TISHRI (Heb. תִּשְׁרֵי), the post-Exilic name of the seventh month of the Jewish year according to biblical usage which has been retained until the present day even though Tishri is the first month of the chronological year in the current way of dating. Frequently mentioned in Assyrian-Babylonian records and in rabbinic literature (e.g., Megillat Ta'anit), it is derived from the Aramaic shera or sherei ("to begin"). Hence, this name means "beginning of the year." Its zodiacal sign is Libra. In the present fixed Jewish calendar it invariably consists of 30 days, 1st of Tishri never falling on Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday in accordance with the system of calendric "postponement" (see *Calendar). In the 20th century, Tishri, in its earliest occurrence, extended from September 6 to October 5 and, in its latest, from October 5 to November 3. Memorable days in Tishri are mainly feasts laid down in the Pentateuch: (1) 1st and 2nd of Tishri, the New Year, Rosh Ha-Shanah (Num. 24:1–6), the second day applying in Ereẓ Israel as well as in the Diaspora (at least since about the tenth century); (2) 10th of Tishri, the *Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:29–34); (3) 1st–10th of Tishri, the *Ten Days of Penitence; (4) 15th of Tishri (in the Diaspora 15th–16th), the first day of Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles; Lev. 23:33–43); (5) 16th–21st of Tishri (in the Diaspora 17th–21st), the days of ḥol ha-mo'ed ("intermediate days"; Num. 29:17–34), the last of which (6) 21st of Tishri, known as Hoshana Rabba, is of special significance (Suk. 4:4–7); (7) 22nd of Tishri, Shemini Aẓeret ("The Eighth Day of Assembly"; Num. 29:35–38), combined with Simḥat Torah ("Rejoicing with the Torah," which is of post-talmudic origin). In the Diaspora 22nd of Tishri is observed as Shemini Aẓeret, and 23rd of Tishri as Simḥat Torah; (8) 3rd of Tishri, once observed as a minor feast in commemoration of the omission of the Hasmonean title "Priest to the Most High God" (modeled on the title of Melchizedek (Malki Ẓedek) in Gen. 14:18) from the dating of secular documents in the terms of the era of the regnal years of the Hasmonean high-priest kings (Meg. Ta'an. 337, et al.). Later this day reverted to its previous status of a fast in commemoration of the assassination of *Gedaliah (Jer. 41:1–2, et al.), the "fast in the seventh month" in Zechariah 7:5 and 8:19 (rh 18b, et al.) possibly postponed from 1st of Tishri (see Ibn Ezra and Kimḥi, ibid.).
[Ephraim Jehudah Wiesenberg]