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What Year Is It?


Question:

When I visited Israel, I heard that the current year was referred to as 5771. I thought it was 2011. Can you please explain the idea of the Jewish calendar and the difference between it and the one I’m used to? Thank you in advance.



AskTheRabbi.org answered:

Jewish chronology begins with the creation of the first human, Adam. We calculate our current year by adding up the intervals from Adam’s age when his son Seth was born, until the age when that son had his first son, and so on, as recounted in Genesis. According to Jewish calculation, Abraham was born in the year 1948 from the creation of Adam (1812 B.C.E.). According to Jewish-year calculations from creation, then, Columbus “sailed the oceans blue” in the year 5252 (1492 on the civil calendar), and the State of Israel was established in 5708 (1948). To convert a particular civil (Gregorian) year to the corresponding Jewish year, one adds 3760 to the civil year.


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