How Much Do You Know About the Jewish Calendar?

By: Becky
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
How Much Do You Know About the Jewish Calendar?
Image: fhm/ Moment/gettyimages

About This Quiz

Did you study world religions in school? Or have you just been interested enough to study up a bit on your own? You may know that each religion follows its own calendar, but do you really know how those calendars work? If you think you know enough about the Jewish calendar to be competitive, then take this quiz. You won't receive any prizes, but you will get bragging rights. You may also gain a better understanding of your Jewish friends. Let's get started to find out how much you really know.

So, you know the Jewish calendar is different from the "regular" calendar, or the civil calendar as it is known to the Jewish people, but do you know why it is different? The Jewish calendar not only reflects the history of the Jewish people, it reflects their culture and beliefs. The Jewish calendar promotes the Jewish concept of time, which is based on their understanding of the Torah, or the word of God as written in the first five books of the Bible. Even if you're not Jewish, it's worth learning a bit about this interesting accounting of time.

Do you think you know enough about the Jewish calendar to ace this quiz? Let's find out.

What is another name for the Jewish calendar?
Old calendar
New calendar
Hebrew calendar
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Jewish calendar is also called the Hebrew calendar. We thought we'd start out easy.

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What is the name of the third month of the Jewish calendar?
December
September
Sivan
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Sivan is the third month of the Jewish calendar. Shavout is observed in Sivan, which occurs in May/June.

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True or false? The Jewish calendar and the civil calendar are the same.
true
false
who knows
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Jewish calendar and the civil calendar are not the same. Although the Jewish calendar remains the same year after year, because the two calendars are not of equal length, dates change on the civil calendar.

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On the Jewish calendar, a month equates to what?
30 days
31 days
one moon cycle
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Jewish month is based on actual moon cycles. The civil calendar defines months by the number of days.

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What is the name of the 11th month of the Jewish calendar?
July
August
Shevat
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Shevat is the name of the 11th month of the Jewish calendar. Shevat corresponds to January/February on the civil calendar.

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A Jewish pregnant year equates to what on the civil calendar?
leap year
Christmas
Easter
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Although they are treated a bit differently, a Jewish pregnant year equates to a civil leap year. The Jewish calendar adds one month, and the civil calendar adds one day.

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The Jewish year is based on what?
365 days
18 months
solar cycle
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Jewish year is based on one solar cycle. A solar cycle is the amount of time it takes for the earth to revolve around the sun.

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What is the Jewish name for the first day of the month?
Day 1
The 1st
Rosh Chodesh
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Rosh Chodesh is the first day of the month. In ancient times, two people had to testify to witnessing the new moon so that a new month could be declared.

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What is the name of the seventh month of the Jewish calendar?
December
March
Tishri
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Tishri is the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. This month may also be spelled Tishrei. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur both occur during Tishri. Tishri equates to September/October on the civil calendar.

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True or false? A solar year is exactly 12 lunar months.
true
false
who knows
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This is actually false, and it's one of the problems with a lunar calendar. A 12-month lunar calendar is slightly shorter than a solar year.

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What governing body regulated the ancient Jewish calendar?
Supreme Court
Federal Court
Sanhedrin
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Sanhedrin was tasked with regulating the ancient Jewish calendar. The Sanhedrin was made up of either 23 or 71 rabbis, depending on whether or not it was a Lesser Sanhedrin or a Greater Sanhedrin, respectively.

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What is the name of the fifth month of the Jewish calendar?
February
Av
December
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Av is the fifth month of the Jewish calendar. It is a summer month and occurs in July/August on the civil calendar. Av is a dark month in Jewish history.

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What is the formal name of the Festival of Spring?
Christmas
Thanksgiving
Passover
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Passover was the formal name of the Festival of Spring. In more recent times, Passover is related to the Exodus.

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What signifies a "pregnant year" on the Jewish calendar?
720 days
a year in which someone important gives birth
13 months
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A "pregnant year," or Shanah Me'uberet, is a 13-month calendar. A 13th month is added to some years to ensure that important dates occur on the same day every year.

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What is the name of the ninth month of the Jewish calendar?
Kislev
March
April
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Kislev is the name of the ninth month of the Jewish calendar. This month corresponds to November/December on the civil calendar. The rain of the Great Flood stopped in this month.

