specifies a leap year once every 4 years. The extra time allotted is 1 day. In
the Jewish calendar, leap year occurs every 2 to 3 years. An extra day is
added to Adar, giving that month 30 days. This keeps Passover in the spring,
Hanukkah at the end of autumn, and Rosh Hashanah in late summer or
early autumn. Doing this is crucial since elements in many of the Jewish
holidays are closely linked to specific seasons of the year. Sukkoth, for
example, is very much associated with the fall harvest. Passover celebrates
the start of spring as well as the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Seven times
during every 19-year period an extra 29-day month is inserted between Adar
and Nisan. The extra month is called Veadar or Adar Sheni. At the same
time, Adar is given 30 days instead of 29.
Nisan, anciently called Abib, is sometimes called the first month of the
Jewish ecclesiastical year.
Most calendars list the Jewish holy days and festivals according to the
first daytime period on which they occur. But in Judaism, days are freed
from sundown to sundown. Therefore, it is important to remember that holy
days and festivals, including Shabbat, begin at sundown the evening before
the day listed. SECNAV Notice 1730 series, which delineates holy days and
days of religious observance, takes this practice into account when listing
Jewish holy days and festivals. Thus, while the Jewish Sabbath is on
Saturday, it really begins Friday at sundown and ends on Saturday at
RELIGIOUS HOLY DAYS/FESTIVALS
Only one of all the Jewish holidays is observed every week throughout the
year. It is the Sabbath, the day of peace and rest.
In the Ten Commandments, the cornerstone of the Jewish faith, the
Sabbath alone of all the holidays is mentioned. The Third Commandment
says, in part: Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.
This Commandment gave something to the world that it apparently had
never had beforea weekly day of rest. Before that time people worked day
in, day out, all through the year with little thought of a day of rest.
Sunday became the day of rest for Christians; the Muslims chose Friday.
But most everyone agrees that originally the idea of a day of rest was Jewish,
and it has been accepted as a very important Jewish contribution to civiliza-
You will find, once again, a wide range of attitudes toward an observance
of the Shabbat. Lighting candles, holding a wine ceremony, attending
services, reading the Torah, studying the Talmud, eating special meals,
singing Shabbat songs represent only some of those activities in which many
Jews will engage in whole or in part on the Sabbath or Shabbat. Occasion-
ally, you may meet Jewish personnel who believe they must refrain from
working on Shabbat. It is not uncommon for Jewish personnel to wish to
refrain from as much regular activity as possible from sundown Friday
through sundown Saturday.
Special guidance regarding Sabbath observances conducted on days other
than Sunday is given in the MILPERSMAN, Article 5810100. Orthodox
Jews may not depart from the strict law forbidding work on the Jewish