the sun, but it is too faint to view.   The picture below shows the moment of conjunction as the sun and moon are tied (side by side) as they are rising.  However, we still must wait for sunset for the new moon day to begin.

4) At the following sunset, we finally reached proper NEW MOON!  This is the first day of the New Month and the Biblical New Year. 

(Naturally, the moon during the following sunrise on the day of the New Moon cannot be seen on the horizon.  You will not see a moon again just before dawn until the end of this new month cycle, when the old month phases out and the new month phases in.)

5)  The following sunset (weather permitting), you should be able to spot the first sliver of the new month.  It will look like this:  ).  Sometimes it is very hard to see, but it is always fun to try!   If you followed all the previous steps but the moon could not be seen (cloud cover, obstructed view, a late dinner, it doesn’t change the fact that the moon was right where it was supposed to be.   As a fail-safe, you can use an app, or use some of other technological tools we’ll list toward the end of this document.

Now that we’ve covered methodology of the sighting of day one, let’s peek at the night sky later in the 1st month, at the Pascal Moon (the full moon of Pesach) at the start of day 15.  This is a two-part illustration to show you the eastern and western skies on opposite horizons at the same exact time.

Image 1:  The full moon rising in Virgo in the eastern sky at the end of the 14th day (Pesach) as it transitions into the 15th day (Matzah).

The next image will be at the same moment, but facing the opposite direction (west).

Image 2:  At the same time of the image above, the image below shows the western horizon where the sun is setting simultaneously as the moon is rising (ending the 14th day).

Bonus Image: Yom Teruah Constellation (the first day of Month 7).

Just a few other Biblical things that start in darkness (It’s a pattern):

  • The creation of the world began with darkness.
  • A buried seed begins in darkness.
  • A baby comes from a seed, planted in a dark womb.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:7 – “for we walk by faith, not by sight.”
  • Our family believes Yeshua was born on the new moon of Yom Teruah according to the pattern of description of the day of his birth matching that feast in theme, season, and poetry.  More on that linked here:
  • We are all in darkness and brought into the light when we are saved/redeemed/adopted into Yah’s ways.  It is the theme of the entire Gospel.
  • Exodus 20:21 – The people stood afar off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where Yah was.
  • Abrahamic covenant occurs in darkness– Gen 15:12
  • Darkness covered the land when Yeshua was crucified – (Harmony of the gospels) Luke 23:44-45, Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33 (This was not a typical scheduled lunar eclipse – it was Yah darkening the world as a miracle covenant message to His people.)
  • Inauguration of the temple in Solomon’s time  – YHWH dwells in the thick darkness. 1 Kings 8:12
  • The thick darkness that preceded the death of the firstborn on the first Pesach in Egypt.

Scriptural Exploration of the Sun, Moon, and Stars:

  • Acts 17:30-31 – “Although God overlooked the ignorance of earlier times, He now commands all people everywhere to repent.  For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”
  • Genesis 1:14-18 – Yah defines the primary purpose of the sun, moon and stars.
  • Exodus 10:21-23, Isaiah 38:7-8, Isaiah 45:7, Luke 23:44, Matt 27:45, Mark 15: 33-34, Psalm 105:28 – Yah can control the signs in the heavens for His purposes, so that we know it is HIM who is in control!
  • Joel 2:7 and 3:15 – It is prophesied what happens in the sky on the day of judgement.
  • Luke 21:25 – Yeshua’s return is described (Yom Teruah) and it shows the sun, moon and stars as a sign in the heavens.
  • Exodus 31:17 – Sabbath (counting 7 cycles of days from sunset to sunrise – daily.)
  • Jeremiah 31:35, Psalm 8:3-4, 1 Corinthians 15:31 – A shout out to the splendor of the Mazzaroth and its place in Hebrew culture. Yah gets all the credit.
  • Jeremiah 8:2 – Judah’s sin and punishment is witnessed by creation.
  • Ecclesiastes 12:2, Isaiah 45:12 – Remember the Creator and His plan!
  • Psalm 148:3 – Even the sun, moon and stars praise Yah!
  • Duet 4:19, Duet 17:3, Zephaniah 1 – We use his clock for its rightful purpose, but we do not worship it (as the Pagans do!)
  • Gen 37:9 – Joseph’s dream about his purpose and call – was interpreted through the sun, moon and stars.
  • Ezekiel 32:7 – when Yah destroys the earth.
  • Isaiah 13:10, Matt 24:29-30, Mark 13:24, Luke 21:25, Acts 20:20, Ezekiel 2:7-8 – The return of Yeshua was prophesied, and we will see it in the skies. (on Yom Teruah.)
  • Isaiah 34:4, Jeremiah 4:23, foretell destruction and what we will see in the skies.
  • 2 Peter 3:8 – But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
  • Revelation 6:12-13, The 6th seal.
  • In Revelation 8:12 – The 4th Angel sounded his trumpet, and we see the effect in the skies.
  • We also recommend doing a scripture search for “appointed time” or the Hebrew word Moed to see how understanding the calendar is for the purpose of the Biblical Feasts, and the Biblical Feasts tell the story of Yah’s Salvation (Yeshua).

