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The helek is a unit of time
Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects....

 used in the calculation of the Hebrew calendar
Hebrew calendar
The Hebrew calendar , or Jewish calendar, is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions, yahrzeits , and daily Psalm reading, among many ceremonial uses...

. The hour
The hour is a unit of measurement of time. In modern usage, an hour comprises 60 minutes, or 3,600 seconds...

 is divided into 1080 halakim. A helek is 31/3 second
The second is a unit of measurement of time, and is the International System of Units base unit of time. It may be measured using a clock....

s or 1/18 minute. The helek derives from a small Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

ian time period called a she, meaning '"barleycorn", itself equal to 1/72 of a Babylonian time degree (1° of celestial rotation).
360 degrees x 72 shes per degree / 24 hours = 1080 shes per hour.