It’s important to understand the difference between the Gregorian calendar, Hillel calendar and the biblical calendar. Only the biblical calendar is correct in determining the Moedim (Appointed times or Feast days). The Gregorian calendar is the one we commonly use and the Hillel calendar is not correct in determining Moedim.
Hillel or, “Hillel the Elder” is one of the best-known sages of the Talmud.
The Hillel calendar used today by many uses dates contrary to scripture. More further down.
The Talmud, which means “teaching,” is a massive collection of rabbinic Jewish texts that records the oral tradition of the ancient rabbis. Lexham Bible Dictionary says the Talmud is “the primary source for the study of Judaism from the first century AD up to the date of its final redaction (as late as the seventh century AD).”
The Talmud is the collection of oral traditions (Mishna) with commentary (Gamera). The Babylonian Talmud is the authoritative version that continues to guide and inform Jewish religious life today. While Christians or Netzarim do not recognize the Talmud as part of God’s inerrant and infallible Word.
Hillel lived during the last century before the Common Era. He served as head of the Sanhedrin, the ancient rabbinic tribunal, and was the founder of the House of Hillel (Beit Hillel in Hebrew), a school of Jewish law which is famous for its disputes with the rival House of Shammai.
Though little has been firmly established about Hillel’s biography by historians, he is said to have been born in Babylonia around 110 BCE and died in Jerusalem in the first years of the Common Era. His grave is in Meron, in northern Israel.
Since Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) the days of the Rabbi’s has come to an end since Yeshua is now our only Rabbi. Anyone claiming to be a Rabbi now is a false teacher as are those who use Hillel for dates for the Moedim.
But you are not to be called rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.
Matthew 23:8 TLV
The churches and assemblies that use the Hillel calendar for the Moedim (Hebrew for appointed times) or Holy days are not following scripture since Hillel shows a different timeline which is contrary to scripture. They do this for convenience or for corporate reasons. Which basically means they are fitting the word of Elohim into their life, rather than making their life fit the word of Elohim. The only Rabbi we are to be following is Yeshua HaMashiach. Not Hillel. Whoever we obey we are servants to.
Yeshua condemned the rabbinical religionists of his day for adding to the Word of God, for heaping rules and regulations upon the people that the rabbis and priests could not keep.
Then Yeshua said, “Woe to you Torah lawyers as well, for you weigh the people down with burdens hard to carry, yet you yourselves will not touch the burdens with even a finger.
Luke 11:46 TLV
Not many are familiar with the Rabbinic Judaism that began around the time of Yeshua. And yet, it is Rabbinic Judaism that is most often practiced today. In this sense, Christianity is older than Rabbinic Judaism if one considers that modern Judaism is built upon commentaries, oral tradition, and directions for living, as much as the Old Testament. Following the siege of Jerusalem in AD 70 and the resulting diaspora of the Hebrew people, the rabbinical leadership sought to provide a sort of compendium of the Jewish faith.
The purpose of the extra biblical literature was to carry on the traditions and to provide commentary on the Tanakh (an acronym using the first letters of the three main divisions of the Masoretic text of the Old Testament: the Torah, the five Books of Moses; the Nevi’m, the Prophets; and the Ketuvim, the Writings) based upon the parts of the Scripture: the law, the prophets, and the writings. The oral traditions, called the Mishna, were assembled and recorded around AD 200.
The written form became the Talmud. More properly, the first recording of oral tradition was known as the Jerusalem Talmud. As the Jewish people began to live in diaspora, some rabbis wanted to return to the old land. Those who gathered in Roman Palestine and the Middle East further recorded oral tradition commentary on the Old Testament, on how to live the Jewish life (Mishna) in diaspora. This is the second part of the Talmud: the Gemara. So, the Talmud, a document of 2,711 pages in its original form, is comprised of Mishna (oral tradition written down), and Gemara (commentary on the Mishna). A second significant event happened that further shaped the Talmud that we have today.
Most people believe that Hillel II, also known as Hillel the Younger, introduced the calculated calendar. Hillel II introduced his calendar around 359 C.E. But the change in the calendar started much earlier. The sages of Judaism introduced these changes over time and later we arrived at what Hillel II published as his calendar. Let us see how these changes progressed.
As we know, the calendar described in the Scriptures is a lunar/solar calendar. The cycle of the moon determines the start of the month and the cycle of the sun indicates the start of the year. The ripening of the barley in Jerusalem is the indicator of when the new year must start.