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During the Jewish leap year, when is the extra month added?
in the middle of the year
before the beginning of the new year
after the third month
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

During the Jewish leap year, the extra month is added before the new year begins. On the civil calendar, one day is added at the end of the second month, February.

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The Jewish calendar totals the number of years since what event?
the flood
creation
the Exodus
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Jewish calendar totals the number of years since the creation. However, the Jewish people do acknowledge that the universe has been around much longer than the beginning of the Jewish calendar. They reconcile the difference by stating that the first "days" of creation were not 24-hour days as we know them.

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What is the name of the sixth month of the Jewish calendar?
December
Elul
November
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Equating to August/September on the civil calendar, Elul is the sixth month of the Jewish calendar. The word Elul derives from a word that means "harvest."

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According to the Jewish calendar, there have been roughly how many years since creation?
2,000
1,000,000
5,700
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Jewish calendar has recorded roughly 5,700 years since creation. However, the belief that some of the days of creation were much longer than 24 hours accounts for the discrepancy between the Jewish calendar and scientific fact.

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Instead of the abbreviations A.D. and B.C., the Jewish calendar uses what?
C.E.
A.B.C.
G.T.A.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Jewish calendar uses the abbreviation C.E., which means Common Era. The abbreviations A.D. which stands for anno domini, Latin for ā€œin the year of the lord,ā€ referring to the birth of Jesus Christ, and B.C., before Christ, are Christian. For the most part, scientists now also use C.E. instead of the Christian references.

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What is the name of the tenth month of the Jewish calendar?
June
Tevet
July
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Tevet, equal to December/January on the civil calendar, is the 10th month of the Jewish calendar. Hanukkah occurs during Tevet.

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True or false? There are no names for the days of the week on the Jewish calendar.
true
false
who knows
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This is true. The days of the week on the Jewish calendar have numbers, not names. So, Sunday is the first day, Monday is the second day, Tuesday is the third day, and so on. The exception is Saturday, which is Shabbat.

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What is defined as 29 days, 12 hours, and 793 parts?
one month
one day
one year
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Twenty-nine days, 12 hours, and 793 parts is equal to one month on the Jewish calendar. This is one lunar month.

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What is the name of the fourth month of the Jewish calendar?
Tammuz
January
August
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Tammuz is the fourth month of the Jewish calendar. This summer month occurs in June/July and is the month in which Joshua stopped the sun.

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What is the Jewish word for "new moon"?
molad
shiner
growth
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Molad is the Jewish word for "new moon." The word literally means "birth."

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A Hebrew "part," which is a unit of time, is equal to what?
3.33 seconds
one year
one month
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A Hebrew "part," which is a unit of time, is equal to 3.33 seconds. This is known, in Hebrew, as a cheilek.

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What is the name of the first month of the Jewish calendar?
January
June
Nissan
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Nissan is the first month of the Jewish calendar. On the civil calendar, Nissan is equal to March/April. Passover occurs during Nissan.

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When does the Jewish "day" start?
midnight
3 a.m.
sunset
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Jewish "day" begins at sunset. This interpretation of the beginning of a day is taken from the Bible.

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What is the name of the 12th month of the Jewish calendar?
Adar
June
July
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Adar is a winter month that corresponds to February/March on the civil calendar. Adar is the 12th month of the Jewish calendar.

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What is another name for Passover?
Pesach
Labor Day
Thanksgiving
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Pesach is another word for Passover. Passover occurs in the first month of the Jewish calendar; the month of Nissan.

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What is the name of the eighth month of the Jewish calendar?
January
February
Cheshvan
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Cheshvan is the eighth month of the Jewish calendar, which equates to October/November on the civil calendar. Cheshvan was the month in which the Great Flood began.

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What is the Jewish word for "day"?
evening
yom
morning
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Yom is the Jewish word for day. The word "yom" is used for holidays and to denote the days of the week along with a number.

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The names of the Jewish months are thought to be based on what ancient calendar?
Greek
Roman
Babylonian
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The names of the Jewish months are thought to be based on the Babylonian calendar. The Jewish people took the Babylonian names for the months with them when they were exiled from Babylonia.

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What is the name for the second month of the Jewish calendar?
Iyar
February
September
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Iyar is the second month of the Jewish calendar. This is a spring month and occurs during April/May.

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The Jewish calendar is based on what cycle?
Annual
Daily
Metonic
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Jewish calendar is based on the Metonic cycle. The Metonic cycle is roughly a period of 19 years.

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