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When people observed the new moon, they would notify the Sanhedrin.

When the Sanhedrin heard testimony from two independent, reliable eyewitnesses that the new moon occurred on a certain date, they would declare the rosh chodesh (first of the month) and send out messengers to tell people when the month began.

This calendar, still in use, standardized the length of months and the addition of months over the course of a 19 year cycle, so that the lunar calendar realigns with the solar years.

Adar I is added in the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th years of the cycle.

" The other man smiled slyly and replied, "Same as always: the 25th of Kislev." This humorous comment makes an important point: the date of Jewish holidays does not change from year to year.

Holidays are celebrated on the same day of the Jewish calendar every year, but the Jewish year is not the same length as a solar year on the civil calendar used by most of the western world, so the date shifts on the civil calendar.

To compensate for this drift, the Jewish calendar uses a 12-month lunar calendar with an extra month occasionally added.Online dating has revolutionized the world of conventional dating culture.A few years ago, I was in a synagogue, and I overheard one man ask another, "When is Chanukkah this year?The extra month is inserted before the regular month of Adar (known in such years as Adar II, Adar Sheini or Adar Beit).Note that Adar II is the "real" Adar, the one in which Purim is celebrated, the one in which yahrzeits for Adar are observed, the one in which a 13-year-old born in Adar becomes a Bar Mitzvah. In the fourth century, Hillel II established a fixed calendar based on mathematical and astronomical calculations.

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