Practical Modern-Day Calculating:

  • Before we share some external resources related to biblical timekeeping, we want to encourage you NOT to have these become your only or primary way to observe the feasts.  Doing so would disconnect you from the beauty and awe of Yah’s REAL clock. The original clock comes with other benefits, such as genuine beauty.  Please use it regularly (not just twice a year) so that you too may teach it to your children, and we will be found faithful (even if imperfect in this regard) until the day Yeshua returns!  
  • Internet tools may come and go, so you may need to find similar ones in the future, but here are some current day examples:
  •  Although one sect of Islam uses the dark moon to begin their months, most Muslims use the sliver moon to time their feasts. This shows website predicts when the sliver will appear in the night sky.  We can use it too – but instead of it showing us when the month starts like the Muslims do, we use it as a second witness to the end of the New Moon day.   It also provides some great real-time world maps that help illustrate how the moon presents itself visually across the world.
  • is a comprehensive site with powerful search tools to find moon phases and sunrise/sets from any point on earth at any time in history.
  • There is an app called Sky Guide which you can point to the sky and identify constellations.  You can also punch in dates in the future or the past to see the sky from any global location.  It’s a really handy app for studying Yah’s clock.  It can be used on an Apple device, and likely others as well. 
  • Ernest L. Martin has a book called The Star of Bethlehem: The Star That Astonished the World, that dates Yeshua’s birth to Yom Teruah, using the sun, moon, and stars and the meaning of the Mazzaroth.
  • “Wheel of Stars” by Andrew Gabriel Roth details several ancient calendars used for different purposes. It’s a real deep dive, but worth reading.
  • I encourage you to watch the video “The Star of Bethlehem” where a Christian discovers what the Magi saw in the night sky while watching for the signs of the coming of Messiah, using modern astronomy tools (  He insists on inserting December 25 into his framework, so that’s disappointing, and he also feels the need to insert a “Good Friday” in toward the end…but how he uses the software is pretty neat. 
  • Planets, comets, and stars are all considered “stars” in Hebrew.  (Even the word “planet” comes from “wandering star”).  The Great Christ Comet: Revealing the True Star of Bethlehem, by Colin Nicholl inserts a Comet into his theory of biblical timing and the miracle of the birth of Messiah.
  • There are several other books on the Mazzoroth and the meaning embedded in the constellations.  There is more to cover than the mechanical timing and movement of the stars.  Ancient cultures were trying to preserve an important narrative in the meaning of the stories of the images they saw in the night sky.  “The Gospel in the Stars”, by Joseph Siess.  “The Witness in the Stars”, by EW Bullinger, “God’s Voice in the Stars”, by Ken Fleming—just to name a few.

Psalm 8:3-4 “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”

Love, Mommy and Daddy  (Softa and Sabba)


Feast DaysBegins @ SunsetDaytime Moed Date
Roch Chodeshim  (Biblical New Year’s Day)  Sunday, 3/10/24  Monday, 3/11/24
PesachSunday, 3/24/24Monday, 3/25/24
Matzah High Day 1Monday, 3/25/24Tuesday, 3/26/24
First FruitsShabbat, 3/30/24Sunday, 3/31/24
Matzah High Day 7Sunday, 3/31/24Monday, 4/1/24
ShavuotShabbat, 5/18/24Sunday, 5/19/24
Yom TeruahWednesday, 9/4/24Thursday, 9/5/24
Yom Ha KipporimFriday, 9/13/24Shabbat, 9/14/24
Sukkot High Day 1Wednesday, 9/18/24Thursday, 9/19/24
Last Great DayWednesday, 9/25/24Thursday, 9/26/24