Each biblical month begins with the sighting of the new moon, first crescent. We have to know when the new moon appears because the 7 yearly Moedim are based on this so we can get the correct dates.
From the historical records we know that Judaism still used the sighting of the new moon during the Second Temple period. We also have proof that this practice continued even after the Romans destroyed the second temple. A group of Jewish scholars, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai and his disciples, fled from Jerusalem before the destruction. They settled themselves in a town called Yavneh (Yavne, Yabneh or Jamnia). Rabbi Yochanan established a Sanhedrin there that could instruct the scattered communities. This instruction included the setting of the date for new months. Rabbi Yochanan was the leader of the council from around 70 to 80 C.E. He was succeeded by Gamliel II.
We know from the recordings in the Mishnah, that Rabbi Yochanan still used the sighting of the moon to determine the start of the month. His rulings made some changes to the halacha to allow for the destruction of the temple.
Leviticus chapter 23 tells us how to know when the appointed times are.
Then Adonai spoke to Moses saying: “Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, and tell them: These are the appointed moadim of Adonai, which you are to proclaim to be holy convocations—My moadim.
Lev 23:1-2 TLV
The feast of Trumpets (or Yom Teruah in Hebrew).
Adonai spoke to Moses saying: “Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, saying: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you are to have a Shabbat rest, a memorial of blowing (shofarot), a holy convocation. You are to do no regular work, and you are to present an offering made by fire to Adonai.”
Leviticus 23:23-25 TLV
In 2023 the new moon of the 7th month was sighted on the evening of September 16 making Sunday September the 17 the first day of the 7th biblical month. I have had several witnesses and also checked it on my Stellarium and the moon cycles.
Once we know the beginning of the month we can then count the days to the Modedim during that month.
The Day of Atonement (Hebrew: Yom Kippur)
Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: “However, the tenth day of this seventh month is Yom Kippur, a holy convocation to you, so you are to afflict yourselves. You are to bring an offering made by fire to Adonai. You are not to do any kind of work on that set day, for it is Yom Kippur, to make atonement for you before Adonai your God. For anyone who does not deny himself on that day must be cut off from his people. Anyone who does any kind of work on that day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You should do no kind of work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It is to be a Shabbat of solemn rest for you, and you are to humble your souls. On the ninth day of the month in the evening—from evening until evening—you are to keep your Shabbat.”
Leviticus 23:26-31 TLV
So we count up to the tenth day from September 17 which places us at Tuesday September 26.
The Feast of Booths (Hebrew: Sukkot) or Feast of Tabernacles
Adonai spoke to Moses saying: Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, and say, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Feast of Sukkot, for seven days to Adonai. On the first day there is to be a holy convocation—you are to do no laborious work. For seven days you are to bring an offering by fire to Adonai. The eighth day will be a holy convocation to you, and you are to bring an offering by fire to Adonai. It is a solemn assembly—you should do no laborious work. These are the moadim of Adonai, which you are to proclaim to be holy convocations, to present an offering by fire to Adonai—a burnt offering, a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, each on its own day, besides those of the Shabbatot of Adonai and besides your gifts, all your vows and all your freewill offerings which you give to Adonai. So on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruits of the land, you are to keep the Feast of Adonai for seven days. The first day is to be a Shabbat rest, and the eighth day will also be a Shabbat rest. On the first day you are to take choice fruit of trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook, and rejoice before Adonai your God for seven days. You are to celebrate it as a festival to Adonai for seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations—you are to celebrate it in the seventh month. You are to live in sukkot for seven days. All the native-born in Israel are to live in sukkot, so that your generations may know that I had Bnei-Yisrael to dwell in sukkot when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am Adonai your God.” So Moses declared to Bnei-Yisrael the moadim of Adonai.
Leviticus 23:33-44 TLV
For Sukkot we count 15 days into the month which brings us to October 1 on the Gregorian calendar.
When we follow Hillel, it was cause us to disobey the high day Sabbaths in those time periods. This is disobedience to Elohim (Hebrew for God). Yes, it takes a little more work to get the dates right but our Father in Heaven tells us to be diligent.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15 KJV
Works are important because scripture tells us that faith without works is dead. Although works don’t save us, it is a reflection of our love for Elohim.
Faith Without Works Is Dead
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
James 2:14-26 KJV
Remember, the one you obey is the one you serve.