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Calendrical Calculations, Third Edition by Edward M. Reingold, Nachum Dershowitz

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        Sixteenth-century astrolabe, with zodiac and star names inscribed in Hebrew. (Courtesy of Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, Chicago, IL.)

7The Hebrew Calendar

Do not take these [visibility] calculations lightly … for they are deep and difficult and constitute the “secret of intercalation” that was [only] known to the great sages.… On the other hand, this computation that is calculated nowadays… even school children can master in three or four days.

—Moses Maimonides: Mishneh Torah, Book of Seasons (1178)

The Hebrew calendar, promulgated by the patriarch Hillel II in the mid-fourth century1 and attributed by Sa’adia Gaon to Mosaic ...

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