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The year number on the Jewish calendar represents the number of years since creation, calculated by adding up the ages of people in the Bible back to the time of creation. D." means "the year of our L-rd," and we do not believe Jesus is the L-rd. The American "new year" starts in January, but the new "school year" starts in September, and many businesses have "fiscal years" that start at various times of the year.
However, this does not necessarily mean that the universe has existed for only 5700 years as we understand years. Similarly, the Jewish calendar has different starting points for different purposes.
The Earth revolves around the sun in about 365¼ days, that is, about 12.4 lunar months.
The civil calendar used by most of the world has abandoned any correlation between the moon cycles and the month, arbitrarily setting the length of months to 28, 30 or 31 days.
Years are either 12 or 13 months, corresponding to the 12.4 month solar cycle.
The lunar month on the Jewish calendar begins when the first sliver of moon becomes visible after the dark of the moon.
In ancient times, this month was added by observation: the Sanhedrin observed the conditions of the weather, the crops and the livestock, and if these were not sufficiently advanced to be considered "spring," then the Sanhedrin inserted an additional month into the calendar to make sure that Pesach (Passover) would occur in the spring (it is, after all, referred to in the Torah as Chag he-Aviv, the Festival of Spring! 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. The additional month is known as Adar I, Adar Rishon (first Adar) or Adar Alef (the Hebrew letter Alef being the numeral "1" in Hebrew).
The current cycle began in Jewish year 5758 (the year that began October 2, 1997).
Holidays are celebrated on the same day of the Jewish calendar every year, but the Jewish year is not the same length as a solar year on the civil calendar used by most of the western world, so the date shifts on the civil calendar.
The Jewish calendar is based on three astronomical phenomena: the rotation of the Earth about its axis (a day); the revolution of the moon about the Earth (a month); and the revolution of the Earth about the sun (a year).
These three phenomena are independent of each other, so there is no direct correlation between them.
On average, the moon revolves around the Earth in about 29½ days.
Many Orthodox Jews will readily acknowledge that the first six "days" of creation are not necessarily 24-hour days (indeed, a 24-hour day would be meaningless until the creation of the sun on the fourth "day"). The names of the months of the Jewish calendar were adopted during the time of Ezra, after the return from the Babylonian exile.