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When is the Jewish Month of Aviv?

When is the Jewish Month of Aviv?

E-mail

Hi,

I read in the verse that Passover is in the, “…month of Aviv.” But I cannot seem to find it in the Jewish calendar. When is the Jewish month of Aviv?

Answer:

The Hebrew word aviv (Heb. אביב) actually translates as the season of “spring.”1

We find mention of the “month of Aviv” several times in the Biblical writings.2 The example you brought from Exodus 13:4 reads:

Today you are going out, in the month of Aviv.

In his classic commentary Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, also known as Rashi, explains why it uses spring in this context:

Now do we not know in what month they went out? Rather, this is what Moses said to them, “See the loving-kindness that He bestowed upon you, that He took you out in a month in which it is suitable to go out, when there is neither heat nor cold nor rain.”

So aviv is not the name of a month, but rather one of the four seasons.

We still need to understand why the verses keep on referring to Passover as being in the “month of Aviv,” the month of spring.

The sages explain on the verse (Deuteronomy 16:1), “Guard the month of Aviv, and make [then] the Passover offering,” that the use of “spring” is telling us that we should ensure that Passover will always coincide with the right season, during the aviv, spring.

For a more detailed explanation, see How Does the Spring Equinox Relate to the Timing of Passover?

FOOTNOTES
1.

In another place Rashi explains why the Hebrew word aviv is used for spring (on Exodus 23:15):

  1. Aviv comes from the Hebrew word of eebeha (Heb. איבה), literally translated as “greenness,” explaining that it means the month in which the grain fills out in its “greenness.”
  2. Aviv comes from the Hebrew word av (Heb. אב), literally translated as “father,” explaining that it means the first (“father”) and earliest month to ripen fruits.
2.

See another example in Exodus 34:18.

Mrs. Rochel Chein is a member of the chabad.org Ask the Rabbi team.
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Discussion (5)
March 31, 2014
The Scriptures are clear that Aviv is the name of a month, which is why we are celebrating Passover on the 14th of April this year. Otherwise we would celebrate passover 14 days after Rosh Hashanah in September. I strongly disagree with what those rabbies think.
Anonymous
February 19, 2014
that is so cool! they didn't have real months back then so they just called winter spring summer and fall months.
Anonymous
nj
December 13, 2013
Exodus 12:2 Let this month[Aviv, Abib or Nisan Esther 3:7] be for you the beginning of months, the beginning-one let it be for you of the months of the year. It correlates with March and April of the Gregorian calendar. Hebrew calendar the 1st of the month of Abib[12th of March] is 177 days to 1st of Tishri the 7th month[5th of September]
and 187 days from 12th of March[1st of Abib] to the 5th of September[1st of Tishri] for the year 2013 Gregorian calendar or 5773 civil year Hebrew calendar. One note the dates will be different every year so the 1st of Abib will not fall on the 5th of March in the year 2014[5774 Hebrew calendar] but the 1st of April.
Enjoy with prayer.
Zavier
October 2, 2013
Month of Aviv
Dear Susan - see is this helps. Aviv is also known as Abib in 15 “Guard the Festival of Unleavened Bread. Seven days you eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Aḇiḇ – for in it you came out of Mitsrayim – and do not appear before Me empty-handed; Bible Version - The Scriptures 1998
Copyright by the Institute for Scripture Research (ISR)
Anonymous
SA
March 16, 2013
So again I ask what month is it? I am a lot more interested in what God wants than any man. What month was it? OK if it is march why isn't it on the 10 through the 14 like God said it was to be in Exodus?
susan
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