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Temple Israel of Scranton

Temple Israel of Scranton

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Pesach provides a day-of-the-week prediction for most Jewish holidays

Posted on April 1, 2021

Atba”sh. Did you know that Pesach provides a day-of-the-week prediction for most Jewish holidays? The trick is to use the Hebrew alphabet backward, correlated to the days of Pesach. 

Day 1 of Pesach. תשעה באב = ת Sunday 2021 Tish’ah B’Av is always exactly 16 weeks after the first day of Pesach and thus on the same day of the week.  Also, 17 Tammuz is 3 weeks before 9 Av and the same day of the week.  The first day of Pesach is a Sunday in 2021; so are 9 b’Av and 17 b’Tammuz.

Day 2 of Pesach. שבועות = ש   Monday 2021 Shavuot, by definition, is 7 weeks after the second day of Pesach. The second day of Pesach is on Monday in 2021; so is the first day of Shavuot. 

Day 3 of Pesach. ראש השנה = ר   Tuesday, 2021 Rosh HaShanah.  (Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret are also on the same day of the week.)  This coming year Rosh HaShanah falls Tuesday and Wednesday.

Day 4 of Pesach.  קריאת התורה = ק  Wednesday, 2021 Simhat Torah; Wednesday this year. 

Day 5 of Pesach. צום כפור = צ   Thursday, 2021 Yom Kippur 

Day 6 of Pesach. פורים = פ   Friday, 2021 Purim. Purim fell on Friday this past year. Purim is the only holiday on this list that comes before the Pesach that is used for the figuring.

Day 7 of Pesach. עצמאות = ע   Shabbat, 2021 Yom HaAtzmaut, Israeli Independence Day. The 5th of Iyar does indeed fall on Shabbat this year just like the 7th day of Pesach, but the observance of Yom HaAtzmaut is moved back to Wednesday night and Thursday so that will not be on Shabbat.