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Correspondence

Correspondence


Noah's Calendar Query - Patrick Greene
Calendar Page Appreciation - Amos Alter
Date of the 2nd Temple's Destruction? - Jack Lipinsky, Ph.D.
Prayer For Rain Insertion - Ari Meir Brodsky
Oddly Mysterious Coincidence - Dwight Blevins
Extension of Questions 143 and 145 - Larry Padwa
What Are the Months' Lengths? - Pete Ryder
Origin of the Hebrew Year Count? Researcher A
Proposed Hebrew Calendar Modifications - Irv Bromberg
Proposed Veten Tal Umatar Timing Modifications - Irv Bromberg
Frequency of Tevet 10 - Dr. Bernard Dickman
Abib 13, 14, and 15 - Vladimir Uvarov
Correctness of the Hebrew Year Count? Researcher A
Authors of the Hebrew Year Count? Researcher A
The Six Days of Hanukkah - Larry Padwa
Calculating Occurrence of Given Molad? - Dr. Bernard Dickman
The Lubavitcher Rebbe on Maimonides' Molad - Dr. B. Dickman
Explaining the Kalendis Method - Irv Bromberg
Online Lunar Phase and Molad Calculator - Irv Bromberg
Why the H in 5765H? - Rabbi David Seed
Why use the Julian Dates? - Rabbi David Seed
Kalendis Molad Adjustment Calculation Update - Irv Bromberg
The Molad and the First Day of the Month - Dr. Bernard Dickman
Torah Science vs. Secular Chronology - Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Search for a Sunrise Alarm Clock - Elizabeth Ranucci
Searching for Date Conversion Formulas - Yossi Yaffe
Request for Historical List of Passover Dates - Paul Moniodis
Request for Hebrew Year Number Transliteration - Giora Magen
Is Creation at AM 1 or AM 2? - Dr. John Stockton
What is the Real Purpose of the Dehiyyot? - Eli Nahmani
Why Are There So Many Hebrew Year Lengths? - Gregory C. David
Maimonides and the Length of the Seasons - Dr. Irving Bromberg
Shabbats of Three Torahs - Robert E. Heyman
Request for Remy Landau's Qualifications - William Jacobson
What is the Correct Day for Shabbat? - Donald Pullen
Hebrew Calendar PC Calculation Accuracies - Eli Nahmani
Request for Rain Web Site - Irv Bromberg
Hebrew Calendar Science and Myths - Shlomo Abrahams
The Molad Drift - Rachel Brown
When is Shmittah? - John Dekkers
Top Spiritual Site Award 2005 - Amy Lui
Why One and Two Days Rosh Hodesh? - Jack Gostl
Yaaqov Loewinger's Recent Article on 5765 - Ari Meir Brodsky
When Does the Hebrew Calendar Day Begin? - J.P. Mayer
Which Day Begins the Jewish Week? - Dr. John Stockton
Sefirat Ha'Omer Technique - Michael Koplow
Hindu Calendar - Shriramana Sharma
The 360-Day Year Calendar - Steve Winnitt
Yom HaAtzmaut's Moving Target Date - Ari Meir Brodsky
Babylonian Period Hebrew Calendar - Clark Wilkins
Plucking Harps and Calendar Cycles - Dwight Blevins
The Molad of Sivan 5765H - Noam Kaplan
Calculating the Molad of Tishrei 3790H - George Thlick
The Start of Tishrei in The Gregorian Year - Marshal Portnoy
Hanukah, December 25, and Hebrew Month Names - Marshal Portnoy
Hebrew Year Number Transliteration - KosherJava
Request for Historical Hebrew Calendar References - Lydia Esther
Free Hebrew Calendar Software for OUTLOOK - Dvir Gassner
Thank you!! - Ezra Lwowski
Blessing of the Sun..? - J. Neidich
The Significance of Enoch's Age? - Karmen Williams, Ed.D.
Next Hebrew New Year Start? - A. Zoltan Varga
Qeviyyot Like 5766H Between 5741H and 5752H - Morris Jesion
B'TU'TKPT and Rare Calendar Events - Ari Meir Brodsky
Date of Tisha b'Av 3830H? - Al Persohn
Date of Rosh HaShannah 5456H? - Lara Aase
Rare Calendrical Event for 5766H - Ari Meir Brodsky
Prime Numbers in the Hebrew Calendar? - Rabbi Steven S. Saltzman
Which are the Shabbat Days in America? - Kevin Kelly
Request for Lunar Calendar Algorithms - Cloves Santos, Brazil
The Rectified Hebrew Calendar - Dr. Irving Bromberg
Month of Abijah's Course? - Bernie Vlach


From: Patrick Greene Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2004 14:59:38 -0800 (PST) I would like to know how many months the calendar had when Noah was alive. How many months short of our present one was a single year. thank you Patrick Greene ---- Remy Landau replied: Dear Patrick, That is a very good historical question for a vast number of reasons. No record exists of any calendar that may have been used by Noah, even though the biblical text appears to be quite specific with regards to the times of the flood, the ark voyage, the rains, and Noah's ages before, at the time, and after the flood. For example, Noah was 600 years old when the floods began, the ark floated about for exactly 150 days, and so on... Nevertheless, there is no specific answer yet known for your question. The body of literature that has investigated this particular problem, going back several centuries, remains largely speculative, and very often tainted by subjective interpretations of the biblical text. So in effect, your questions, excellent as they are, still remain unanswered today. Shavuah Tov! Remy Landau ---- Patrick Greene replied: Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 Dear Mr. Landau, I want to thank you very much for your quick and informative reply. Patrick Greene


From: Amos Alter Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 14:52:21 -0600 While looking for something entirely different about calendars, I came across your article. I have found it fascinating, and have copied it to use some of the tables in my own calendrical doodlings. May you live the longest possible version of 120 years! (Of course, your 120-year cycle was determined the day you were born). AA.
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2004 09:23:23 -0800 (PST) From: Jack Lipinsky, Ph.D. Subject: Calendar Question Hi Remy: The Gemara in Talmud Tractate Ta'anit 29a says that Tisha B'av in the year 70 CE when the Temple was destroyed fell on Motza'ei Shabbat (the evening of the conclusion of Shabbat). Is this true??? Jack Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2004 16:56:31 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Jack, It is highly unlikely that any of the Amoraim would have ever used a value of 70 ce for any year in their domain. The ce (common era) year didn't come into being until the 4th century ce when it was set through the calculations of Dionysius Exiguus. So we have to look at the clue of motzoei Shabbat... and work backwards from there. 3830H would be the Hebrew year corresponding to the unknown 70 ce, by formal calculation. For this Hebrew year, the Hebrew date Av 9 may be determined to coincide with Shabbat. Hence, we are noting that motzoei Shabbat would technically be the 10th day of Av and not the 9th day, as implied by the Gemara. But all is not quite lost. By one of these strange coincidences, it must be noted that the 9th day of Av of the previous year, ie 69 ce or 3829H, coincided with Sunday. In other words, in the year 69 ce, Tisha b'Av did indeed fall on Motzoei Shabbat, since the day began at sundown, just as does the Motzoei Shabbat. Your correspondence also underscores one of the great historical debates that, to the best of my knowledge, appears to still have been unresolved. In what year was the 2nd Temple destroyed? Wsa it 68, 69, or 70 ce? If the Talmud passage to which you refer is to be believed, then it appears that the Amoraim may have been sugggesting, by formal calculation, that the year of the tragedy was 69 ce and not 70 ce. I believe that Rambam, in Hilkhot Qiddush HaHodesh, leaves this matter unresolved. Shavuah Tov! Remy Landau
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2004 18:44:12 -0800 (PST) From: Jack Lipinsky, Ph.D. I suggest you read the page cited Taanit 29A very carefully, as there are a number of historical issues. Though I claim little historical expertise and no calendrical, I will point out the following as worthy of your attention. 1. The Gemara finds itself difficult to deal with the disparity in the calculation of when the first temple was destroyed based on different dates given in Jeremiah and 2 Kings. 2. More to the point, the Rabbis certainly knew the date of the destruction of the Second Temple as it was during their time period. (thus argues the Meiri, and he is correct historically). On the other hand, the Gemara has the Cohanim singing words from the Psalm for Wednesday. Rashi claims that this is because the words were a prophecy of doom on what would happen to the Temple and were relevant to the destruction. However, perhaps it is possible that the destruction took place in a year when the 9th of Av fell on Wednesday. Might that suggest 68 or 69 CE? This is not my area of expertise. What is the debate over the dating of the destruction based? Certainly a great deal is known about the reigns of Vespasian and Titus! This is certainly a subject worthy of some investigation! Indeed, the entire calculation of why Tisha B'av is a day of evil is based on the Gemara's analysis of the incident of the spies' report, which is traced to Tisha B'av (Taanit 29A) on the assumption that Tammuz in that year had 30 days which is an issue I leave to you. ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Jack, Tanit @ 29a """" AND [THE TEMPLE WAS DESTROYED] THE SECOND TIME. (Gemara) Whence do we know this? For it has been taught: Good things come to pass on an auspicious day, and bad things on an unlucky day. It is reported that the day on which the First Temple was destroyed was the ninth of Av, A Sunday, and in a year following the Shmita. .... and what Psalm did they recite? reference appears to be Psalm 94. ... The same thing too happened in the Second Temple. """" page 154 Soncino Translation (1938) Technically, it is impossible to verify these facts simply because the fixed Hebrew calendar did not exist then. In its place may have been a highly elaborate, cumbersome and absolutely arcane methodology of determining, and announcing, the starts of various months throughout the year. This view comes from a simple reading of Tractate Rosh HaShannah in which one notices that the Calendar Council was sometimes torn apart by unbelievably acrimonious debate. (See for example RH 25a). If one protracts the currently known calendar arithmetic to the possible year in question, and it might be 3830H because that year is close to the time of the Hurban and just happens to also be the year following Shmita, then the weekday is Shabbat. In other words, it is not Sunday as suggested by the text. Nor can it be Motzoei Shabbat because that time would be Sunday 10 AV, and not 9 AV. By formal calculations, the previous year, 3829H, finds the 9th Av on Sunday. But that year, according to current rabbinic theory, would have been the year of Shmita, and not the year following Shmita, as suggested by the Gemara. So here we have the basis for an argument in support of the idea that the calendar methodology of the Mishnah was decidedly different than our currently accepted fixed Hebrew calendar method. Otherwise, it is impossible to resolve the contradictions found by calculation. Consequently, in answer to your question, it would be reasonable to defer to the documented testimony of the Gemara as found in Tanit 29a. Shavuah Tov! Remy Landau
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 20:55:09 -0800 (PST) From: Jack Lipinsky, Ph.D. Remy: Before I do my own investigation, is Josephus not reliable on the date? After all, he was there and certainly knew the date. Is it not possible that the Rabbis fudged the date so that the destruction day of both Batei Mikdash would coincide. A careful reading of Taanit suggests this. As well, I am very familiar with the opening Gemara in Megilla and you are absolutely right about the change in calendrical calculation somewhere in this period during the compilation of the Talmud. This may well be the "fixed calendar" of Hillel II. Jack Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 04:07:30 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Jack, Please excuse my discomfort in having to comment on what remains highly speculative conjecture. But until archeological, and/or, historical evidence is discovered, the many questions and comments which you present will have to remain in the domain of scholarly speculation. Therefore, no conclusion can be derived in this discussion, even if a statement of agreement can be reached on a matter of speculation. Permit me to explain below....vvvvvv > Remy: > > before I do my own investigation, is Josephus not reliable on the > date? After all, he was there and certainly knew the date. Josephus was brought up in prior discussion. As a disciplined historian, he should have been in some position to establish a particular date for the event. However, to establish the dating of particular historical events, Josephus might also have been using data and interpretations different than those used by the Amoraim. This therefore would have led to different dates for the same events. This too is the case with many other contemporary events in other religions. > Is it not > possible that the Rabbis fudged the date so that the destruction day > of both Batei Mikdash would coincide. A careful reading of Taanit > suggests this. The reading suggests that 9 Av as the time of the destruction occurred on a Sunday AND in the year after Shmita. It is actually impossible to confirm whether this indeed did happen about 656 years earlier on the day of the First Temple's destruction. It is even less than possible to determine the basis on which the Amoraim actually relied to make that particular observation. So it is impossible to know what to say in this situation. > As well, I am very familiar with the opening Gemara in > Megilla and you are absolutely right about the change in calendrical > calculation somewhere in this period during the compilation of the > Talmud. This may well be the "fixed calendar" of Hillel II. The more one looks into the history of Hillel II's contribution to the fixed Hebrew calendar, the less contribution to the calendar one can attribute to this particular figure of history. Historians continually appear to uncovering differences that lead to a fixed calendar somewhere after the mid-9th century, and the beginning of the 10th century. You might want to read Sacha Stern's *Calendar and Community* (Oxford Press 2002) for more historical detail. Best Regards Remy Landau

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2004 01:41:47 -0500 From: Ari Meir Brodsky Outside of Eretz Yisrael our daily prayers should include the request for rain, beginning with the Maariv service this coming Saturday evening, December 4, 2004, corresponding to Motzei Shabbat, 22 Kislev, 5765. The phrase "Veten tal umatar livrakha" is inserted into the 9th brakha of the weekday shemone esrei, from now until Pesach. The request for rain is begun in the Diaspora on the 60th day following the fall equinox, as calculated according to the approximation of Shmuel in the Talmud. If you are interested in more information about this calculation, you may wish to follow the link below, to a fascinating article giving a (very brief) introduction to the Jewish calendar, followed by a detailed discussion on why the prayer for rain begins when it does. Thanks to Russell Levy for bringing this article to my attention last year:
http://lookstein.org/articles/veten_tal.htm If you're interested in reading more about the Jewish calendar, don't forget about my essay, "How is this year different from all other years?" It doesn't say anything about the prayer for rain, but it does include many other calendrical curiosities, such as the fact that the first day of Hanukkah can fall on any day of the week except for Tuesday: http://individual.utoronto.ca/aribrodsky/ Wishing everyone a happy Hanukkah! Ari Brodsky.
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2004 16:57:30 -0700 From: Dwight Blevins Remy, Thought this was interesting. Remember all the mathematical patterns of calculation which generate the 71/176 split of the 247 year cycles? For instance, the cluster patterns of the 7-7-3-7-7 Tishrei 1 declarations, which fell at 1999g, also had a hit 71 years earlier in 1928g. I've come across this 71 year phenomena many time in the 247 year patterns. If I recall correctly the frequency of the 6942 period also have a 71 year artifact at times. The frequency of some of the rules of postponement might also display similar patterns within the 247 year circles. There are, of course others, of which 71 years is one of note. So what? Well, I came across this and thought the similarity of coincidence was striking. Click here and you'll see how my leaping thoughts generate another possible myth of connection (ie, as to the 71 patterns) between pure mathematics and something else.
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=70349 Of course, with a little more stirring of the brew, there is also the question of the 176 slice of the 71 + 176 = 247. Of what mystic coincidence is that? Well, 176 is the number of verses of the 22 sets of 8, contained in the Psalm 119, and is also the symmetrical frequency of the 6th diatonic, 3rd octave musical note F, which by number (6) of the scale is also the week day of preparation. Why do you think the Sanhedrin employes 71 seats? Is that a throw back to the 70 elders + the seat of Moses, or 70 elders + the High Priest, Aaron? Or, just a random number based on the accidents of politics and religion? Dwight Blevins
Date: Tue, 07 Dec 2004 11:24:11 -0500 From: Larry Padwa Subject: Extension of Questions 143 and 145 Hi Remy, The archives of the Weekly Questions are extremely interesting. On occasion, reviewing old questions can suggest related new ones, as in the following instance. In questions 143 and 145, you and your correspondents discuss the questions of the smallest span of years containing all six possible year lengths (6), and the largest span of years not containing all six possible year lengths (43). A pair of related questions is to identify the smallest span of years containing all fourteen Keviot, and the largest span not containing all fourteen Keviot. Unlike question 143 where it was possible to find spans of six years containing all six year lengths, it is impossible to find a span of fourteen years containing all fourteen Keviot. The reason for this is that the fourteen Keviot contain seven leap years, and the smallest span containing seven leap years is a span of seventeen years. Thus the answer to the first part of my question is at least seventeen, but might be larger. I haven't done any further analysis on this, nor have I applied exhaustive searches to find the answers. Do you (or any of your correspondents) have any further insight into any of this? Happy Chanukah, -Larry

Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 13:18:25 -0500 From: Pete Ryder Subject: WOW! My thoughts on your article re the Hebrew calendar are that I'm very impressed at the complexity of the system. Your analysis really involves only simple arithmetic, but it certainly shows how complicated things can get. I appreciated learning about it, but didn't get my question answered, "How long is a Hebrew month?" Obviously, just like the Gregorian months, it varies. Is there a table on the months and their lengths? Apparently, the lengths can vary due to the postponement rules. Thanks very much for your analysis. Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 10:43:06 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Peter, Thank you so much for the encouraging words! On the length of any Hebrew month in the fixed calendar... The lunar month, - the period from new moon to new moon is fixed at the average value of 29 days, 12 hours, and 793 halaqim (793 / 1080 hour) - each calendar month alternates exactly between 29 and 30 days... except for the months Heshvan and Kislev which can both be either 29 or 30 days. - 7 times in every 19 Hebrew years an extra month of 30 days is added to the year. That's about it on the length of the Hebrew months. Hag Urim Sameach! Remy Landau

Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2004 03:59:18 +0000 From: Researcher A Subject: Origin of the Hebrew Year Count? dear mr landau I have just read your introduction to the Properties of Hebrew year periods online, which i found fascinating. I am sorry to take up your time, but can I please just ask if you know exactly where and when the idea and the official adoption took place of the actual numbering of the hebrew year; someone somewhere must one day have announced the number of the official year. It seems that this was not done in the bible period, nor that of the Hasmoneans immediately afterwards; i presume that after the Roman expulsion of the Jews there was no attempt to put a number to the year and neither is it apparent during the Babylonian Talmud period thereafter. Can it be that this dating of the years is a relatively late custom, from the middle ages? I am sorry if I am asking something that is common knowledge, but it is as yet unknown by me and I am curious about our history. With Kind Regards Researcher A Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2004 18:17:58 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Researcher A To the best of my knowledge there is no real answer to this fascinating question. Invariably, the year counts begin with some biblical event, such as the Bereshit (ie, Genesis, Creation) and attempt to deduce the number of annual circuits by means of the textual references. The problems begin when it is noted that the biblical record is discontinuous, and requires that some time line gaps be deduced. Different schools have come to different conclusions simply because the numbers chosen have pretty much depended on the particular philosophies of these schools. The Hebrew year count may have been established as early as the 2nd century... in a work known as *Seder Olam*. Of course, this particular count has seen its challengers... but in any case, the current Hebrew year count is about as good a year count as any. So there is very little point in suggesting that it might be something else since nothing real would be gained. Should you be interested, you can actually find a number of very interesting web resources on *Seder Olam* and the year count using the Google search engine. Shavuah Tov! Remy Landau

Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 00:39:43 -0500 From: Irv Bromberg Subject: Proposed Hebrew Calendar Modifications I have been very busy working on calendar stuff even though I haven't bugged you much. As it happens, this evening I posted a major update of "Kalendis" on my web site, supporting the new Symmetry454 Calendar (without "Irvember", in leap years December simply has 5 weeks), and introducing my new ultra-long-term accuracy Mean Orbital Year leap rule. On the Hebrew Calendar side I've been studying the original Hebrew version of Maimonides' Kiddush haChodesh with Rabbi Moshe Ginz after reading the English translation on my own, and I hope to implement Maimonides' calculations as computer functions for comparison with modern astronomical algorithms. I am also continuing to analyze the more accurate leap rule, having recently posted a 353-year cycle proposal. I am now certain that Feldman's method was defective and incomplete, in that it is not possible to change the Hebrew calendar leap cycle without thoroughly evaluating the interaction with Rosh Hashanah postponements. I have now learned that it is possible, although obviously not desirable (because of ritual inconvenience), to design a Hebrew calendar leap cycle that does not need ANY postponements. The use of continued fractions for this is NOT appropriate because the leap month does not equal the length of the mean lunations and also because left over days have to add up to a suitable number of postponements. (In addition the target lengths that he used for the so-called "tropical year" and synodic month were insufficiently accurate, and that is why his continued fraction landed at 334 years instead of 353.) I will sort project out soon, im yirtzeh ha-shem, but first I have to finish documenting the updated Symmetry454 arithmetic and posting the new math for the Mean Orbital Year. I expect that the combination of my expressions that track the Mean Synodic Month together with the Mean Orbital Year will constitute the basis for a future Hebrew Calendar reform idea, that of a calendar that indefinitely tracks these without complicated astronomical algorithms, the main hitch being maintaining as a minimum the Rosh Hashanah postponements that are ritually convenient. I made a web page about postponements but it is not posted yet because I feel that my thesis is too weak at this point... Did you notice my proposed lunar probe space program? Tongue-in-cheek, of course, but see what you think -- it would solve a lot of problems of the past...
http://individual.utoronto.ca/kalendis/hebrew.htm#probe (looking for somebody with a few spare billion dollars...) Attached, is a little blurb that I recently wrote about Sh'ela for publication at my web site. It is not posted yet, I would appreciate your feedback. -- Irv
Attachment Proposal for adjusting when the phrase VeTen Tal U-Matar (request for rain, Sh'ela) should be said in the Amidah prayer by Dr. Irv Bromberg, University of Toronto, Canada For a more detailed analysis of Sh'ela see VeTen Tal U-Matar at
http://www.lookstein.org/articles/veten_tal.htm by Professor Dr. Moshe Sokolow of Yeshiva University. Herein I will only briefly outline the main points and then jump to my proposed resolution of this issue. Please note that I have no rabbinical training and no authority to propose anything in this regard, just an interest in calendars, astronomy, and Israel, a lot of nerve and hopefully some good common sense. As a Canadian living in a cool climate with rain (or snow) all year round, the timing of all prayers with regard to rain and dew seemed meaningless to me until I spent a year living in Israel in 1977. Then at last I realized that those prayers perfectly suit the climate in Israel. When Israel prays for rain, the rains come. When Israel prays for dew, the rains stop. Since then I always say those prayers with the Land of Israel in mind, not the local weather conditions. One might expect that Sh'ela should begin after the official prayer for rain during the Musaf service on Shemini Atzeret. However, the ancient sages delayed Sh'ela for 11 days until the 3rd of Cheshvan, to allow time for pilgrims to return home after Sukkot. Subsequently Rabban Gamliel extended the delay to the 7th of Cheshvan, to allow 15 days "for even the tardiest Israelite to reach the Euphrates". Their concern was that rain would turn the roads to mud before the pilgrims reach their homes. Later, for those living in lands outside Israel, originally codified by Maimonides as applying to Mesopotamia, Syria, Egypt, and "nearby or similar places", the delay was extended to 60 days after Tekufat Tishrei, a term that is loosely translated as the autumnal equinox. The Talmud in tractate Eruvin on page 46 very briefly mentions that on Tekufat Tishrei and on Tekufat Nisan the Sun rises at the middle of the range of sunrise points during the year and sets at the middle of the range of sunset points. This definition is astronomically quite correct, within a day of the actual equinox, but it is for observational purposes and doesn't yield a method for computing the date of any equinox. More precisely, the Sun would rise exactly due East only if the equinox occurred at the moment of sunrise, likewise it would set exactly due West only if the equinox occurred at the moment of sunset. Obviously it can never do both on the same day, it rarely does either, and when the equinox coincides with either sunrise or sunset it only does so for one meridian of longitude! On the other hand, for every equinox there is always exactly one meridian of longitude somewhere on Earth that sees sunrise at the moment of the equinox, and exactly one other meridian elsewhere (one day span to the East) that sees sunset at the moment of the equinox. Also note that on the date of the equinoxes the Sun rises almost due East and sets almost due West as seen from everywhere on planet Earth, even beyond the Arctic and Antarctic Circles (except the poles, at which the only direction is towards the opposite pole). The English word "equinox" comes from the Latin for "equal night", because the duration of daytime and night time are approximately equal on the date of the equinox. Due to atmospheric refraction, the Sun near the horizon always appears to be at a higher altitude than it really is, so daytime at the equinox is always longer than night time. For example, at Jerusalem on the autumnal equinox in the Hebrew year 5765 the daytime was 12 hours and 17 minutes, whereas the night time was 11 hours and 42 minutes (this doesn't add up to exactly 24 hours because the seconds were rounded as they are insignificant and because it is already changing for the next day), so the day is 35 minutes longer than the night (these times vary plus or minus a 1-2 minutes). The calculation of the date to start Sh'ela is based on Amora Shemuel, who assumed that the four Tekufot (seasons) are equal in length (astronomically they are not equal), each of 91 and 5/16 days = 91 days 7 1/2 hours. With four equal seasons the year was taken to be exactly 365 1/4 = 365.25 days long, which is the same as the mean length of the Julian Calendar year. The actual equinoctial year length is slightly shorter, currently the mean vernal equinoctial year is 365.242362 days, even shorter than the mean Gregorian Calendar year length of 365.2425 days. Thus according to the calculation of Shemuel the Tekufat Tishrei drifts about 3 days later with respect to the true equinox for each elapsed 400 years. Today it is about 13 days late, for essentially the same reason that the Julian Calendar is 13 days behind the Gregorian Calendar. However the Gregorian Calendar itself has drifted almost 1 1/2 days late with respect to the equinox, so today Tekufat Tishrei is almost 14 1/2 days late with respect to the actual astronomical boreal autumnal equinox, and during the 21st century it will continue to be delayed further at a fairly steady rate averaging 11 minutes 33 seconds later per year. The later that Sh'ela is calculated to start, the worse it is for the Land of Israel. Today we are not concerned about the roads getting muddy because of rain, for the roads are paved throughout Israel. Anybody who walks to Jerusalem for Sukkot (as my wife and I did in 1977) surely will return by some sort of vehicle. Pilgrims from outside Israel arrive and depart by airplane. The population of Israel is much greater than it has ever been at any prior time in history, so the need for water (rain) is greater than it has ever been before. This is not a matter to be taken lightly or to be allowed to wallow in debates over this or that rabbinical opinion. Why squander the power of prayer? Consequently it makes no sense to delay saying Sh'ela at all, rather I submit that: Sh'ela ought to commence immediately after Shemini Atzeret for everybody, everywhere. It is vital that Israel get the precious water that she needs, and everybody should use every potential opportunity to ask for rain. By the word "potential" I am implying that there is no point in asking for rain when it is inconceivable that the request may be granted. That is why the prayer is not said all year round. There is a standing consensus that rain is not requested during Israel's summer time because it "just ain't gonna rain". What about people living in climates that have rain at other times, or when rain would be harmful, or that live in the Southern Hemisphere, etc.? In contradiction of the 17th century ruling of Rabbi Chaim Shabbetai of Salonica, I propose the following: Everybody, everywhere should say Sh'ela at the same time as Israel, but those outside Israel should say the prayer with the Land of Israel in mind. One simple, sensible rule for all, without erroneous equinox calculations. Pray together for Israel — what is good for the Land of Israel is good for all of Am Yisrael. This page updated Tevet 8, 5765 = December 21, 2004 (Symmetry 454) = December 19, 2004 (Gregorian)
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 17:03:53 EST From: Dr. Bernard Dickman Subject: Frequency of Teves 10 Hi: Asara B'Teves rarely occurs on a Wednesday (only possible in a leap year). The last time was 1981 but it will occur again in 2008. That should mean that Rosh Chodesh Teves rarely occurs on a Monday. Your tables seem to indicate otherwise. Dr. B. Dickman Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 14:58:53 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Bernard, The tables to which you might be referring indicate that the 10th day of Tevet occurs 26,677 times in the full Hebrew calendar cycle of 689,472 years. That's about 3.8% of all of the possibilities. This correlates to your observations regarding the rarity of a Wednesday fall for Tevet 10. It also correlates remarkably well to the fact that the 10th day of Tevet occurs on Wednesday only if the year is a 383-day year begun on Thursday. (See
The Qeviyyot). The current Hebrew year 5765H is a 383-day year begun on Thursday. However, you have to distinguish between the first day of the month and the first day of Rosh Hodesh since Rosh Hodesh is sometimes two days long. For the month of Tevet, it is always a one day Rosh Hodesh in deficient years (ie, the years in which both Heshvan and Kislev are 29 days long), while it is two days long in the other qeviyyot. Consequently, you must look at the tables which relate to the 1st day of the month (See The First Day of The Month), and base the calculations of the Tevet 10 date from those statistics. This was done above. Once that is done, I believe that the difficulty you appear to have experienced disappears. Best Wishes for the coming year of 2005g! Remy Landau
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 13:45:30 +0100 (CET) From: Vladimir Uvarov Subject: Abib and Nisan 13, 14, 15 Dear Mr. Remy Landau, I read your articles about calendars with the great interest. Could you please answer to my question about the Jewish calendar? In ancient Jewish calendar the new month began when the moon crescent was visible, and the new day began with sunset. According to E.J. Bickerman (Chronology of the Ancient World, London, 1969) the time interval between the moon conjunction and the first visible crescent in Babylon in March is about of 16 h 30 m. It is easy to calculate that the average astronomical full moon occurs on the 14th day of Abib in the morning. Comparing the Passover dates in the presently known fixed Jewish calendar with the instants of the real astronomical full moon, one can see that the average astronomical full moon occurs on the 15th day of Nisan in the morning. Therefore, it can be concluded that "Abib 14th" = "Nisan 15th". Is it true? In the present Jewish calendar the Passover is celebrated in the night from 14th to 15th of Nisan. But when the Passover was celebrated in the ancient Jewish calendar? What means the phrase "on the fourteenth day of the month at even" (Leviticus 23:5)? Does it tell about the night from 13th to 14th of Abib, because the day begins with evening, according to "and there was evening and there was morning, one day" (Genesis 1:5). Sincerely Yours, Vladimir Uvarov Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 08:56:07 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Vladimir, You have certainly well researched the astronomy of this subject. The findings of E.J. Bickerman, as cited are certainly fascinating. Another work on the Baylonian calendric system which appears to still be quoted is the *Babylonian Chronology* by Parker and Dubberstein, originally published in 1942. However, when you say that > It is easy to calculate that the average astronomical > full moon occurs on the 14th day of Abib in the morning. you are speaking of a highly theoretical mathematical construct and a formidable assumption concerning what is really meant by the month of Aviv... neither of which necessarily reflect any particular historical reality. In the first instance, the use of current mathematical techniques to track the progress of the moon, or for that matter, any particular day in any particular calendar, imposes possibly non-existent constraints on what the ancient societies might themselves have done to bring into harmony the sun, the moon, and the rather undeveloped, but emerging, digital arithmetic of the times. The Metonic cycle needed the 18th century mathematical genius Carl Friedrich Gauss to be fully unravelled. In the second instant, it is not clear that the month of Aviv was indeed perfectly coincident with the latterly named month Nisan. There are considerable Talmudic passages which tend to force the month of Aviv onto the month of Nisan. However, these passages are more dogmatic than conclusive. But not to upset the collective wisdom of the scholars that put together the pages of the Talmud, Nisan is formally believed to be Aviv, regardless of whether or not that is indeed factual history. > Comparing the Passover dates in the presently known fixed Jewish > calendar with the instants of the real astronomical full moon, one > can see that the average astronomical full moon occurs on the 15th > day of Nisan in the morning. > > Therefore, it can be concluded that "Abib 14th" = "Nisan 15th". > Is it true? One of the first questions that I would ask is how far into the past can you really compare the Pesach dates of the presently fixed Hebrew calendar with the supposedly *real astronomical full moon*? This is being asked because the presently known fixed Hebrew calendar does not appear to go very much farther back than the mid-9th century ce. Also, what does anyone really mean by *real astronomical full moon*, and how far back into history will that concept of the full moon really exist? Consequently, logic based on these kinds of ideas is formal and must be considered massively speculative in its conclusions. I'm not really able to understand the ideas of the full moon linked to the festival of Pesach as implied, not only by yourself, but by a significant number of very serious scholars in related disciplines. The occurrence of Pesach and the full moon has never been shown, to the best of my knowledge, in any biblical regulation linking these two events. In other words, not a single biblical regulation, nor for that matter, Talmudic requirement I believe, requires that Pesach be observed at or near the presence of a full moon. Consequently, the existence of the full moon does not bring about the existence of Pesach and vice versa. However, it is interesting to see today, that a full moon is an event that takes place during Pesach, just as it is interesting to see today that the new moon is an event that takes place during Hanukkah. Finally, you seem to be having a bit of difficulty with an idea that is very easily understood by the Jewish world. > What means the phrase "on the fourteenth day of the > month at even" (Leviticus 23:5)? Does it tell about the night from > 13th to 14th of Abib, because the day begins with evening, according > to "and there was evening and there was morning, one day" > (Genesis > 1:5). The Jewish days all begin at sunset, and end at sunset... unlike the civilian days which all begin at midnight and end at midnight. Thus, Shabbat begins at about sunset, and the observant light the Shabbat candles just a bit before sunset. The same applies to any other day in the Hebrew calendar. Thus, once the sun had set on the 14th day of the month, it was automatically the start of the 15th day of the month. By the way, the biblical text is referring to the twilight of the 14th, and if followed, it states *and at night* which of course is now the 15th. These are some of the reasons why I would be reluctant to either agree or disagree with what you have suggested above. Happy New Year 2005g! Remy Landau

Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 05:30:27 +0000 From: Researcher A Subject: Correctness of the Hebrew Year Count? Dear Mr Landau Thank you very much for the courtesy of your reply; I was trying to understand when the present count 5765 actually began and as you rightly say, it appears to have been set when Hillel II attempted, some 1,800 years ago, to use the bible as a counting guide, using generations and rules of differing kings. Of course this is a fallible process although neither his methodology, nor his results, seem to have been doubted and therefore we as a people can date our "universal hebrew calendar" from that time. But this leads to another, local difficulty, which perhaps you can help with. The Torah talks of a sabbath year for the Land (of Israel) when it was to be left to lie fallow and not to be worked; in addition there are to be jubilee years every fifty years, affecting property and servants. The question is this; can we presume that the first "seventh" year and the first "fiftieth" year were to be counted from the first year that the conquest of Canaan began under Joshua? Apart from the problems that the Land was not all conquered for many years (some 400 years in the case of Jerusalem, for example), if the sabbath and jubilee years were kept - and therefore counted, from one to the next - does this not suggest that an accurate record of the number of years since Joshua's conquest began, would have been kept? Perhaps the answer to this question, like so many others, was lost with the Temple almost 800 years after Joshua. Looked at the from the perspective of history, some 1,800 years after Hillel II, and more than 2,500 years since presumably all accurate dating records were lost, it seems that this present date of 5765 is totally uncorroboratable and is probably the culmination of wishful studying by a man who could not have been in possession of all the necessary facts. The only historical point of interest which scientifically coincides with events 5765 ago is this; that was approximately the chalcolithic period in the Near East and of all the archaeological evidence revealed beneath Jerusalem so far, the oldest remains are dated to approx 5,500 years ago. This is also the date, roughly, of possible narrations of large floods in the region, written in other cultures. So although Hillel II did date his calendar to a biblical event, perhaps he was just being a little optimistic with the moment of the Creation of the world (the dinosaur egg in my pocket confirms he got this date a little wrong), but what about a Flood, or a Tsunami something like that? Noah's epoch seems a much more logical candidate for 5765 years ago; especially since we know that Abraham lived about 4,200 years ago and if there really were just ten generations, as is written, between the two men, probably about 1,500 years is as big a gap as feasible. It doesn't make Hillel right, but unwittingly it may make him lucky! A great pity that all the national records were lost though, is it not? Best wishes Hugh Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Hugh, Your researches into this subject is breathtaking in its scope. You are quite correct in concluding that we do not have any real records of history to either confirm or deny the 5765 years from Bereshit. However, Hillel II was not responsible for the year count. Nor is it clear from historical research precisely what was Hillel II's contribution to the Hebrew calendar. As far as the dinosaur egg is concerned, the modern rabbinic thinking on this is that none of us really know what is meant by *one day* or *one year* in terms of the biblical text. These phrases could refer to time spans in the thousands, millions or even billions of years in the eyes of the Omnipresent. That is good enough for now. So, 5765 is as good as any as the basis for any year count. Happy New Year 2005g! Remy Landau

Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 02:38:01 +0000 From: Researcher A Subject: Authors of the Hebrew Year Count? Dear Mr Landau Thank you again for your letter; I feel guilty for taking up your time this way. I did not know Hillel II (not the Elder) was not the progenitor of the universal Hebrew calendar; I thought he was! My interest in wanting to know when the calendar dates back to arose last (Hebrew) month during Chanukah, when i read the first Book of Maccabees, to understand the actual story of Chanukah, not the dreidel and doughnut and oil jar nonsense we were fed as kids. The story is dark and bloody and all the more glorious for that, but what caught my attention was the dating. I Macc ch 4 relates the liberation, purification and rededication of the temple, with the date given as 25 kislev in the year 148. This year refers to the age of the Seleucid empire, established by Alexander The Great's general Seleucus in 312 BCE. 148 years from that date would be 164 BCE, which equates (today) to the Hebrew year 3597, the year generally recognised by jews as the year of Chanukah. Thus Chanukah took place 2,168 years ago. So my question remains, when did we start dating years in this universalist way? It must have been after the Hasmoneans, as it was an official Hasmonean historian who wrote the Book of Maccabees and the dating is clearly Hellenist. Was it after Herod the Great? There is no reference in any biography of that Idumean of universal Hebrew time. Between Herod and Bar Kosiba was nothing but the Pax Romana, where surely Hebrew dating would not have been recorded. The reconstruction of the temple by Herod (in effect the third temple) was not given a Hebrew date, although we know that Herod conquered Jerusalem in 37 BCE (from Antigonus, last of the Hasmoneans), constructed his palace 14 years later in 23 BCE and finally completed the new Temple mount and dedicated the new Sanctuary in 10 BCE. Thus we come to the period immediately (ie within 100 years) after the expulsion, mainly in Babylon, which bring us, at length and with some regret, into contact with the Rabbis... How can we find out who started counting backwards? With best wishes Researcher A Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 19:10:15 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Researcher A We can't... or at least not until some archeological material is recovered which will definitively answer your questions. Happy New Year 2005g! Remy Landau

Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2004 14:44:36 -0500 From: Larry Padwa Subject: The Six Days of Hanukkah Hi Remy, A couple of more Tevet and 2005 trivia items (which are truly trivial and border on the silly): 1)Next year (2005) we will not have 10-Tevet. 2)Next year we will have only six days of Chanukah! Shabbat Shalom, Happy New Year -Larry

Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2004 16:01:40 EST From: Dr. Bernard Dickman Subject: Calculating Occurrence of Given Molad? Dear Remy: Is there anyway to calculate when a specific molad occurred? Let me suggest that you include discussions of Tekufahs to your website. Thanks for your very useful and informative website. Dr. Bernard Dickman Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2004 15:38:04 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Bernard, The reason it is not possible to actually know when exactly a particular molad occurred is that the same molad ocurs 47 times in the full Hebrew calendar cycle of 689,472 years. The Tishrei moladot can occur either 3 or 4 times in that full cycle. So the fact that a molad has a particular value does not provide any clue as to which molad it really is. These ideas are documented in the
Weekly Question Archive, at questions 12, 13, 68, 69, 71, and 115. The dates for any given molad easily can be found through simple computer programs in the programming language of your choice. With regards to the Tequfot calculations, it's an interesting suggestion which probably might be acted on some time in the future. Happy New Year 2005g! Remy Landau
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2004 19:21:45 EST From: Dr. Bernard Dickman Subject: The Lubavitcher Rebbe on Maimonides' Molad Dear Remy: Thanks for your response. Since it takes 181,440 months for every possible molad to occur, some possible molads have never occurred and others have occurred exactly once. I am trying to find if and when a particular molad occurred. The basis for my question is that Rambam mentions a particular molad in Hilchos Kiddush Hachodesh (6:7). The Lubavitcher Rebbi (Sichos, volume 21, Rosh Chodesh Tammuz 5744) states that this molad was not arbitrarily chosen but must be the molad when Rambam was writing. A quick check has not yet found this molad. I wanted to see if this molad was significant for some other reason. Dr. Bernard Dickman Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 08:24:17 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Bernard, Often cited as the repetition of the law, Maimonides' 14 volume work called *Mishneh Torah* was compiled over a 10 year period towards the latter end of the 12th century. The 3rd volume of this religious legal compendium includes *Hilkhot Qiddush HaHodesh*, which is a documentation of the rules and regulations governing the organization of the Hebrew calendar. In order to explain the actual calculation of the moladot, chapter 6:7 of *Hilkhot Qiddush HaHodesh* begins with an example of a molad of Nisan set to 1d 17h 107p. Such a molad, of course, leads to a molad of Iyar that is 3d 5h 900p. Theoretically, this particular molad of Nisan will first occur for Nisan 38,058H on Sun 14 Aug 34,298g. Shabbat Shalom! Remy Landau

Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2004 14:48:58 -0500 From: Irv Bromberg Subject: Explaining the Kalendis Method ... I updated my "Symmetry454 FAQs" PDF document, adding answers to the following questions: - Isn't it rather radical to have 5 weeks (35 days) in every 3rd month? - How accurate is the Symmetry454 Calendar? How does it vary with seasons? - Won't the insertion of the Leap Week be disruptive to businesses, etc.? The updated FAQs PDF is at:
http://individual.utoronto.ca/kalendis/Symmetry454_Calendar_FAQs.pdf My main "competition" in the Gregorian Calendar Reform world is Dr. Richard Henry, an astronomer at Johns Hopkins. He is the one that drummed up all this interest by issuing a press release. When he couldn't stand all the sudden media attention he diverted some of it to myself, and others. He also has a leap week perpetual calendar, but his month lengths are 30-30-31 days, and his leap week is dubbed "Newton" and inserted between June and July. My Symmetry454 has month lengths of 4-5-4 weeks, and the leap week has no name because it is simply appended to December in leap years. In the past my "Classic" Symmetry Calendar had month lengths of 30-31-30 days and the leap week was separate at the end of the year, dubbed "Irvember", a name that was invented by a family member ridiculing my calendar at the Passover sedar last year, to the great delight of all present. With Henry's Calendar in mind, I was later inspired to call my leap week "Einstein", especially because Symmetry was an essential part of the mathematical derivation of the Theory of Relativity, but after switching to the 4-5-4 week configuration there was no need for a stand-alone name. Meanwhile, I was astonished to see that at Henry's web site he is himself dissatisfied with his choice of "Newton" and he is having a contest to come up with a better name, and, get this, he has put forth "Irvember" for his personal vote! I can't tell how serious he is about that... Regards, Irv.
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2005 11:24:13 -0500 From: Irv Bromberg Subject: Online Lunar Phase and Molad Calculator In my freeware "Kalendis" program, which you can download from my web site, is a feature accessible through the menu path File --> Export --> Hebrew --> Moladot for Year. It lists all of the moladot for the Hebrew year that is presently displayed in the Hebrew calendar window, but in addition to the expected traditional information it shows the moment of the actual lunar conjunction, relative to the announced molad time and it shows my proposed adjustment to bring the traditional molad to the true mean lunar conjunction. In addition, if you go to that day in Kalendis you can see the lunar phase at any desired time. The fixed day number in the Time and Astronomy window is the number of days elapsed since the epoch of the Gregorian / ISO / Symmetry454 Calendars. If it has no decimals then it refers to 00:00h UT. If you make it have .5 as a decimal then it refers to 12:00h UT, etc., and as you change it you can see the effect on the solar longitude and lunar phase that is displayed in that window. In addition, the "Events" window shows the actual UT time of the lunar conjunction. I would check this myself but from what you wrote above, I don't understand for sure which years you intended. On the Hebrew Calendar side, a friend of mine had loaned the Gandz translation of "Kiddush haChodesh" to me several weeks ago. It has English only, and was published after the death of the author, having been completed by others. I found that I could not trust the translation, presumably because those who finished the publication didn't know what they were doing, or it could be the older English style (early 1950s), so I have been studying the original Hebrew with Rabbi Moshe Ginz. Yesterday I bought my own copy which has both English and Hebrew and is a recent translation from the early 1990s, so I am hoping that will be better. I want to implement computer functions as per Maimonides' specifications and then compare the agreement of his and mine for his era and ours. In several places he uses approximations where none are necessary, or "quotas" instead of interpolating, so I would also like to evaluate what difference it makes not to do unnecessary approximations, and to interpolate between the fixed quota values that he gives. -- Irv Bromberg

Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2005 10:55:49 -0500 From: Rabbi Seed Subject: Why the H in 5765H? Remy, Since I have the merit of announcing the new month this coming Shabbat, just a few questions. I noticed on the announcement that on the year, you have the letter 'g' after the English date and after the Hebrew date there is an 'h'. Can you enlighten me? Thanks ============================== Rabbi David Seed Adath Israel Congregation 37 Southbourne Avenue Toronto, ON M3H 1A4 (416) 635-5340 x 321 Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2005 09:48:39 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Rabbi The Hebrew year count is suffixed by 'H' The Gregorian year count is suffixed by 'g'. The Julian year count is suffixed by 'j' This convention became necessary in working through the various calendar arithmetic because each of these calendar systems uses differently measured years in their calendar units. For more on this rather confused calendar confusion, feel free to go to
Hebrew Calendar Science and Myths and look into the CONVENTIONS. The CE and BCE notations currently appearing in the various literatures are futile since these do not distinguish between the Julian and the Gregorian calendars... nor do these indicate whether or not the year count also included a year zero between 1 BCE and 1 CE. and a few other wrinkles in the matrix of the times....:) Shannah Tovah;) Remy Landau
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2005 10:31:04 -0500 From: Rabbi Seed Subject: Why Use the Julian Dates? I checked out the website so now I understand the distinctions a bit better. By the way, where would there be any use for the Julian calendar or is that just in calculating date prior to the use of the Gregorian calendar? Thanks ============================== Rabbi David Seed Adath Israel Congregation 37 Southbourne Avenue Toronto, ON M3H 1A4 (416) 635-5340 x 321 Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2005 07:49:12 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Rabbi The Julian calendar is still very much in use world wide and most notably in the Eastern Orthodox Church. As an example, the EOC will be celebrating Christmas on January 7, 2005 which actually corresponds to December 25, 2004 in the Julian calendar. The Tequfot are based on an arithmetic which assumes the solar year to be 365.25 days long... the length of the solar year used by the Julian calendar. rl:)

Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 18:12:00 -0500 From: Irv Bromberg Subject: Kalendis Molad Adjustment Calculation Update To: "Remy Landau" Remy: Today I updated my proposed molad adjustments page. You may find the math interesting. I added today an Average adjustment which ought to be reasonably accurate indefinitely.
http://individual.utoronto.ca/kalendis/hebrew/molad_adjust_equations.htm Regards, Irv.
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 09:57:47 EST From: Dr. Bernard Dickman Subject: The Molad and the First Day of the Month Hi: How are you? Once again I would appreciate your help. I was discussing with my friend the relationship between the molad and the first day of any month under our fixed calendar. I said that the molad must occur on the first day of the month (even in rare occasions after noon on the first) or the day before (which I said was the most common situation) or the previous day ( two days before). He asked what the frequency of each was and for some insight as to why they happened. Also, he wanted to know if leap years were similar to regular years in this respect. I replied that it was related to how close the molad of Tishrei was to noon of Tishrei 1. The biggest gaps between the molad of any month and the first of the month would come in a year (and the preceding year) where we have a Dehiyyah GaTaRad. The smallest gaps would occur when the molad of Tishrei was immediately preceding noon of Tishrei 1. Was I correct? Do you have any additional insights (such as frequency of occurence) into this issue? Dr. Bernard Dickman Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 08:26:01 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Bernard Some of what you stated is in fact corroborated and some is at best debatable. Most of your questions seem to be answered in the web page under the Moladot and the Overpost Problem... Feel free to explore these areas of the web page. Hodesh Tov! Remy Landau

Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 16:11:11 -0500 From: Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer Subject: Torah Science vs. Secular Chronology I do not know who Mr. RMA is, but the charges below are unsubstantiated. The links he provides end in the webpage of a disaffected J's Witness, where this information is not found. But a search led to another disaffected J's Witness, whom RMA has plagarized: http://watchtower.observer.org/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040312/DOCTRINE2/122003 The citations, when viewed in the explanatory notes, are clearly seen as interpreted to arrive at the result, and not as definitive. (You may ask how this is relevant to disaffected JW's? It is because the JW's claim the destruction was in 607, and this fellow, all of a tizzy, tries to demonstrate that it is really 587.) As to astronomy, au contraire, the Molados chart stretching to Molad Tohu in perfect order debunks the claim. See: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/1584/ (I am c'ing the masterful webmaster, Mr. Remy Landau.) YGB At 12:16 PM 1/21/2005, you wrote: >I have followed the intricacies of the discussion on a multi billion > year old universe vs. a 5765 year old one, but haven't seen any > discussion on the details of what such a dating implies about more > recent history. > > In particular Jewish and secular chronology are in synch only from 312 > BCE. > >The 275 year period preceding 312 BCE took only 110 years according to >Sefer Olam Rabbah based chronology. For example according to Jewish >Chronology the Bais Hamikdash was destroyed in 423 BCE and Alexander >conquered Judea in about 320/319 BCE. How do we reconcile these dates? > >Was time moving at different rates for Am-Yisrael and the rest of the >world at that time, so 27 hours in Sparta were the equivalent of 11 >hours in Jerusalem? > >Perhaps all of the non-Jewish records and data we have from antiquity >which purport to tell us the names of ancient kings and their regnal >periods are all forgeries or part of a grand conspiracy to confuse >the Jews. > >In addition all the records of astronomical events we have are > consistent with the 275 year chronolgy rather than the 110 year old one. > >Was physics operating differently before 312 BCE as well as during the >creation period? > >In particular we have the following summary of archeological evidence > for the secular neo-Babylonian chronology. > >(The evidence for dating Alexander's conquest of Judea to >332 BCE is even more extensive.) > >* Chronicles, historical records, and royal inscriptions from the > Neo-Babylonian period, beginning with the reign of Nabopolassar and > ending with the reigns of Nabonidus and Belshazzar, show it ran from > 626 to 539 BC. >* Berossus >* Ptolemy >* Various Babylonian > chronicles such as the Nabonidus Chronicle >* Nabonidus No. 18 >* The Hillah stele, > Nabonidus No. 8 >* The Adda-Guppi stele, > Nabonidus H1,B >* Business and > administrative documents >* Tablets exist that are dated from each year of the Neo-Babylonian > period as established by Berossus, Ptolemy and contemporary stele; > no tablets are inconsistently dated. About 5000 have been published > and about 50,000 remain. These are contemporary documents from the > Neo-Babylonian period. >* Astronomical diaries >* VAT 4956 fixes the 37th > year of Nebuchadnezzar to 568 BC by a unique set of astronomical > observations, establishing his accession year in 605 BC. >* BM 32312 plus the Akitu > Chronicle pin the 16th year of Shamashshumukin (a Babylonian king > before the Neo-Babylonian period) to 652/1 BC This, combined with > business documents, Ptolemy's canon, the Akitu Chronicle and the > Uruk King List combine to date Nebuchadnezzar's reign to 605/4-562/1, > with his 18th (destruction of Jerusalem, Jer. 52:28-30) year in > 587/6 BC. >* Saros (lunar eclipse) texts >* Four independent texts provide absolute dates within the > Neo-Babylonian period. Nebuchadnezzar's 18th year is fixed at 587/6 BC. >* Synchronisms with > contemporary Egyptian chronology show the following: >* Josiah died during Pharaoh Nechoh's reign, which began in 610 BC. >* Some Jews fled to Egypt under Pharaoh Hophra (Apries) immediately > after Jerusalem's destruction. Since he began to reign in 589 BC, > Jerusalem could not have been destroyed in 607 BC. >* A fragmentary cuneiform text mentions a battle by Nebuchadnezzar in > his 37th year against Pharaoh Amasis, who began to rule in 570 BC > > So to recapitulate, how do we reconcile the Jewish daring of 5765 from > Sedr Olam Rabbah with the above? > >[Moderator's note: I will be selective in how many presentations of R' >Schwalb's proposal I let through. -mi] Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2005 17:19:26 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear YGB Thank you for forwarding this absolutely startling correspondence. (And thanks for the very encouraging words about the web page *Hebrew Calendar Science and Myths*!) Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised at the passion with which so many are trying to "correct" historical dates... particularly since I myself am highly passionate about the method of computing one particular dating mechanism, namely, the Hebrew calendar. Shavuah Tov! Remy Landau

Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 00:58:02 -0500 From: Elizabeth Ranucci Subject: Search for a Sunrise Alarm Clock Well you are quite a bit smarter than I, but I did manage to scan a bit of your lengthy and informative exegesis! I'm a Christian with a love for Israel, and the Hebraic roots of our faith... my husband and I recently began enjoying the Messianic Jewish community (not the ones who push Y'shua at the Jews - rather the ones who desire to live a godly life, honor Torah, learn about and practice the appointed Biblical feasts and celebrations ... with Messianic significance ascribed to Y'shua - Jesus) and was just downloading some great calendar conversion programs, etc. etc. Actually, I was really looking for a clock which wakes you at sunrise so I can get up then and pray. Not sure, but it seems the Jewish custom is to start morning prayer at a certain interval before sunrise - but I never did find that kind of clock, anyway! Somehow I landed on your web page, (Google - gotta love it!) and will tab your site as a Favorite, plus tell my husband about it. Thanks! If you're interested, here's our church website: kehilat.org ...my husbands written essays appear under Frank Ranucci in the "study" section. He's got some good material in there, even if you're not Messianic - about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict/myths, etc. It's pro-Israel, of course :o) Shalom! Frank's wife Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 02:25:20 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Elizabeth, Thank you so much for the very encouraging words! I'm not sure about any sunrise alarm clocks... let alone sunset clocks... but I do know that there are considerable religious numbers of religious opinions on these issues... not least of which revolve around the issue of when it is that you can say that sunrise or sunset has occured or is occurring. There are many answers to this particular idea. As far as I know, the jury is still very much out on these issues and the practices follow various customs set down by various communities. Of course, the legal masters still have not quite come to any concensus regarding sunrise and sunset in the Arctic regions, although I have heard rumours of feeble attempts at this... So good luck with your research into this topic! Shabbat Shalom! Remy Landau

Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2005 00:55:20 -0800 From: Yossi Yaffe Subject: Searching for Date Conversion Formulas Hi! I was wondering if you could fill me in on the formula used to calculate Hebrew to English date conversions. Thanks! Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2005 03:43:30 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Yossi, There really aren't any well-known formulas to do this... The closest you come to a well-known formula to convert from the Hebrew to the Civilian date is the Gauss Pesach Formula... which, for good reason, only provides the Julian equivalent of a Hebrew Pesach date... but not the Gregorian. The Gauss effort, however, is only good for about the first 9000 Hebrew years. Most date conversion procedures today resort to a day count that begins in some mythical past, like for example 1 Jan -4713j... and work out the equivalences to that date using day counts from that starting point. This process is somewhat explained in such books as Reingold and Dershowitz *Calendrical Calculations*... But in general, it appears that everyone interested in calculating date conversions will opt for their own formula to accomplish the obligatory date conversions. There are however some good internet sites devoted to the conversion of calendar dates. Use Google to track down *Calendar Converter* for such sites. Best Regards Remy Landau

