Monday, April 11, 2016

How to determine your birthday according to the Written Torah?

Here is an interesting question... how does one determine own birthday according to the Torah calendar? Torah calendar is based on the Sun and Moon, so we need to be able to convert from one system (traditional Gregorian or Hebrews calendar) to the other (Torah Sun-Moon system).

Here is the easy way to do it. You can use this method to create a calendar as well. This step-by-step tutorial will explain how to find the right date according to the Torah. 

In Torah calendar, dates move around due to the difference between Sun/Moon cycle, so your birthday will fall on different day according to the traditional calendars.

  1. You will need Moon calendar for any year. This is pretty good. And you will need Moon data for one day. Here is one.
  2. Let's say my birthday is on 08/02/1982. So, I open Moon calendar on that specific year and month and find the Moon Phase closest to my birthday. In my case it is Full Moon that falls on 08/04/1982. This means that my birthday day of the month is 13th (Full Moon 08/04 - 2 days = 13th 08/02)
  3. Now, we need to determine the month. This is also pretty easy but you have to be careful. To do this, we need to take a look at spring equinox. You will need this equinox table. In 1982 it was on March 20th, just like this year.
  4. Now you need to determine the 1st day of the first month of your birthday year. It is very easy. Just look at the equinox and take the closest New Moon that is RIGHT AFTER equinox. In my case it is 03/25/1982. 
  5. Now we need to count from 1st day of the 1st month of your birthday year to the 1st of the Month of your birthday month. This will tell us your birthday month according to the Torah calendar. In my case it is 5th Month (1st - 03/25, 2nd - 04/23, 3rd - 05/23, 4th - 06/21, 5th- 07/20). 
  6. That is it! Now you know that my birthday is on the 13th of the 5th Month according to the Torah. In my birthday year, it was 08/02/1982, but this year (2016) it will be on 08/15/2016.
  7. There is no way currently to tell a year from creation. As far as I can tell, humanity is at least 170 million years old, so the current year since creation should be around this number. Perhaps in the future we will develop means of calculating the year precisely.
Please remember to watch out for time when the day starts. In Torah system day starts at the evening. This means that event that happens before sunset is considered today and if after, it is the next day. For example, New Moon of the 3rd month in my example started at 9:40 PM PDT. Sunset on this day was at 7:54pm PDT. This means that New Moon day is the 23rd and not 22nd, because 9:40pm is a part of the next day(23), not the previous day(22).

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