2 thoughts on “How our family calculates the hebrew calendar”

  1. Shalom,

    I was sent the link to this article and find it fascinating . My wife and I also believe the sun, moon, and stars show a pattern that the ancients knew. It is a tragedy that we do not have any scrolls that tell us exactly how they determined dates.
    I have a couple comments, unfortunately I don’t remember exactly where in the article I found my question, I’m sorry about that.
    1. I think a couple typos, the first is where you said “chiastic symmetric” but I think you meant chiastic symmetry as stated later in the article. Soon after that was another small typo but I couldn’t find it again. (Probably just my eyes messing with me)
    2. Psalms 81 reference: I think you are referring to verse 3? Is it a problem that the verse says to blow the shofar on the new moonth, the day of our feast. There are only 2 times I can recall when a feast is on the new moon… Chodishim, and Teruah. (This verse also translated as a covered moon, or just appointed time) (?)
    3. Using the method you are describing, requires a software program, which you referred to in order to count backwards 15 days to determine the new year. The equinox does not need a software program. (I haven’t tested this method myself because i dont use the equinox to determine the new year) I found this method from a friend. You can put a stick in the ground at sunrise, (play with the length so you aren’t putting sticks into the ground on your neighbors property), then mark where that shadow from the stick ends, with another stick. Throughout the day, repeat this process until your shadow (at sunset) is just too long, as it was so long at sunrise. Now, you will notice that your line is perfectly straight, not arched.
    4. I wouldn’t use the fact that a pagan religion uses a method to determine their holy day, which is not Yah’s holy day. (Not trying to be rude, but that seems like the same reasoning as…. See, witches believe Halloween is a good so we should also)
    5. If using the new sighted sliver is the confirmation that yesterday was the new moon, and you believe Messiah will come on the 1st day of month 7… doesn’t that mean you’ll have to say… Yep, yesterday the Messiah came and I was out buying oil and missed the wedding because it happened yesterday by confirmed by the new sliver today. (I’m trying to be a little funny, because I don’t know a better reference to make my point)

    Again, we do believe the mazzarot are the signs, I’m still trying to learn them and still seeking Yah’s truths. So many years of wrongful instructions in my head to break through. We were so indoctrinated in the church.

    Shalom and please, I did not.mean to be confrontational, just trying to learn and sometimes use the wrong words.

    1. Thanks for the pleasant and honest spirit of your comments. I’ll try to address your questions.

      In Psalm 81, the translation into English is notoriously vague and often incorrect. The theme of the Psalm is preparing your heart for Pesach, so that rules out Yom Teruah. It seems like the writer is saying blow the shofar “towards” the full moon–meaning “anticipating” Pesach. Anyway…take a closer look at that and compare to the Hebrew. So many bad English choices and so many variances in every translation.

      I think your sticky method of the Equinox is actually the method for finding the “Equilux” which is always near the Equinox, but rarely the same day. Using the exact Equinox and software is simply a “cheat” for those who aren’t paying attention to the sun, moon, and stars with the naked eye. If we use sticks and shadows for solar signs, that’s fine, but we need to include the stars to be true to their purpose. They seem to only really show us the start of the year…Its the interplay between the sun, moon, and stars that shows us that beginning. Take out any of the three and you don’t have the perfect clock.

      I certainly wouldn’t build my case on the cornerstone of pagans do (or don’t do) anything. The idea of using the stars at all is mostly meant with resistance by those who have a good dose of paganoia. Worshipping the stars or giving them power over our fates is pagan. The fact that they are designed for both time-keeping and navigation are not. The sliver has it’s place as the visual bookends to the closing of one month and the opening of another–even if Islam uses it as their prime symbol of their faith. What pagans do with Yah’s clock isn’t any of my business.

      As far as Messiah’s return on day 1 of month 7–when he does come it will be at one specific moment WORLDWIDE. So if he indeed comes at the very last second of Yom Teruah, just when the sliver is barely visible (which would be the most graceful time to come…since he wants every last person in the door before it shuts) it’ll still be some variation of a random hour everywhere else on earth. With Pesach, we each get a chance to celebrate between the evenings…no matter where we are on earth. We even get a back up Pesach (second Passover) because that redemption is so crucial (pun intended). But Yom Teruah is going to come like a thief in the night for 23 of earth’s time zones, and only one (Jerusalem, I presume) will actually see the signs in the sky as pictured in my fancy software.

      Respectfully and belatedly,


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