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Aviv (Hebrew: אביב‎) means "barley ripening", and by extension "spring season" in Hebrew. It is also used as a given name, surname, and place name, as in Tel Aviv. The first month of the year is called the month of Aviv in the Pentateuch. The month is called Nisan in the book of Esther, and in subsequent post-exilic history up to the present day. These names are sometimes used interchangeably, although Aviv refers to the three month season, and Nisan is called the "first month of Aviv."


  • The basic meaning of the word aviv is the stage in the growth of grain when the seeds have reached full size and are filled with starch, but have not dried yet. During the plague of hail (Exodus 9:31), the barley was said to be [in the] aviv [stage] and the flax [in the] giv`ol. This resulted in their destruction.
  • The month in the Hebrew calendar when the barley has reached or passed this stage (Exodus 13:4; 23:15) is called Aviv, or the "month of the aviv", which is the biblical lunar new year. 12:1–2, which is the Jewish religious new year (Rosh Hashanah (tractate) 2a). (The civil Babylonian year began with Tishrei, the seventh month, which is understood by rabbinic judaism to be the universal new year and day of judgement) Aviv begins about the time of the Northern spring equinox (March 21). Since the Babylonian captivity, this month has mainly been called Nisan (Nehemiah 2:1, Esther 3:7). On the “day after the Shabbat” (the 16th of the month of Nissan according to the rabbis, and the first Sunday of Passover according to the Karaites[1]), the harvest was begun by gathering a sheaf of barley,[2] which was offered as a sacrifice to God (Lev 23:4–11), when the Temple in Jerusalem existed.
Karaites searching for Aviv barley at Ain Mabua, Judean Hills, Israel on 21 March 2019
  • "Aviv" in modern Hebrew accordingly also means spring, one of the four seasons. Thus the major modern Israeli city of Tel Aviv means "Spring Hill".[3]
  • Since Passover is always celebrated on 15–21 (or 22 outside Israel) Nisan, near the beginning of spring, "Holiday of Aviv". Pesach or Passover is always on the 14th of Nisan. The first day of Chag ha Matzoh or the Feast of Unleavened Bread is always the day after that, the 15th of Nisan.[4] Hebrew: חג האביב‎, romanized: Chag Ha'Aviv is an additional name for Passover.


  1. "On This Very Day | Karaite Insights | Karaites & Karaism". www.karaiteinsights.com. Retrieved August 3, 2019.
  2. Ruth 1:22;2:2
  3. "From Spring Hill to Independence".
  4. Leviticus 23:5,6

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