Why is it a Leap Year?

Question

Is this coming year (2018-2019) a leap year with an extra month? And why is a leap year a month longer – seems like pretty drastic calendar swings! Thanks.

2 years

Answers

  1. Yes, this Jewish year of 5779 (2018-2019) is a leap year with an extra month. That month is called Adar Beit, meaning the second month of Adar.
    The Torah states that Passover is celebrated in “Chodesh HaAviv” – the  “Spring month”. Since the Jewish year is lunar-based, 12 months end up being about 11 days shorter than a solar year. Therefore, without occasionally adding an extra month, Passover would soon be in the winter, the fall and  in the summer, etc. To ensure that Passover falls in the Spring, it has always been part of Jewish Law and practice to adjust the number of months in the Jewish year.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team