As I was reading Al Hanisim this year, something odd struck me "לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר" - the 12th month. What struck me was that this year is a leap year so we actually celebrated Purim in the 13th month Adar Sheini (bet). What is the significance of mentioning לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר, it seems to imply Purim should be in the 12th month - which halachically is not so....?

Also, based on Why is Purim on Adar II during a leap year?, thanks @Yishai, I would like to add to my question -Why does the megillah emphasize "bi-Shloshah Asar le-Chodesh Shneim Asar" - that Purim was in the 12th month?

  • Highly related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/35519/…
    – Yishai
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 22:13
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    Why would you assume Purim happened in a non-leap year? The Yerushalmi says otherwise.
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 22:16
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    For what it's worth, neither Rambam's Seder ha-Tefilah (Mechon Mamre edition) nor Siddur Rav Saadiah Gaon have "bi-Shloshah Asar le-Chodesh Shneim Asar, Hu Chodesh Adar" in Al ha-Nisim, but Seder Rav Amram Gaon does have it.
    – Tamir Evan
    Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 9:11
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    (1) That question asks why we celebrate Purim in the 2nd Adar not the first because of the verses that make a point of mentioning it being in the twelfth month. You're basically asking the same question the other way round. (2) What if I have an answer to your first question, and find the answer(s) posted to the question there equally satisfactory (or unsatisfactory), and have no answer of my own to it? (3) At the very least, your second question has no direct link to the 'wording of Al ha-Nisim' question, and should be asked separately.
    – Tamir Evan
    Commented Mar 23, 2014 at 10:16
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    @DoubleAA is referring to the Y'rushalmi on M'gilla 1:5: ר' לוי בשם רבי חמא בר חנינה אותה השנה היתה מעוברת מה טעמה (אסתר ג) מיום ליום ומחדש לחדש שנים עשר הוא חדש אדר. The Korban haEida and the P'nei Moshe comment (ad loc.) that the miracle happened in Adar II. The Korban HaEida explains the Y'rushalmi's reading of the verse: "To that which is annually the twelfth month, but which is now the thirteenth month". The P'nei Moshe indicates that this is hinted by the verse's phrasing "from month to month", which suggests that the usual 12th month was switched that year to be the 13th.
    – Fred
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 7:11

2 Answers 2


In Megilas Taanis towards the end of the 12th chapter, (or page פז in the Oz VeHadar edition) the Eshel Avraham says that the Rosh in Nedarim (פ"ח סי' ב) says that both Adars are considered as a single month - גופיה דשני אדרים כחד חשיב להו.

In that case, Purim falls in the very long 12th month, even in a leap year.

The context is a discussion of which is the real Adar, with regards to not fasting.

Other opinions include the idea that the first Adar is considered like Shvat (with regards to fasting).


The point of saying לחודש שנים עשר is that in those days the months were still called by their number. The names of the month, which originated in Bavel, did not yet completely substitute the original format of numbers. Additionally, Haman made his Pur with twelve cards for the twelve months and he picked out the twelfth. This is why it is significant to say, the twelfth.

  • Megilas Esther is one of the books brought in the yerushalmi as being after name change took hold.
    – user6591
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 19:20
  • @HaLeiVi, Seriously? The Megilla says 8 times Chodesh Adar, once Chodesh Nisan, once Chodesh Sivan and once Chodesh Teveth and you claim those days the months were still called by their number?? Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 11:06
  • @DannySchoemann First of all, I gave two answers. Second, I said 'did not yet completely substitute the original format of numbers'. The names did come from Bavel but you don't adopt something the first day you're introduced to it. They were Babylonian names of the months. Although we adopted it, this is something that happens gradually. Yechezkel Hanavi, in Bavel, only used numbers. The Megilla already calls them by these names but it is not completely replaced.
    – HaLeiVi
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 16:11
  • @DannySchoemann And if you'd notice, every time the Megilla mentions the Babylonian name it first calls it by its number. לחדש השלישי הוא חדש סיון, which proves my point. The same is done in Zecharia, which is from the same period.
    – HaLeiVi
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 18:05
  • dditionally, Haman made his Pur with twelve cards for the twelve months and he picked out the twelfth. This is why it is significant to say, the twelfth. Source?
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 17:18

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