How to Write the Date in Hebrew

Written by laurie rappeport
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How to Write the Date in Hebrew
Write a Hebrew date carefully for Jewish ritual purposes. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

For Jewish rituals and other Jewish events, inviduals must prepare to record the date in Hebrew. Jewish legal documents and life-cycle papers carry the recorded date in Hebrew. In Israel, Hebrew and Gregorian dates are both legal. Hebrew tradition and Jewish mysticism place great emphasis on an individual's Hebrew birth date. Many Jewish calendars use Hebrew and Gregorian dates to provide users with tools to calculate holidays. You can use Hebrew letters to write the Hebrew date or you can transliterate the Hebrew words and letters into English in order to pronounce them correctly.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Note the time of day for the date that you plan to write. If the event occurs after sunset, you will consider that the date has moved to the next day. Hebrew dates begin the night before the actual day. Therefore, if a couple plans to marry on the night of July 4th, after sunset, you will write the Hebrew date as it matches July 5th.

  2. 2

    Write the date by calculating which letter of the Hebrew alphabet matches the date that you wish to write. In Hebrew, each letter has a corresponding number. The "aleph," the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, has a numerical value of "one." The "yud" represents "10" and numbers from 10 through 20 appear as "yud + the letter that represents the single digit number." The "kaf" represents "20" and numbers in their 20s appear as "kaf + the letter that represents the appropriate single digit number." The last number in any given Hebrew month is 30, which the letter "lamed" represents.

  3. 3

    Include the Hebrew month. There are 12 months in the Hebrew calendar, which follows a lunar cycle. Every four years, the Hebrew calendar adds a "leap" month by including the month of "Adar" twice. This results in an Adar I and an Adar II every four years. The Hebrew months, starting from Rosh Hashana, are Tishrei, Heshvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shvat, Adar, Nissan, Iyar, Sivan, Tamuz, Av and Elul.

  4. 4

    Calculate the Hebrew year. The Hebrew calendar's Year One occured when God created the world. As of 2011, Jews count 5771 years since the world's beginning. Jews write the Hebrew year using the same "gematriya," or numerical representation of letters for numbers, as used in the dates of the month. So when a person writes the Hebrew date, he would substitute the letter "taf" for 5000, the letter "shin" for 700, the letter "samekh" for 70 and the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, "aleph," for one. A double apostrophe separates the last two letters of the year.

  5. 5

    Combine the three elements of the Hebrew date. Write the day first, then the month and then the year. The Hebrew date equivilent of July 4th, 2011, before sunset, will read "Bet-Tamuz-Taf Shin Samech-Aleph" or "the second day of the month of Tamuz, 5771."

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