Date: Sat, 05 Feb 2005 11:58:40 -0500 From: Paul Moniodis Subject: Request for Historical List of Passover Dates Do you know of a reference that gives a list of the Passover dates from ca. 1 CE till present? Many hours of internet searching proved unsucessful. Thank you. Paul Moniodis Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2005 17:22:10 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Paul, Attached is a list specially created in response to your request. The list shows the Hebrew year, followed by the Gregorian date, and then the Julian date. You must be aware of the fact that this list consists of a formal calculation and cannot pretend to be historical fact much beyond the year 900 CE since the fixed Hebrew calendar does not appear to have emerged in its present form until about that period in time. Shavuah Tov! Hodesh Tov! Remy Landau Plain Text Attachment (edited by Remy Landau) About the turn of the 1st century CE Pesach 3,750H maps onto Tue 27 Mar -10g ( 29 Mar -11j) Pesach 3,751H maps onto Tue 16 Apr -9g ( 18 Apr -10j) Pesach 3,752H maps onto Sat 4 Apr -8g ( 6 Apr -9j) Pesach 3,753H maps onto Thu 25 Mar -7g ( 27 Mar -8j) Pesach 3,754H maps onto Tue 12 Apr -6g ( 14 Apr -7j) Pesach 3,755H maps onto Sat 1 Apr -5g ( 3 Apr -6j) Pesach 3,756H maps onto Thu 21 Mar -4g ( 23 Mar -5j) Pesach 3,757H maps onto Thu 10 Apr -3g ( 12 Apr -4j) Pesach 3,758H maps onto Sun 29 Mar -2g ( 31 Mar -3j) Pesach 3,759H maps onto Thu 18 Mar -1g ( 20 Mar -2j) Pesach 3,760H maps onto Thu 6 Apr 0g ( 8 Apr -1j) Pesach 3,761H maps onto Tue 27 Mar 1g ( 29 Mar 1j) Pesach 3,762H maps onto Sun 14 Apr 2g ( 16 Apr 2j) Pesach 3,763H maps onto Thu 3 Apr 3g ( 5 Apr 3j) Pesach 3,764H maps onto Tue 23 Mar 4g ( 25 Mar 4j) Pesach 3,765H maps onto Tue 12 Apr 5g ( 14 Apr 5j) Pesach 3,766H maps onto Sat 1 Apr 6g ( 3 Apr 6j) Pesach 3,767H maps onto Tue 20 Mar 7g ( 22 Mar 7j) Pesach 3,768H maps onto Tue 8 Apr 8g ( 10 Apr 8j) Pesach 3,769H maps onto Sat 28 Mar 9g ( 30 Mar 9j) Pesach 3,770H maps onto Thu 15 Apr 10g ( 17 Apr 10j) ... Possible years of the crucifixion Pesach 3,789H maps onto Sun 15 Apr 29g ( 17 Apr 29j) Pesach 3,790H maps onto Thu 4 Apr 30g ( 6 Apr 30j) Pesach 3,791H maps onto Tue 25 Mar 31g ( 27 Mar 31j) Pesach 3,792H maps onto Tue 13 Apr 32g ( 15 Apr 32j) Pesach 3,793H maps onto Sat 2 Apr 33g ( 4 Apr 33j) Pesach 3,794H maps onto Tue 21 Mar 34g ( 23 Mar 34j) Pesach 3,795H maps onto Tue 10 Apr 35g ( 12 Apr 35j) Pesach 3,796H maps onto Sat 29 Mar 36g ( 31 Mar 36j) Pesach 3,797H maps onto Thu 19 Mar 37g ( 21 Mar 37j) Pesach 3,798H maps onto Tue 6 Apr 38g ( 8 Apr 38j) Pesach 3,799H maps onto Sat 26 Mar 39g ( 28 Mar 39j) Pesach 3,800H maps onto Sat 14 Apr 40g ( 16 Apr 40j) ... Period of the destruction of the second Bet HaMiqdash Pesach 3,826H maps onto Sat 27 Mar 66g ( 29 Mar 66j) Pesach 3,827H maps onto Sat 16 Apr 67g ( 18 Apr 67j) Pesach 3,828H maps onto Tue 3 Apr 68g ( 5 Apr 68j) Pesach 3,829H maps onto Sun 24 Mar 69g ( 26 Mar 69j) Pesach 3,830H maps onto Sat 12 Apr 70g ( 14 Apr 70j) Pesach 3,831H maps onto Thu 2 Apr 71g ( 4 Apr 71j) Pesach 3,832H maps onto Sun 20 Mar 72g ( 22 Mar 72j) Pesach 3,833H maps onto Sat 8 Apr 73g ( 10 Apr 73j) ... Period possibly at about the time of the Gamliel-Yehoshuah mahloqet Pesach 3,855H maps onto Thu 7 Apr 95g ( 9 Apr 95j) Pesach 3,856H maps onto Sun 25 Mar 96g ( 27 Mar 96j) Pesach 3,857H maps onto Sat 13 Apr 97g ( 15 Apr 97j) Pesach 3,858H maps onto Thu 3 Apr 98g ( 5 Apr 98j) Pesach 3,859H maps onto Tue 24 Mar 99g ( 26 Mar 99j) Pesach 3,860H maps onto Sun 11 Apr 100g ( 12 Apr 100j) ... Period at about the time of the ill-fated Bar Kochba revolt Pesach 3,890H maps onto Tue 11 Apr 130g ( 12 Apr 130j) Pesach 3,891H maps onto Sat 31 Mar 131g ( 1 Apr 131j) Pesach 3,892H maps onto Tue 18 Mar 132g ( 19 Mar 132j) Pesach 3,893H maps onto Tue 7 Apr 133g ( 8 Apr 133j) Pesach 3,894H maps onto Sat 27 Mar 134g ( 28 Mar 134j) Pesach 3,895H maps onto Thu 14 Apr 135g ( 15 Apr 135j) Pesach 3,896H maps onto Tue 3 Apr 136g ( 4 Apr 136j) Pesach 3,897H maps onto Sat 23 Mar 137g ( 24 Mar 137j) Pesach 3,898H maps onto Sat 12 Apr 138g ( 13 Apr 138j) Pesach 3,899H maps onto Tue 31 Mar 139g ( 1 Apr 139j) Pesach 3,900H maps onto Sun 20 Mar 140g ( 21 Mar 140j) ... Period at about the time of Hillel II's supposed calendar reform Pesach 4,114H maps onto Sat 27 Mar 354g ( 26 Mar 354j) Pesach 4,115H maps onto Thu 14 Apr 355g ( 13 Apr 355j) Pesach 4,116H maps onto Tue 3 Apr 356g ( 2 Apr 356j) Pesach 4,117H maps onto Sat 23 Mar 357g ( 22 Mar 357j) Pesach 4,118H maps onto Sat 12 Apr 358g ( 11 Apr 358j) Pesach 4,119H maps onto Tue 31 Mar 359g ( 30 Mar 359j) Pesach 4,120H maps onto Sat 19 Mar 360g ( 18 Mar 360j) Pesach 4,121H maps onto Sat 8 Apr 361g ( 7 Apr 361j) Pesach 4,122H maps onto Thu 29 Mar 362g ( 28 Mar 362j) Pesach 4,123H maps onto Tue 16 Apr 363g ( 15 Apr 363j) Pesach 4,124H maps onto Sat 4 Apr 364g ( 3 Apr 364j) Pesach 4,125H maps onto Thu 25 Mar 365g ( 24 Mar 365j) ... Period at about the time of the Resh Galuta's letter of 4,595H Pesach 4,590H maps onto Tue 16 Apr 830g ( 12 Apr 830j) Pesach 4,591H maps onto Sat 5 Apr 831g ( 1 Apr 831j) Pesach 4,592H maps onto Thu 25 Mar 832g ( 21 Mar 832j) Pesach 4,593H maps onto Tue 12 Apr 833g ( 8 Apr 833j) Pesach 4,594H maps onto Sat 1 Apr 834g ( 28 Mar 834j) Pesach 4,595H maps onto Thu 22 Mar 835g ( 18 Mar 835j) Pesach 4,596H maps onto Thu 10 Apr 836g ( 6 Apr 836j) Pesach 4,597H maps onto Sun 29 Mar 837g ( 25 Mar 837j) Pesach 4,598H maps onto Sat 17 Apr 838g ( 13 Apr 838j) ... Period at about the time of the Meir-Saadia mahloqet Pesach 4,678H maps onto Tue 5 Apr 918g ( 31 Mar 918j) Pesach 4,679H maps onto Sat 25 Mar 919g ( 20 Mar 919j) Pesach 4,680H maps onto Thu 11 Apr 920g ( 6 Apr 920j) Pesach 4,681H maps onto Tue 1 Apr 921g ( 27 Mar 921j) Pesach 4,682H maps onto Tue 21 Apr 922g ( 16 Apr 922j) Pesach 4,683H maps onto Sat 10 Apr 923g ( 5 Apr 923j) Pesach 4,684H maps onto Tue 28 Mar 924g ( 23 Mar 924j) Pesach 4,685H maps onto Tue 17 Apr 925g ( 12 Apr 925j) Pesach 4,686H maps onto Sat 6 Apr 926g ( 1 Apr 926j) Pesach 4,687H maps onto Thu 27 Mar 927g ( 22 Mar 927j) Pesach 4,688H maps onto Tue 13 Apr 928g ( 8 Apr 928j) ... Period at about the time of Maimonides' Hilkhot Qiddush HaHodesh Pesach 4,930H maps onto Thu 9 Apr 1,170g ( 2 Apr 1,170j) Pesach 4,931H maps onto Tue 30 Mar 1,171g ( 23 Mar 1,171j) Pesach 4,932H maps onto Tue 18 Apr 1,172g ( 11 Apr 1,172j) Pesach 4,933H maps onto Sat 7 Apr 1,173g ( 31 Mar 1,173j) Pesach 4,934H maps onto Tue 26 Mar 1,174g ( 19 Mar 1,174j) Pesach 4,935H maps onto Tue 15 Apr 1,175g ( 8 Apr 1,175j) Pesach 4,936H maps onto Sat 3 Apr 1,176g ( 27 Mar 1,176j) Pesach 4,937H maps onto Thu 24 Mar 1,177g ( 17 Mar 1,177j) Pesach 4,938H maps onto Tue 11 Apr 1,178g ( 4 Apr 1,178j) Pesach 4,939H maps onto Sat 31 Mar 1,179g ( 24 Mar 1,179j) Pesach 4,940H maps onto Sat 19 Apr 1,180g ( 12 Apr 1,180j) ... Period at about the time of the Gregorian calendar reform Pesach 5,338H maps onto Sun 2 Apr 1,578g ( 23 Mar 1,578j) Pesach 5,339H maps onto Sat 21 Apr 1,579g ( 11 Apr 1,579j) Pesach 5,340H maps onto Thu 10 Apr 1,580g ( 31 Mar 1,580j) Pesach 5,341H maps onto Sun 29 Mar 1,581g ( 19 Mar 1,581j) Pesach 5,342H maps onto Sat 17 Apr 1,582g ( 7 Apr 1,582j) Pesach 5,343H maps onto Thu 7 Apr 1,583g ( 28 Mar 1,583j) Pesach 5,344H maps onto Tue 27 Mar 1,584g ( 17 Mar 1,584j) Pesach 5,345H maps onto Sun 14 Apr 1,585g ( 4 Apr 1,585j) Pesach 5,346H maps onto Thu 3 Apr 1,586g ( 24 Mar 1,586j) Pesach 5,347H maps onto Thu 23 Apr 1,587g ( 13 Apr 1,587j) Pesach 5,348H maps onto Tue 12 Apr 1,588g ( 2 Apr 1,588j) Pesach 5,349H maps onto Sat 1 Apr 1,589g ( 22 Mar 1,589j) Pesach 5,350H maps onto Thu 19 Apr 1,590g ( 9 Apr 1,590j) ... Current period Pesach 5,757H maps onto Tue 22 Apr 1,997g ( 9 Apr 1,997j) Pesach 5,758H maps onto Sat 11 Apr 1,998g ( 29 Mar 1,998j) Pesach 5,759H maps onto Thu 1 Apr 1,999g ( 19 Mar 1,999j) Pesach 5,760H maps onto Thu 20 Apr 2,000g ( 7 Apr 2,000j) Pesach 5,761H maps onto Sun 8 Apr 2,001g ( 26 Mar 2,001j) Pesach 5,762H maps onto Thu 28 Mar 2,002g ( 15 Mar 2,002j) Pesach 5,763H maps onto Thu 17 Apr 2,003g ( 4 Apr 2,003j) Pesach 5,764H maps onto Tue 6 Apr 2,004g ( 24 Mar 2,004j) Pesach 5,765H maps onto Sun 24 Apr 2,005g ( 11 Apr 2,005j) Pesach 5,766H maps onto Thu 13 Apr 2,006g ( 31 Mar 2,006j) Pesach 5,767H maps onto Tue 3 Apr 2,007g ( 21 Mar 2,007j) Pesach 5,768H maps onto Sun 20 Apr 2,008g ( 7 Apr 2,008j) Pesach 5,769H maps onto Thu 9 Apr 2,009g ( 27 Mar 2,009j) Pesach 5,770H maps onto Tue 30 Mar 2,010g ( 17 Mar 2,010j)
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2005 17:51:04 EST From: Paul Moniodis Thank you for your kind and generous labor. Much appreciated. Paul Moniodis

Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 14:54:57 -0500 From: Giora Magen Subject: Request for Hebrew Year Number Transliteration Dear Remy/Landau Do you have a chart or converter to transform the Hebrew year, into Hebrew letters? for example, 5739 into tav shin lamed '' tet Thank you Giora Magens Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 13:03:55 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Giora That is an interesting idea which, to the best of my knowledge, has not been developed. Perhaps someone else will know of a source to satisfy this request. Hodesh Tov! Remy Landau

Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2005 14:16:03 +0000 From: Dr. John Stockton Subject: Is Creation at AM 1 or AM 2? Claus Tondering's The Calendar FAQ, V2.7 (2005-01-15), has a Section 3.8 changed from that of V2.6 (2003). URL: http://www.tondering.dk/claus/calendar.html V2.6 : Years are counted since the creation of the world, which is assumed to have taken place in 3761 BC. In that year, AM 1 started (AM = Anno Mundi = year of the world). V2.7 : Years are counted since the creation of the world, which is assumed to have taken place in the autumn of 3760 BC. In that year, after less than a week belonging to AM 1, AM 2 started (AM = Anno Mundi = year of the world). Written references at home here agree with V2.6. If you can confirm V2.7, I'll need to change my web pages; do you have a Julian calendar date/time for the Creation and for the start of AM 2 ? If you can refute V2.7, you might like to tell Claus Tondering - 'E-mail: claus@tondering.dk. (Please include the word "calendar" in the subject line.)'. Otherwise, ??? One must note that only half of the world can have been created in the Autumn, the other half must have been created in Spring. Regards, John Stockton, Surrey, UK. Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2005 17:21:29 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear John The mythical legends of the rabbis suggest that something existed as of Year 1H... but that Bereshit (ie Creation) began in the very last six days of that first year. Thus Adam was created on the last Friday of that year and on Shabbat Year 2H began. The tradition is found in many medieval sources. If the year count begins with year 1H with Tishrei molad of BaHaRaD (ie 2d 5h 204p) then the years which follow (currently year 5765H, are collectively known as the years of Anno Mundi (or AM). If the year count begins with year 2H and molad of Tishrei of VaYaD (ie 6d 14h 0p) then the years which follow, currently at 5764, are collectively known as the years of Aera Adami (or AA). There is also the year of contracts, which is a year count begun with the ascension of Alexander the Great in -312j. All of these year counts are documented in medieval writings, and may be found in Maimonides' *Hilkhot Qiddush HaHodesh* (1175j), and also Al-Biruni's *Chronology of the Ancient Nations* (1000j). A good web site for converting specific dates over a very large time span is found at
Calendar Converter From the above it appears that no change need be made to any of the documentation you have noted. Shabbat Shalom! Remy Landau
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 10:59:26 +0200 From: Eli Nahmani Subject: What is the Real Purpose of the Dehiyyot? Dear Remy, First of all I would like to express my appreciation to your excellent web site, both from informational and design points of view. In the paragraph "The 4 Dehiyyot" you say that the purpose of the Dehiyyot is to reduce the number of Qeviyyot. What is the interest of the Hebrew calendar to reduce that number? Are you saying that the motivation of "Lo ADU Rosh" is not really to prevent Yom Kippur from occurring near Shabbat? Thanks for your patience.. Regards, Eli Nahmani Tel-Aviv, Israel Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 03:11:51 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Eli That is quite correct... in spite of some rabbinic and Talmudic comments on this issue.. Deeper probing has shown that the Dehiyyot were instituted purely for arithmetical purposes and as well to pay very close heed to the Mishnah found in Tractate Arakin 8b. Shabbat Shalom Remy Landau ---- Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 14:22:39 +0200 From: Eli Nahmani Dear Remy, Thank you very much for your fast response. But still, what is "wrong" with too many Qeviyyot ? (Is this answered in the Mishnaa you have mentioned?) Thanks, Shabbat Shalom Eli Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 06:31:04 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Eli, A qeviyyah specifies the structure of the year. Without the dehiyyot there would be 28 such structures. With the dehiyyot there are 14 qeviyyot. This considerably reduces the effort in documenting the manner in which such religious practices as the Torah reading ought to be split during the year... and many other matters which depend on the structure of the year. With regards to the issue of too many qeviyyot, you would then come squarely against the matter stated in Arakin 8b, And therefore overriding the Talmud. One day, this will be explained in the page. Shabbat Shalom! Remy Landau ---- Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2005 17:02:33 +0200 From: Eli Nahmani Dear Remy, Thank you very much again for your quick reply and your patience. I will be very glad to read your explanation about the influence of the dehiyyot on religious routines. Can you please give me just one or 2 examples of additional instructions/documentation regarding religious practices that would be necessary if "Lo ADU" was not implemented (sorry for my English). Regards, Shavuah Tov. Eli Nahmani Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2005 09:19:54 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Eli, The web page, in discussing the dehiyyot, notes the effects of not having the rule Lo ADU. Feel free to work out the religious details. Shavuah Tov! Remy Landau

Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2005 09:09:34 -0800 (PST) From: Gregory David Subject: Why Are There So Many Hebrew Year Lengths? Dear Sir : I am a Christian and as such believe the bible to be the very word of GOD. It is, among other things, an accurate (infallable ) history of the world. I visited your site to better understand the basics of the Hebrew year and thus the time of year that Christ was born and the time of year that he died. I am sorry to say though that I found your site to be vague and convoluted (to my western mind). Why, for example, are there so many different lengths to the years ? Since the earth circles the sun with clockwork accuracy, the calculation of that year should be precise and not spread into a comlicated sytem of periods. The pentatuch gives no indication that God meant for such a complicated system to arise. So where does it come from and when was it established ? Any clarification on this would be greatly appreciated. SGT. David, Gregory C. U.S. Army Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2005 10:29:04 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Gregory, The biblical text to which you refer presented the very basic fundamentals of the calendar year. This was a year that had to respond to the Roshei Hadashim, that is, the New Moons, and as well, to the seasons that are byproducts of the years as measured by the anuual solar cycle. The result was a luni-solar calendar. Of particular importance was the recognition that complete cycles of the moon did not particularly match up with complete cycles of the sun. Thus, the luni-solar calendar system of the Hebrews was established in such a manner so as to prevent the onset of any Lunar year from drifting more than 30 days from the onset of its corresponding solar year in the luni-solar system cycle. Possibly the ancient Babylonians, or at the very least, the ancient Greek astronomer Meton, found that 235 lunar months very closely approximated the time needed to complete 19 annual solar cycles. Thus was born the Meton cycle in which 12-month years are followed by 13-month years in such a manner that no lunar year begins more than one month from the start of its corresponding solar year in that cycle. With regards to years having different lengths, a complete explanation is given in the
Additional Notes under the topic of Properties of Hebrew Year Periods. Thank you for your remarks. Remy Landau ---- Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2005 09:13:08 -0800 (PST) From: Gregory David Subject: Why Are There So Many Hebrew Year Lengths? Dear Mr. Landau : Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my letter. Your explanation was precise and lucid. Now I think I have a foundation from which to begin my study. I wonder what we can discern about God, His earth, and human history (if anything ) from such a study. I do not believe the Almighty is superfluous or capricious in the least. It is my conviction that everthing in God's economy has a place and purpose in the excecution of His plan...down to the jot and title. Should you have anything else to teach me on this topic I would be fascinated to delve deeper. For Example, doesn't God tell the Israelites in Exodus that the Passover is the beginning of their year ? What time of the year is that? Christ was betrayed, condemned and crucified during the Passover. Does it correspond to the catholic celebration of easter ? What is the relationship between the Roshei Hadashim and Passover ? A Very Curious Sgt. David, Gregory C. U.S. Army Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2005 12:09:28 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Gregory Since the information contained in the web page is about the calculation of the Hebrew calendar, and not about theology, your questions here will have to be answered through other resources. Regarding the Roshei Hadashim, these are the heads of the months, literally. Biblically, Exodus 12:2 implies that the Exodus took place in the middle of a particular month to be regarded as the first of "your months". A number of rabbinic traditions, in the absence of any tangible historical record, have suggested this "first month" to be the month of Nisan, and of course the Pesach to have been observed on the 15th day of that month. That is about as far as the matter can be taken in the absence of any particular archeological, historical, or other tangibly real record. Best Regards, Remy Landau
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2005 14:26:51 -0500 From: Irv Bromberg Subject: Maimonides and the Length of the Seasons I have been studying Maimonides "Hilkhot Qiddush HaHodesh" with Rabbi Moshe Ginz. After we learned about Rambam's method for calculating the moment of the equinoxes and solstices, which is based on the assumption that the season lengths are fixed and equal in length, I decided to take an astronomical algorithm look at the matter, and found that at most only two seasons can be equal in length (and that only happens when perihelion is at an equinox or solstice or the mid-season point), the seasons can vary in length by up to 7 days, and that the variability decreases as the Earth orbital eccentricity decreases. Please check out my new web page entitled "The Lengths of the Seasons".
http://individual.utoronto.ca/kalendis/ Regards, Dr. Irv Bromberg, University of Toronto, Canada
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 17:30:48 -0500 From: Robert E. Heyman Subject: Shabbats of Three Torahs Remy, The following came from ou.org. I thought you might appreciate it, if you haven't seen it. Robert With this coming Shabbat being Sh'kalim and Rosh Chodesh, in addition to Parshat P'kudei, we will be reading from three Torahs. Here, then, is almost everything you ever wanted to know about 3-Torah Shabbatot [3TSh], and probably more. Simchat Torah is always a 3-Torah day, but it isn't always on Shabbat, In Chutz LaAretz, it NEVER is. In Eretz Yisrael, Simchat Torah falls on Shabbat 28½% of the time (when- ever Rosh HaShana is Shabbat). The next possible 3TSh is Shabbat Chanuka, when Rosh Chodesh Tevet is Shabbat. (Specifically, it is 30 Kislev - first day of Rosh Chodesh Tevet - that can be Shabbat; the first of Tevet does not fall on Shabbat.) This happens 28% of the time - never in the same year as Simchat Torah on Shabbat. The final two candidates for 3TSh are Sh'kalim and HaChodesh when their Rosh Chodesh (Adar or Adar Sheni for Sh'kalim and Nissan for HaChodesh) falls on Shabbat. HaChodesh is a 3TSh 28% of the years, and Sh'kalim, only 11½% of the time (including this year). 3TSh for Sh'kalim happens in the same year-types as Triple Purim and Erev Pesach on Shabbat. In Chutz LaAretz, 42½% of years have no 3TSh, and 10% have two (Chanuka and HaChodesh). Years with 3TSh are slightly more common than ones without. In Eretz Yisrael, 3TSh are very common. Only 18% of years have no 3TSh. Over 14% have two. (In addition to Chanuka and HaChodesh, there is also one year-type with Simchat Torah and Sh'kalim.)

Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 08:54:42 -0800 (PST) From: William Jacobson Subject: Request for Remy Landau's Qualifications Mr. Landau, I am studying your documents relating to the Jewish calendar with fascination. There is obviously an awful lot to understand. Before I commit myself to plowing through all this material, I wonder if I might respectfully inquire as to your bona fides to write on this subject. Can you please share with me your educational background? thanking you in advance, bill jacobson Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 10:25:10 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear William, Welcome to the web page. I hope that you will enjoy its content, and perhaps find answers to your questions on the Hebrew calendar. It is always a pleasure to communicate with readers of the page, and I certainly look forward to continued correspondence from you. Shavuah Tov! Remy Landau

Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 13:53:23 -0700 From: Donald Pullen Subject: What is the Correct Day for Shabbat? Hello, I am doing research on the Shabbat. I found your website and I am in hopes that you could help me with a question. Using the most ancient record of the Hebrew Calendar, by what method did the earliest Hebrews determine which actual day was the correct day for Shabbat? I have conjectured that it centered around moon phases and therefore 2 days before any of the four major phases was determined as the Shabbat. ie.. Monday being a moonday and Shabbat being Saturday. If you could please give me insight on this question and if you have any references to this, I would deeply appreciate it. Thanks, Don Pullen Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 17:56:28 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Donald, Since this question is well beyond the limits of my knowledge, I will have to demur. Respectfully, Remy Landau

Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 09:35:09 +0200 From: Eli Nahmani Subject: Hebrew Calendar PC Calculation Accuracies Hi dear Remy, The article "Calendars" by L. E. Doggett states that "To avoid rounding and truncation errors, calculation should be done in halakim rather than decimals of a day...", which is certainly correct. But I wondered how wrong a "floating point" calculation can be. I have checked the two methods over 700,000 years and I have discovered that when there is a difference between "floating-point" calculation (using double precision on a PC platform) and "integer" calculation, then the FP result is always less than the INT result by 1 Heleq. Nevertheless, differences are never around day transition (i.e. 23h,1079p instead of 0h,0p) or around 18h (i.e. 17h,1079p instead of 18h,0p). So, the molad Tishrei and the first 2 Dehiyyot are always correct. And if you implement the last 2 dehiyyot by calculating the number of days of the "previous" and "next" year and check them for 382/356 then you get the right result using FP calculation. What do you think ? Regards, Purim Sameach, Eli Nahmani Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 02:10:27 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Eli, The calculation errors derived are highly dependent on the floating point arithmetic methods implemented in your computer... for example, the IEEE standard appears to provide greater accuracy than the alternative but faster method that some operating systems allow. With regards to double precision arithmetic, at least in the PC environments of today, the maximum positive dp integer appears to be 2^32 - 1, while the maximum dp float point number is about 15 digits accurate, since the fp dp uses 64 bits, of which either 8 or 12 are reserved for the exponent. Now, getting back to the calendar calculations, I'm not aware from your correspondence how far into the calculations you appear to be going to get the one heleq difference between floating point and integer arithmetic. But from your letter, it doesn't seem to be too far. Now, if you stick to calculating in halaqim rather than in decimals of a day, as suggested by L. E. Dogget, and you use the floating point arithmetic available to most PC's, then you'll find that you can correctly calculate the moladot up to at least the Hebrew year 24,660,582,124,551H. That upper limit is very nice to have since it is monumentally well beyond the Hebrew-Gregorian calendar cycle of
14,389,970,112 Hebrew years which is also 14,390,140,400 Gregorian years. It is interesting to note that you appear to have overcome a calculation problem by implementing the 356/382 bypass shown by Reingold and Dershowitz in their formidable work Calendrical Calculations. The technique was the subject of Weekly Questions 148 and 149 which may be found in the
Weekly Question Archive. My preference, nevertheless, is to continue to use the classical timings of GaTaRaD and B'TUK'TaPoT. These two Dehiyyot are much easier to implement in computer algorithms that are used to determine the various lengths of Hebrew year periods. The differing lengths of Hebrew year periods are considered in Properties of Hebrew Year Periods. Thank you for sharing with me the results of your very interesting researches into one of the more intriguing aspects of using computers on the arithmetic of the Hebrew calendar. Shalom! Remy Landau
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 16:54:37 -0500 From: Irv Bromberg Subject: Request for Rain Web Site Today I posted my new web page about Request for Rain (Sh'ela), and would appreciate your comments. (You may find the "fine print" comments about Maimonides' calculations especially interesting.)
http://individual.utoronto.ca/kalendis/shela.htm Regards, Irv Bromberg.
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2005 10:48:03 -0800 (PST) From: Shlomo Abrahams Subject: Hebrew Calendar Science and Myths I really enjoyed your website about the Hebrew calendar.. Thanks Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2005 17:37:45 -0800 (PST) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Shlomo Thank you so much for the very encouraging words! Shavuah Tov! Remy Landau Shlomo Abrahams

Date: Sun, 03 Apr 2005 20:43:59 +0100 From: Rachel Brown Subject: The Molad Drift Mr Landau As a friend of the Jewish people, I am very interested in the Jewish calendar and found your web site invaluable. I have struggled through Maimonides' exposition, but you have made it far clearer and added many great insights. I do, however, have a query on your article about the Molad Drift. You quote the mean length of the lunar month, and imply that it is constant. However, this is not true. Compared with a day of fixed length, the month is getting longer. Also, the day itself is getting longer as measured by atomic clocks, so compared with these variable days the month is actually getting shorter. I am happy to supply some references if you want to follow this up. The length of the year is also changing; I can't remember offhand whether it is getting longer or shorter compared with a day of fixed length, though I think the change is much slower than for months. May I wish you chazak and Shabbat Shalom, and may you indeed live to the longest possible 120 to continue your work. Rachel Brown Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2005 15:57:19 -0700 (PDT) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Rachel, Thank you so much for your encouraging words... Perhaps one day the topic will be expanded to include the rather excellent observation that you have made. But at the present time, more calendar material is being researched and accumulated, precluding the attention needed for this detail. Shavuah Tov! Remy Landau

Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2005 07:44:59 -0600 From: John Dekkers Subject: When is Shmittah? Dear Sir: I found your site as I was hunting for a Jewish calendar to tell me when the next Year of Release or Shabbat Year starts. It is the year in which debts to our brothers are to be cancelled. As a businessman and believer, I want to start to honor that instruction of our Lord. But the church has wholly (and conveniently?) forgotten it... Hope you can help. With warm regards, John Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2005 16:16:45 -0700 (PDT) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear John, That will be the year 5768H, beginning on Thu 13 Sep 2007g. The year of shmittah is, by one of these amazing coincidences, always supposed to be a multiple of 7. Best Regards Remy Landau Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 08:51:08 -0600 From: Hans Dekkers Dear Remy: Many thanks for your reply! Very much appreciated! We will add observance to this instruction to our lives. G-d is good! And his Law is perfect! And His grace... limitless! Warm regards, Hans

Date: Wed, 06 Apr 2005 23:41:52 -0500 From: Amy Lui Subject: Top Spiritual Site Award 2005 Hello! This is Amy, Junior Editor for spiritandsky.com, the internet's authority hub for spiritual related web sites. Welcome, and congratulations on such a wonderful site =). As part of my new job here at Spirit and Sky, I spend my time visiting sites and giving awards to those that deserve it. So congratulations for having a VERY relevant, on-topic site, and thank you for making the internet a better place! :) With hopes of love, light, music and happiness, thank you for your time! Amy Lui Spirit and Sky! Junior Editor http://www.spiritandsky.com Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 02:32:41 -0700 (PDT) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Amy, Thank you very much for your very encouraging words. And your very meaningful recognition of the efforts that made possible the contents of this site. Hodesh Tov! Remy Landau

Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 08:57:20 -0400 From: Jack Gostl Subject: Why One and Two Days Rosh Hodesh? Hello I am trying to understand why a month with 29 days is followed by a one day Rosh Hodesh but a month with 30 days is followed by two days of Rosh Hodesh. This seems counter intuitive. I suspect there is a mathematical reason simply because there is nothing arbitrary about the Hebrew calendar. (At least nothing I have turned up.) Thanks Jack Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 06:25:17 -0700 (PDT) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Jack, The unofficial take on this issue is that there was a desire to maintain unbroken the cycle of weekdays over the Roshei Hadashim. When a month has 29 days, then the start of the next month will be on the week day immediately following the start of the previous month. That's because 29 days is 4 whole weeks plus 1 day. When a month has 30 days, then the start of the next month will be on the week day two days removed from the start of the previous month. That's because 30 days is 4 whole weeks plus 2 days. Consequently, there is an obvious break in the weekdays between the 1st days of these two months. To fill that gap, Rosh Hodesh is also declared on the 30th day of the month. In this way the Roshei Hadashim always maintain a completely unbroken weekday cycle. There are several additional observations which can be made with regards to this arrangement of the Roshei Hadashim. At the technical level, this provides a very important error detection mechanism for the Hebrew calendar maker. Namely, the 30th day of each month must always be on the weekday immediately following the the first day of the previous month. Thus, the calculations leading to the first day of Tishrei have a very powerful verification mechanism. Also, it may be noted that Rosh Hodesh will always be on the 30th day of each and every single month. This has implications in terms of the annual memorial date (yahrzeit), and is used by many communities to deal with a date of bereavement that is the 30th day of either the months of Heshvan, Kislev, and Adar HaRishon. Hodesh Tov! Shavuah Tov! Remy Landau

Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 01:31:22 -0400 From: Ari Meir Brodsky Subject: Yaaqov Loewinger's Recent Article on 5765 Dear Dr. Bromberg and Remy Landau, I think you will be interested in the attached article, although I don'tknow whether your Hebrew is good enough to read it. It is written by Yaaqov Loewinger, who is a civil engineer by profession, but also a big talmid chakham and a calendar expert. The title translates as "Have we intercalated the year 5765 in vain?" (my translation). In the article, he presents the background to the problem, which of course you already know, and explains that there are scholars who have suggested that the Jewish calendar needs to be reformed. He then presents two main arguments defending the current status of the calendar against any proposed reforms. The main points are (my paraphrasing): (1) Having Pesach after the equinox is only a sufficient but not a necessary condition for inserting an extra month. Rambam in Kiddush HaChodesh 4:5 writes that the Beit Din could add an extra month "because of necessity" for seemingly minor communal needs (such as the roads being too wet for the Jews to travel to Jerusalem for the holiday). So it is clear that the calendar allows for leap years even when Pesach will end up more than a month after the equinox, and an important "communal need" in our time is to preserve the integrity of the current calendar. (2) Rabbinic enactments in general are based on reality as viewed by the Rabbis at the time of the enactment. If after time the reality or our understanding of it changes, the old "din" (law) remains. The Rabbis who fixed the calendar determined a certain approximation to be used as the "spring equinox for the calendar", which approximated reality very closely around the time of Hillel II (around 4119 / 359 CE). The gradual drift of this approximation from the true equinox over the centuries is no reason to change the halakha as determined by the Rabbinic approximation. Mr. Loewinger seems to appreciate questions about the calendar, so if you e-mail him any questions or comments at the address below I'm sure he will be happy to answer. (You can tell him you heard of him from me.) He does speak and write English as well as Hebrew, so you can write to him in either language. Maybe you can even prevail upon him to write an English translation of the article. He actually wrote a whole book on the same topic (193 pages, in Hebrew) the last time we had such a late year (19 years ago, 5746), called "Al HaSheminit". It's now out of print, but I've been able to obtain a photocopy of it, and I have read through parts of it and I hope to do a more thorough job over Pesach. I hope this is of interest. I have not told Mr. Loewinger of your respective websites, but I'm sure if you do he will enjoy looking at them. Please do not blame him for any errors caused by my paraphrasing of the main points in his article. Wishing you a chag kasher vesameach, -Ari ----------------------- Ari M. Brodsky ari.brodsky@utoronto.ca Yaaqov L o e w i n g e r - civ.eng. mail : P.O.B. 16 229 ; 61 161 Tel Aviv / Israel e-mail : judithl@post.tau.ac.il ==== Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 13:36:00 -0400 From: Irv Bromberg Subject: Yaaqov Loewinger's Recent Article on 5765 Ari and Remy: Thank you very much, I will undertake to study the document that you attached. One does not need fancy astronomical algorithms to realize that the Hebrew calendar is drifting with respect to the solar year at a rate that is second only to the Julian calendar. Just compare 19 x the March Equinoctial year length (or, for that matter, the mean Gregorian year length is close enough) with the duration of 235 lunar cycles = 19 Hebrew years. That gives a close enough estimate of the drift rate, which has been known for over 500 years. Papers like Loewinger's help answer the question: If the drift rate has been known for so long, why hasn't anything been done about it? There will always be people like Loweinger who find ways to justify continuing the status quo, which is of course always easier than making any change. If not corrected then Passover will drift into summer time and there will still be authorities who will find reason not to change anything. That is why we will still be at the sedar table at 2 am next weekend (one hour earlier in Israel, due to their earlier sunset time). What I want to learn is how to present an argument for calendar reform which will be persuasive for rabbis. The usual obstacles that I encounter with rabbis are: - Who cares? In the year 6000 the Meshiach will come and so we don't have to worry about changing anything! - Too busy to listen - Not interested - Can't understand astronomy / science / math -- actually I have found that this a refusal to understand rather than an inability, since any ordained orthodox rabbi surely has the necessary intellectual capacity - Occasionally there are those who refuse to believe that my studies are valid, but when I attempt to show support from the work of others, they tune out. My own web site is much too complicated for rabbis, but I haven't had time to do anything about it. It would be best to collaborate directly with a rabbi who is committed to the cause and will help me present the material in an appropriate way. I invite both of you to try out my new major update of "Kalendis" (freeware calendar calculator for Windows) -- I posted version 8.0(555) last week, with significant zmanim report improvements and a new button in the Hebrew calendar window that shows Hebrew calendar cycle details. The locale named Toronto (ZS-LWM) corresponds to the GPS coordinates of the Zichron Scheur - Lakewood Minyan on Bathurst just south of Glencairne, and "BYAD" has the coordinates of Beth Jacob V'Anshe Drildz synagogue on Overbook at Wilmington. -- Dr. Irv Bromberg, University of Toronto, Canada Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 03:18:55 -0700 (PDT) ----Remy Landau replies Dear Ari, Thanks for bringing this article to my attention. I hope that Yaaqov Loewinger will make available an English version of this interesting article. It is known that Pesach is not actually geared to either the vernal equinox, since this was never in the Torah language, and decidedly not to the phase of the moon, as so commonly mistaken by the Christians who gear their Easter to the first full moon on or after the first Sunday on or after the vernal equinox. (And their Eastern Orthodox counterparts who gear it to that event, unless of course it is before Pesach in which case it is postponed to the first Sunday after Pesach... hence the May 1 date this year for the Eastern Orthodox Christians). However, the very latest Pesach's, based on the fixed Hebrew calendar will always occur in the 8th year of the mahzor qatan simply because (12*9 +5) mod 19 = 18. Also, because the Hebrew calendar drifts through the astronomical realities, only its reform will correct that problem, assuming that this drift does indeed present a problem. Hag Sameach! Remy Landau ==== Date: Mon, 02 May 2005 16:47:51 -0400 From: Larry Padwa Hi Ari, .... I'd appreciate it if you could send me a copy of the article. If you could send both the original Hebrew and your English translation that would be best. Failing that, either will do although I'd prefer the English. Thank you very much. Larry Padwa

Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 13:47:42 +0000 From: J.P. Mayer Subject: When Does the Hebrew Calendar Day Begin? Hello Remy, I found it fascinating to read about the calendar. I didn't know that things could get so complicated in such an innocent way. I have a question for you and in my mind, it is about the Hebrew calendar or calendars. I have been following a web discussion board and as such got involved in responding to some opinionated (not that I would be opinionated, ha ha ha!) posts. This one has me stumped. It is all about a Christian discussing the Jewish calendar to make it fit his theories about what he reads in the bible. It is a bit complicated but here is the jist of it. He claims that there were two simultaneous calendars in use at the same time during the time of Christ, 2000 years ago. (I'm OK with this since we have lots of calendars in effect in the world now). He says that one group reckoned the day to start at sunrise and the other group reckoned the day to start at sunset. (We have this happening now in the world, I'm OK with that). Here is where it gets complicated. One group ( G ) starts the day at sunrise on Nissan 15 for example. The other group(J) starts the day at sunset but the sunset towards the end of the G group's Nissan 15. In essence what he is saying is that during the sunlight hours (when everyone is out and about) the daytime is Nissan 14 for one and Nissan 15 for the other. I mentionned that this would not make any sense to live, to actually have to live this way and that the sunsetters would have Nissan 15 start the previous night so that the daylight hours would correspond and this way the calendar is not in the way of social conventions. I asked what happened during the Sabbath when someone could claim to be a sunriser and work or vice-versa. He answered that it was an accepted convention at the time. In my mind this person is making the world fit his interpretations of the bible instead of the other way around. I may be wrong but am I barking up the wrong tree when I challenge him on this? Hope you have come across something in your research that can help me figure this one out. Many thanks if you can respond. If you cannot, I understand because this is quite unsollicited on your part. In friendship, J.P. Mayer, Sudbury Ontario Canada Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 15:55:21 -0700 (PDT) ----Remy Landau replies Dear J. P. Mayer When in doubt over the facts it is always a good practice to have some reference to the sources which underlie the conclusions. Now, with regards to Jewish practice, the day appears to have always started at, or soon after, sunset. The reason for this tradition lies in the magnificent refrain found in Bereshit I (Genesis I)... *vayehhi erev Vayehhi voker..* "...and there was evening and there was morning ..." (on that day)... so it was concluded, quite traditionally, that the day began at, or near, the sunset. We now come to another interesting practice.... the Shacharit service, which is the morning service. Some of the very religious like to perform this service at, or near, the crack of dawn. However, this does not override in any way the fact that the day began the previous night. With regards to Nisan 15... that is the first day of the Pesach festival, and it begins after sunset on the previous evening. Some religious groups insist that the Seder ritual not begin until after the darkness of the night of the 15th has set in. Most Seders begin after dark anyways... So, until your friend can clearly identify the historical, and archeological sources on which the dispute appears to be based, it is not be possible to make any particular claim of authencity with regards to the sunrisers. Hag Sameach! Remy Landau

Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 18:20:28 +0100 From: Dr John Stockton Subject: Which Day Begins the Jewish Week? In Mail message , Botaniska Föreningen i Göteborg wrote at Mon, 11 Apr 2005 21:30:05 :- > However, at http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/heb-date.htm, you have > written that: "The [Hebrew Calendar] Week starts with Saturday = Shabbat". May > I ask you from which source you have got this truly remarkable piece of > information? As far as I know, all Jewish writings agree that the > "Jewish Week" begins with Yom rishon (roughly Sunday). But on the other hand, > the "Planetary Week" does indeed begin with Saturday; might that be what > you had in your mind? I marked the passage with "Grave doubt ..." but have been somewhat preoccupied since then. My few printed sources here, as far as I can now see, neither confirm nor refute either version, and I don't recall why I wrote that. Could you, or Remy Landau to whom I am taking the liberty of copying this, suggest what I might put, bearing in mind that :- * I'm writing for numerate gentiles * The page is *much* smaller than my average (which is too big) * I see interest both in the positioning of the week(s), and in the numbering, if any, normally used within the week(s) That would be most helpful. > I would also rather be inclined to call "the first Molod", at Monday > 7 October 3761 BCE proleptic Julian, for "the zeroth Molad", a literal > translation of its alternative name, Molad efes (= Molad beharad). By "first", I meant "not preceded by another", the original one. I've changed "first" to "earliest", and am adding ["Molad beharad"; or "Molad efes", /lit./ "the zeroth Molad"]. Regards, and thanks, John Stockton, Surrey, UK. Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 20:08:25 -0700 (PDT) ----Remy Landau replies Dear John, There is a bit of a problem in reading this email because it does not appear too clear as to how it all fits together, and tonight, which is the first day after the Pesach holiday, your web links are not pointing to a page which can be opened. However, some of the fragments below can be addressed. The days of the week are numbered as Yom Rishon, Yom Sheni, Yom Shlishi, Yom Revii, Yom HaShishi, and Shabbat HaKodesh... Biblically, the first day of Bereshit (ie Creation) was known as Yom Echad (the first day), and the same text goes on to indicate that Shabbat did follow immediately after Yom HaShishi. That however does not provide any kind of answer as to whether or not Shabbat is the start of the 7-day week, or whether or not Yom Rishon (Sunday) is the start of the week. And certainly, this does not resolve the issue as to whether or not either Friday, Saturday or Sunday is the correctly appointed day of the week on which to rest. At least 3 major religious groups have decided differently on that issue alone. Personally, it is interesting to note that symbolically, the days of the week are denoted in Hebrew by the letters alef, bet, gimel, daled, heh, vov, and zayyin, which of course correspond to the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Zayyin (7) is used to symbolize the day known as Shabbat. From all this, it appears to me that there is no real possibility, outside of religious dictate, to determine which should be declared the first day of the 7-day week. With regards to the moladot, there really is not a "first" molad. BaHaRaD is considered to be the time associated with the Molad Shel Tohu, or the primordial molad. But this value is emphatically understood by many scholars of the Hebrew calendar to have been a value extrapolated by formal calculation using the rules of the fixed Hebrew calendar. Noone really knows from where the extrapolation originated. This particular value, using the rules, correlated to the Hebrew year 1, which as noted in the Gregorian calendar would have been Monday 7 September -3,760g. It should be understood that the traditional literature necessarily further extrapolates the timings of the moladot to find the timing of the tequfah Nisan... immediately preceding 1 Tishrei 1H. From all this, it appears almost impossible to claim any particularly absolute first for any of the cyclical phenomenae related to the Hebrew calendar... even if Exodus 12:2 does mention something like "... this shall be the first of the months unto you...". It will be interesting to hear other viewpoints on these rather fascinating ideas of the beginnings of timing cycles. Moadim LeSimcha! Remy Landau ==== Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2005 13:16:48 +0100 From: Dr. John Stockton Subject: Re: Anno Mundi The Church of England's Book of Common Prayer starts with calendrical matters. It uses the week, evidently as Sunday..Saturday, but does not define it. Given the increasing secular use of the ISO 8601 week, starting with Monday=1, they'll sometime have to consider the need for a definition. Regards, John Stockton, Surrey, UK.
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2005 11:50:22 -0700 (PDT) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear John You have done some very remarkable work on the Hebrew calendar. The trivial comment to make is that, as you noted, the ISO standard insists on numerating Monday as = 1. That is one standard which can be ditched as far as I'm concerned. The Rabbis came along very much before the standards of the ISO and gave Monday the numeration = 2. So I'll stick with the centuries old standard, rather than change for the sake of an international standard which does not take valid tradition into account. The next bit of digging is that it appears you may have left out some qualifying words in suggesting that the first of the 43 year spans containing 5 year lengths begins in the year 5861H. Actually, that is the closest year in which such a span will next begin. Using the formal fixed Hebrew calendar method, the first such span is located starting at year 126H. The most recent start of such a span was in the year 4477H. One day I'll document the fact that there are exactly 8 arrangements of the year lengths in these spans and that the first 5 years of all of these spans begin with this arrangement of the lengths - 355 355 383 354 and 355 days. Finally, it's interesting to note that you have determined the Hebrew-Gregorian Easter cycle to be some 205 million million years long. That of course is several thousand times bigger than the Hebrew-Gregorian calendar repetition cycle, in which 14,389,970,112 Hebrew years equal 14,390,140,400 Gregorian years! Hag Sameach! Remy Landau
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005 08:12:33 -0500 From: Michael Koplow Subject: Sefirat Ha'Omer Technique Dear Remy Landau. I am in awe of your calendar web site. I got a BS in math many years ago. I've never had a job relevant to math, and my skills have largely gone away, but I'm still geeky enough to noodle around with math. I'll sometimes copy an article from the Journal of the American Statistical Assn and try to work my way through it -- working my way through your web site is going to be one of my next projects. Thank you. Anyhow, here's something very simple. Let's say you have a siddur that tells you what to say on the nth day of the omer, but you don't have a chart for the current year that tells you what day you're on. Here's what the sticker in my siddur says: "April--date minus 23; May--date + 7; June--date + 38." I've done something like this for several years now, and I've proven to my satisfaction that the following formula works (the months are gregorian): month 1--date minus a; month 2--month + b; month 3 (if there is a third month)--month + c, where a = date of 2nd seder minus 1, b = number of days in month 1 minus a, and c = b + the number of days in month 2. Kids' stuff compared to what you've published, but useful nevertheless. Thank you for the web site. Moadim LeSimchah, and be well. Regards, Mike Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005 07:56:49 -0700 (PDT) ----Remy Landau replies Dear Michael Good work on the Omer.... The constants you gave are quite correct for this year... and the variables, at first sight seem to lead to the right offsets based on the Gregorian date of the first day of Pesach. When you analyze the math of the web page... please be kind in the criticism... there are considerable improvements which have come to my attention since first paged ... and one day it will be improved. I'm still working on that now. There are two major streams involved... one is the purely theoretical stuff as given by Gauss... and the other is the digital technical stuff needed to push the digital barriers thrown in by the computer. Haggim U'Zemanim L'Sosson! Remy Landau

Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 21:59:43 +0530 From: Shriramana Sharma Subject: Hindu Calendar I am a member of CALNDR-L and had a look at your Hebrew calendar via a link posted by one of the list members. I do not profess to have grasped and digested all the information on your page, but I can see you have done extensive and painstaking work and hence felt that you certainly deserve much commendation. Many congratulations! I am working on updating my Hindu calendar pages and will inform you, if you tell me you are interested, when they are ready. Hindu calendars use perfectly astronomical *definitions* (though historically they used different algorithms for astronomical calculations). So my pages will not contain as many intensive calculations as yours, since I expect the latest astronomical formulae to be used, instead of ancient approximations. Shriramana Sharma http://samvit.org Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 14:29:11 -0700 (PDT) ---- Remy Landau replies Dear Shriramana Please do keep me informed of the calendar information that you are preparing. And thank you for the good wishes. Hag Sameach! Remy Landau

Date: Sun, 8 May 2005 08:41:49 +0100 From: Steve Winnitt Subject: The 360-Day Year Calendar Hi Remy, I am interested to know why many Christians believe the Ancient Hebrew year to be 360 days. Where do they get this idea? I look forward to your reply, Thank you Steve ==== Remy Landau replies Date: Sun, 8 May 2005 05:14:02 -0700 (PDT) Dear Steve, This inquiry is well beyond my knowledge levels of the Hebrew calendar. I am aware of some speculation at the scholarly level as to what some of the solar and lunar calendars might have possibly looked like back in ancient times. The 360-day year calendar has been part of that speculation. However, no scholar has ever been able to prove that such an anomaly was actually ever used by anyone. Hodesh Tov! Remy Landau

