Q. Is it better when using the secular date, to write numbers for the months instead of the names of the months, since they may have some avoda zarah deities connotations?
A. On question 94 (with some additions) we wrote: “Maharanm Shick (Y.D. 171), vehemently decrees not to inscribe a non-Jewish date on a matzeivah. He considers it to be the proscribed by the Biblical injunction of “The name of strange Gods you shall not mention” (Shemos 23,13). On the same vein, Maharam Ash, (end of Imrei Yosher, see Tzitz Elezer Y.D. 38) portrays the one who uses non-Jewish dates, as one who disowns and renounces his own traditions and values.
[Chasam Sofer (Droshos 7 Av 5570) emphasizes not only the worthy use of the count from the Creation of the universe, but despises those recent innovators that date the number of years since the birth of the Christian messiah. Since he thus demonstrates that he has no portion in the G-d of Yisrael. Similar stringent rulings are expressed by other poskim (see Sefer Get Pashut 127:30, Hillel Omer Yoreh Deah 62, Yayin Hatom Orach Chaim 8,Beer Moshe 8:18).]
Other Poiskim, however, do not see using the common date as an infringement, since it is not done with the intention of honoring anybody in particular, just as a convenient and conventional system of timing, used worldwide.
[Yabia Omer (Y.D. 3: 9), maintains that there is a very strong possibility that the secular date does not correspond at all to the birth of Yeshu. He reasons therefore that since they are not truly related, there is no Halacha prohibition.See also Tzitz Eliezer (9: 14]
Poiskim also advise to use a qualifier, such as L’misparam (to their counting, added to the date. (Darkei Moishe Y.D. 147, Meor Yehoshua 38, Mishmeres Sholom 84, Yabia Omer Y.D. 3,9 et. al.)
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is, if possible, one should avoid the use of non-Jewish dates or the name of their holidays. When this is not an option it is permitted. (It is also recommended to use the acronym Xmas, rather than the full name).”
Tzitz Eliezer (ibid.) maintains that since the names of the months are based on names of avodah zarah, it is preferable to avoid using them. Rather, one should use the month’s number,
However, using numerals may also transgress on the mitzva of having to count months to the date of exiting Mitzrayim. See next questions.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a