Thanks for the interesting question.
Actually, this question has several answers.
1. Yes, Adar Bet (which mean "second Adar") always appears after Adar
Aleph (which mean "first Adar") in Jewish leap years.
2. Yes, these two months appear in the middle of the ecclesiastical
year, but they are at the *end* of the civil year.
3. However, strangely enough, it is actually Adar Aleph that is added
in a leap year, not Adar Bet (which is the normal, yearly, Adar
I appreciate that this information may be confusing - it certainly
baffled me for a few minutes. If you read the following pages, that
will help clear your mind:
Judaism 101 - Jewish Calendar
Quote: "A year with 13 months is referred to in Hebrew as Shanah
Me'uberet (pronounced shah-NAH meh-oo-BEH-reht), literally: a pregnant
year. In English, we commonly call it a leap year. The additional
month is known as Adar I, Adar Rishon or Adar Alef. It is inserted
before the regular month of Adar (known in such years as Adar II, Adar
Sheini or Adar Bet). Note that Adar II is the 'real' Adar, the one in
which Purim is celebrated, the one in which yahrzeits for Adar are
observed, the one in which a 13-year-old born in Adar becomes a Bar
Mitzvah. Adar I is the 'extra' Adar."
Quote: "In leap years, it is preceded by a 30-day intercalary month
named Adar Alef, Adar Rishon or Adar I and it is then itself called
Adar Bet, Adar Shenei or Adar II. Occasionally instead of Adar I and
Adar II, "Adar" and "Veadar" are used."
Search Strategy (on Google):
* "Adar Bet"
* "Adar Bet" calendar history
I hope this helps.
Clarification of Answer by
22 Aug 2005 09:08 PDT
Thanks for the clarification request.
First, let me make a correction to what I wrote above:
2. Yes, these two months appear in the middle of the civil
year, but they are at the *end* of the ecclesiastical year.
(I got it backwards. My apologies.)
Quote: "The noun Adar has one meaning:
Meaning #1: the sixth month of the civil year; the twelfth month of
the ecclesiastic year in the Jewish calendar (in February and March)"
As for the difference between civil year and ecclesiastical year, we
need only go as far as our dictionary:
ec·cle·si·as·ti·cal = Appropriate to a church or to use in a church:
ecclesiastical architecture; ecclesiastical robes.
civ·il = Being in accordance with or denoting legally recognized
divisions of time: a civil year.
So, the civil year is the legally recognized calendar, while the
ecclesiastical year is the one for strict religious uses.
A page that explains it well is:
The Symbolism of Biblical Holydays
Quote: "Two Beginnings in the Jewish Calendar
The first thing we should recognize is the fact that there were two
beginnings for the New Year in early Israel and this is shown in the
Scriptures. One was in the Springtime. This is known as the
Ecclesiastical Year and all matters dealing with the Temple and the
priesthood were related to this Springtime New Year. The other New
Year began six months later near the Autumnal Equinox. This was known
as the Civil Year and all matters of state such as the rule of kings
and the age of all Israelites were reckoned from the start of this New
Year which is the Day of Trumpets, or as the Jews call it, Rosh