Building off the question of why Adar is chosen as the month to be doubled, why in a leap year do we have an Adar I and Adar II?

Why wasn't the additional month given a brand new name?

  • 3
    Why would we name it something else when it is the month of Adar? It's not a new different month. It's the same month again.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 18:37
  • 1
    First of all, I hope that you realize that the "extra" month is actually Adar I and not Adar II. I think that's important to realize b/c of one of the reasons that Sanhedrin declared a leap year. Sometimes it was done at the last "minute" such as when the barley crop wouldn't be ready in time for 16 Nisan. In that sense, everyone expected just 1 Adar that year. Adding the extra month before the "expected Adar" is a means of indicating where the insertion occurred, Perhaps, giving it a new name would confuse people into thinking this is a normal part of the Judaic calendar (cont.)
    – DanF
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 19:49
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    .. And that month occurred every year, rather than every 2 or 3 years, or, in times of Sanhedrin, whenever. By comparison, imagine how confused you'd be if the Gregorian calendar had an extra month, say, "Fakeuary", but, guess what - Fakeuary occurs only on years divisible by 7, or when Congress wanted an extra month of vacation.
    – DanF
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 19:52
  • Maybe cause the Zoroastrians had Aduru 1 and Aduru 2.
    – user6591
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 21:02
  • See judaism.stackexchange.com/a/64808/5275. It doesn't answer your question directly, but I think it's highly relevant to your understanding what's happening, here.
    – DanF
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 22:33

2 Answers 2


You've already discovered why Adar was chosen as the intercalated month, so I don't need to delve into that area.

See this answer for several reasons as to why we stick with the Babylonian names for the months in the Judaic calendar.


The Babylonian calendar wasn't adopted exactly as it was, but the names of the months were. This was recognized by the Sages in the Gemara, Yerushalmi Rosh Hashana 1:2.

Why the Jews adopted these Babylonian names is a good question. In fact, it seems like the Jews did have their own ancient names for the months, such as 'Ziv' and 'Bul', which are mentioned in Kings I 6:37-38, but weren't used by the time of destruction.

1.Ramban (Shemos 12:2) says that we adopted the Babylonian/Persian names as commemoration of the fact that God took us out of those countries (and brought about a smaller redemption from those exiles with the building of the Second Temple). This is parallel to the command regarding the new month and setting up of the calendar that came about with the redemption from the Egyption exile (see there, in Shemos/Exodus ch. 12). This reason (in slightly different forms) is also given by Rabbeinu Bachya and the Abarbanel in their commentaries there, as well as by R. Yosef Albo in Sefer HaIkarim 3:16.

In short, the Babylonians had twelve names.

Keep in mind that the idea of adding the extra month is older than the Babylonian era, anyway, and all the months were numbered.

In a sense, the numbering system is "easier" to understand than the way we have it now when we have the same month name used twice.

You should also view this answer as it suggests a different analysis, namely that during a leap year Adar is one "long" month lasting 60 days.

I would also suggest that since Adar II is the "real" Adar and the extra month is Adar I, perhaps if we gave it a new name we should call Adar I "pre-Adar" or "predar".

  • Are you suggesting that it used to be called "Month 12" and "Month 13" and we just used "Adar I/II" because we ran out of imported names?
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 0:28
  • How does it answer the question WHY? OK, Babylonians and the rest of the world had 12 months, but why should we? Also can't we leave one month with a HEBREW NAME?
    – Al Berko
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 16:26

In short, The problem is that we ran out of YHWH combinations for the new month and this is true REASON.

Every month stems from one of the combinations of G-d's name (that's printed in Musaf for R"H) - has השפעות that come from a particular combination:

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G-d's name - YHWH has only 3 letters י+ה+ו in 4 positions with two ה interchangeable. That gives only 12 possible combinations. Each month represents a combination.

Any additional month has to have a unique combination of the name like having its own personality and there are none left. That's why we're stuck with that boring Adar II.

That's why we have 12 in daily hours also. And this is also represented well in Astrology and more.

  • What?? Where do you get this idea from? Even with a source, that would be just one opinion, not the only reason. I also don't understand what you mean by 3 letters and 4 places. It's 4 letters, but I don't understand what you mean by 3 places.
    – DanF
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 23:31
  • I knew you'll love it! Added to the answer.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 23:48
  • Do you have a source for the idea that month names are tied to this letter-math you're doing? Why is it important to tie months to three letters, four positions, and whatever it is that you're referring to in Musaf? Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 1:04
  • @MonicaCellio Interestingly, nobody understood the explanation. Each month represents its own השפעות, acc. to our Kabbole. Those השפעות are represented by the combinations of the G-d's name. Did you ever read and have intentions of the months' names in Musaf Rosh Chodesh? I added this to the answer.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 16:34
  • @DanF I added the source.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 16:41

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