From: Ari Meir Brodsky Subject: Yom HaAtzmaut's Moving Target Date Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 01:59:25 -0400 It's that time of year when we start thinking about the Calendrical Complications of Yom HaAtzmaut. Well, some of us do, at least! Some highlights regarding this year's Yom HaAtzmaut: YOM HAATZMAUT ADVANCED TO 3 IYYAR: Because 5 Iyyar falls on Shabbat Knesset law stipulates that Yom HaAtzmaut is celebrated on the previous Thursday, 3 Iyyar, and Yom HaZikaron is observed on Wednesday, 2 Iyyar. See the relevant legislation at www.knesset.gov.il/laws/special/heb/chok_yom_haatzmaut.htm and www.knesset.gov.il/laws/special/heb/chok_yom_hazikaron.htm . My understanding is that this adjustment has been in effect for as long as Yom HaAtzmaut has existed. (DOES ANYONE KNOW IF THIS IS CORRECT?) This year is the 8th time in history that we celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut on 3 Iyyar. The first one was 5710 (1950). This year is a late-year (Jewish calendar dates and holidays are as late as they get in the 19-year cycle, relative to the solar year), so the anniversary of Israel's Independence - 5 Iyyar - actually falls on May 14 this year, as it did in 5708 (1948) and 5746 (1986). There are many other calendrical features of this holiday that I would love to research and write about if I had an infinite amount of time and weren't working on a Ph.D. thesis. ==== Remy Landau replies Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 05:37:07 -0700 (PDT) Dear Ari... Good email... Much to think about... Minor detail... In our times the absolutely latest observance of the biblical festivals will begin on April 25, 2043... Not on April 24... And of course 1 Tishrei that year will be October 5. After that, check
The Rosh Hashannah Drift...
Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 20:55:54 -0700 From: Clark Wilkins Subject: Babylonian Period Hebrew Calendar Hello. Before the Babylonian calandar was adopted, what calendar did the Hebrew use? Was there a period when both calendars were used? If so, for how long? My curiosity would be whether or not there would have been an argument over when to hold the feasts during the period of overlapping calendars? Thanks. Clark ==== Remy Landau replies Date: Sun, 22 May 2005 07:17:13 -0700 (PDT) Dear Clark Are you assuming that the the Hebrew calendar came out of Babylonia? It's not really certain as to what type of calendar system would have been used by the Jewish people at the time of Babylonia's supremacy. Even Parker and Dubberstein (1942) who did pioneering work through some exhaustive archeological Babylonian records had difficulties in establishing the actual calendar system used by this civilization and when it first came to be systematized. The Jewish people appear to have relied on some method of lunar observation, coupled to some type of unknown calculations, in determining the starts of months and years before they published the fixed Hebrew calendar rules possibly as early as the 4th century CE. The fixed Hebrew calendar rules, as known to us today, do not seem to have emerged until sometimes in the early 10th century CE. (See Sacha Stern's Calendar and Community - Oxford Press 2002). In terms of overlapping calendars (as you seem to suggest), Talmudic Tractate Rosh HaShannah at 25b pretty much defines the calendar authority... and in Talmudic times that authority was decidedly in rabbinic hands and nowhere else to be found. Thus, the Jewish determination of a particular festival date lay solely in the hands of its religious leadership, and not in any foreign methodologies. In other words, if the rabbis decided that today was Yom Kippur, then today would be Yom Kippur. Shavuah Tov!

From: Dwight Blevins Subject: Plucking Harps and Calendar Cycles Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 08:21:46 -0600 Dear Remy, Sorry I've been out of contact for so long. We've been moving the offices and plant of the harp facilities, which chore seems to be endless, as we started in March and shall apparently not finish until late summer. In any case, I was following the recent discussion of the 43 year maximum span, when again wheels turned within wheels (as they are wont to do), and a question of connected artifact did arise. The holdout, bookend to the pattern, being the 384 day year (ie, which would fall at year 44 of the span), is indeed unique in that it can ONLY begin on the weekday of Tuesday. Somehow, this is a symmetrical thing of curiosity, which also results in the precise occurrence of 36,288 times (1/19th) per full HC cycle. This we know, as you have well documented on the website. But, here is the point to which I leap. Of the 36,388 times that the 384 day year occurs, how many the 384 day years are created by postponement? Is there a more or less direct relationship of the 61/39% ?? I guess the question, more precisely would be, are ALL lengths of lunar years created by postponements about 61% of the time for each example of year length? That is, would the 384 day year be created by postponement about 0.61 x 36,288 = 22,136 times, per 689,472 year HC circle? I'm particularly curious, since I believe few things in mathematics are accidental. As you have well said (at some point in the past), the HC has been based mainly on the laws of symmetry and little else. So, I am automatically suspicious as to why (if so) 61% of 36,288 falls out fairly close to a Biblical number of coincidence. That would be 22, 273, which is not far removed from 22,136. Of course, 22, 220, 22,000, etc., is number sequence fairly connected to Hebrew, symmetry, and the scriptures. Please tell me if my curiosity makes any sense at all? If so, I shall be happy to tell you where I found the number 22,273, which sums to 16, the mirror image of 61, and just happens to fall out fairly close to 61% of 36,288. Always happy to help you stir the pot, just a little bit more, attempting to make all the circles round :) Dwight Blevins ==== Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2005 08:24:24 -0600 From: Dwight Blevins Subject: Plucking Harps and Calendar Cycles That my last question does not have logic in mathematical fact. That is, the postponement effect is cumulative, adding up to about 61%. Therefore, it does not seem that any one declaration could be postponed anywhere near 61% of the time. Nevertheless, I shall wait and appreciate your comments, as my logic oft contains blind spots :) But, Tuesday, being influenced by rules 2 (adding 14.2857, or 1/7th), and rule 4 (adding only 0.54%), it seems likely that less than 15% of the 384 day years are postponed. Something of interest that I did realize, as a result of asking the question, is that Saturday, the seventh day, is the ONLY day of Tishrei 1, that is influenced by ONLY one postponement rule (ie, #2), and that precisely 1/7th of the time, making the frequency exactly 2/7ths (as your website states). All other days of declaration are influenced by at least 2 postponement rules. So, Saturday seems to be unique in this regard, as compared to the other 3 weekdays of declaration. Monday seems to have been honed to exactly a multiple of sevens (by percentage of 28%), making it some sort of symmetrical reference point of mark. Best Regards, Dwight Blevins ==== From: Dwight Blevins Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2005 10:03:15 -0600 Subject: Plucking Harps and Calendar Cycles Dear Remy, Apparently, without realizing it, you pluck the strings quite frequently. The pattern symmetry of 3323332 is, after all, the exact replication of what musicians call "the progression of a major scale." The scale, in the natural form of progression (called, key of C), runs the course, Tuesday through Monday, or C-B, or 1-7. This is the only sequence which has no interruption of "sharps," being purely diatonic. So, by progression of the sevens, it is long-long-short-long-long-long-short, or 3323332. Simple, eh? Thus, is can be seen, by the patterns of symmetrical law, that the 7 day Tishrei loop, circle, or cycle, runs Tuesday-Monday, or 3-2--the end of the cycle being adjusted by rule 4, which, sometimes being chopped early, bumps the declaration forward to Tuesday, while the beginning of the cycle (Tuesday) is sometimes chopped late, or delayed (rule 3), moving the point forward to Thursday. In any case, the circle calibration being kept in check, by the whick/whack of rules 3 and 4 = 3.31 + 0.54 = 3.85%--an exact multiple of sevens, which the weekly circle contains 385/7 = 55, which 4th multiple is 220 hertz, note A of the 4th or middle C octave, home point of the "progression of a major scale." Can you imagine the scheduling mess created for the 24 courses of the temple service, if this hacking and whacking had occurred at Friday-Saturday instead of Monday-Tuesday? Not nice, therefore the sages of symmetry of the Bet Din probably liked the 2-3 or 3-2 tweak of Monday-Tuesday, much better. This concludes the little discourse from the Blevinski spin zone. Now, back down on the farm, continuing to whack away at them harps. Dwight Blevins ==== Remy Landau replies Date: Sunday, June 5, 2005, at 09:06 AM Dear Dwight You have made my head spin... and I get a lot of unsuccessful attempts at that! Your musings are sufficiently delightful to let others attempt replies. Shavuah Tov! Remy Landau

Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 14:20:42 -0400 From: Noam Kaplan Subject: The Molad of Sivan 5765H Dear Remy, Thank you for your Hebrew Calendar calculations website. Can you tell me what is meant by the time of the molad? I understand that the molad is a calculated time based on the mean time that it takes for one lunar cycle. I also understand that the hours that are used are standard 24 hours per day hours, not temporal hours, with the day starting at the night. What does this mean? The molad of Sivan 5765H will occur on Tuesday at 13h 52m 8hl. Where and at what time on our clock? Thanks for your time, Noam Kaplan PS: I have a calendar up at
http://www.riets.edu/stuff/zman/month.asp that I am currently working on. ==== Remy Landau replies Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 12:38:09 -0700 (PDT) Dear Noam, The molad is the name given to a particular value calculated in a particular manner. The value at one time was meant to represent the ideal time of the new moon in terms of some particular reference point. Different people today will give you different ideas as to where that ideal reference point might be. So today, when we say that the molad of Sivan 5765H is 13h 52m 8hl we are saying only that this is the value given in accordance with the fixed Hebrew calendar method as defined more than 1,000 years ago. In so doing, we are remained spiritually linked to the many generations of Jewish scholars that have preceded us. To me, that is far more important than any astronomical event. Shabbat Shalom! Hag Sameach! Remy Landau PS... Your calendar is excellent work and has now become one of my personal reference links. It was nice to hear from you and to review some of the more prominent highlights of the Hebrew calendar calculation history. I'll do my best to answer any other question you might have on this subject. Hag Shavuot Sameach! Best Regards Remy Landau
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 14:18:03 -0000 From: George Thlick Subject: Calculating the Molad of Tishrei 3790H Mr. Landau, Thank you very much for your article on the science of the Hebrew calendar, which has given me a better understanding of the subject. I have a question on the calculations of the Molad of Tishrei 3790H, using Wolfgang Alexander Shocken's formula on the top of page 6 of 25 in your article. I understand that the Molad of Tishrei is the new moon of Tishrei, or the 1st day of the month of Tishrei. If I am wrong, please correct me. For 3790H, I am following the calculations of your example on the top of page 7 of 25 in your article: INT (235 * HY -234) / 19 = (235 * 3790 - 234)/ 19 = 46864.00 Then 46,864 * (29d + 12h + 793p) = 1,383,921d 18h 352p Adding BaHaRad of 2d 5h 204 shown on page 6 of 25 to the above product: 1,383,921d 18h 352p + (2d 5h 204 p) = 1,383,923d 23h 556p Dividing 1,383,923d by 7 leaves a remainder of 2. On the top of page 4 of 25 of your article, a remainder 2 means the 1st day of Tishrei 3790H is Monday. But when I entered 1 Tishrei 3790H into Fourmilab's calendar converter, it showed that 1 Tishrei 3790H fell on Tuesday. I would like to hear your thoughts on the reason why 1 Tishrei 3790H falls on Tuesday using Fourmilab's calendar converter, and on Monday using Wolfgang Shocken's formula. Thank you very much for your time. George Thlick ==== Remy Landau replies Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 08:52:44 -0700 (PDT) Dear George There is a difference between the day of the molad of Tishrei and the the 1st day of Tishrei. In some situations, these two days are the same. But in about 62% of the cases these days are different due to the DEHIYYOT. Since the molad of Tishrei 3,790H is 2d 23h 556p, and the preceding year was a 13-month year, the applicable dehiyyah (or postponement) is B'TUT'KaPoT (ie postpone to a Tuesday if the molad of Tishrei after a 13-month year is on a Monday later than 15h 588p). Consequently, 1 Tishrei 3790H (Tue 25 Sep 29g or 27 Sep 29j) fell on Tuesday. Other than that, your calculations are correct. I hope that this explains your results. Shavuah Tov! Remy Landau

Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2005 11:06:16 EDT From: Marshal Portnoy Subject: The Start of Tishrei in The Gregorian Year Dear Mr. Landau I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your discussions of the Hebrew calendar. I see that the next machzor will begin in 2015 right in the middle of September. Going back, I noticed that the last several machzorim also occur on the 13, 14 or 15th of September. I'm not sure what it signifies (probably nothing!), but I found it interesting that the machzor of the Hebrew calendar seemed to coincide with the "midpoint" in its correspondence to the Gregorian calendar. Marshall Portnoy Philadelphia Date: Thu, 7 Jul 2005 14:37:46 -0700 (PDT) ==== Remy Landau replies Dear Marshall, The 19th century mathematical genius Carl Friedrich Gauss noted that the point of the month in which Tishrei started could be given as base date + ((12*HY + 5) MOD 19) * (29d 12h 793p) / 19. That effectively leaves the start of a Hebrew year in our times anywhere from September 5 to October 5. Note that when HY is of the form 19*k + 9, as it will be for the year 5766H, then the formula cited above yields the maximum possible value, namely 18 * (29d 12h 793p) / 19. And that's why 5766H will begin very near the end of the maximum possible date currently for Tishrei 1. Check out the year 5758H which started on October 2... and the year 5777H which will start on October 3. That is very consistent with the Gaussian formula mentioned. I'll let you see for yourself what happens in 5774H. Shalom! Remy Landau

Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2005 18:26:12 EDT From: Marshal Portnoy Subject: Hanukah, December 25, and Hebrew Month Names I have two more questions... (1) Do you think there is any relationship between Kislev 25 and December 25? (2) What months are specifically mentioned and not mentioned in Humash? Thanks, Marshall Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2005 19:12:59 -0700 (PDT) ==== Remy Landau replies Dear Marshall, 1) the relationship between Kislev 25 and December 25 is very much tenuous, if at all. After a while, if nothing is changed in these two calendars, Hanukah will be somewhere in January. This phenomenon is documented in
The Rosh Hashannah Drift. 2) Tanach is rather spotty in regards to the calendar. It makes reference to the first month, the 7th month, and the months of Aviv, Zif, Ethan and Bul. A complete set of the months' names can usually be found in other web sites using a variety of the internet search engines. Shavuah Tov! Remy Landau
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2005 16:31:28 -0400 From: KosherJava Subject: Hebrew Year Number Transliteration Remy, I greatly enjoy your site. In the Correspondence, I noticed a request by Giora Magen for Hebrew Year Number Transliteration. Such code does exist. It was developed as part of the Hebrew date support in PhpGedView, an online genealogy viewer found at
http://phpgedview.sourceforge.net/ To allow the code to be used by a non programmer, I ported the code to Javascript and posted it at: http://www.kosherjava.com/2005/07/12/hebrew-year-conversion/ Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2005 19:21:10 -0700 (PDT) ==== Remy Landau replies Dear KosherJava, Absolutely amazing! Thank you !! ==== To: GIORA MAGEN CC: KosherJava FROM: Remy Landau Dear Giora, Your February request was noticed by correspondent "KosherJava" who advised me of the solution. I believe that it may perhaps be what you are looking for, and so I'm suggesting that you might be interested by the recent correspondence found above. I hope this will satisfy your request. Shalom! Remy Landau
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 11:05:47 -0700 (PDT) From: Lydia Esther Subject: Request for Historical Hebrew Calendar References Hi, Came across your piece on the internet regarding the Hebrew calendar - numbering, dates, leap year etc. My question is why in the religious calendar are pagan terms being used - i.e., the month of Tammuz, of which "we're in' now. Also, after much prayer and research - I do not believe we're at the year it's said we are right now, but much closer to the 6000th year point. Any suggestions on whom to turn to for answers? I would greatly appreciate it. Your response to these questions would be greatly appreciated at your earliest convenience. Our YHVH is a jealous Yah! Thank you, Lydia Esther Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 12:30:10 -0700 (PDT) ==== Remy Landau replies Dear Lydia Since the Hebrew calendar material shared is largely of a technical nature, rather than either historical or religious, your questions address an area of studies that is well outside the scope of the subject matter. You might start with the works of Parker and Dubberstein on the Babylonian calendar... it is a bit dated but they did do expert work on the subject. You might also try the more recent Calendar and Community by Sacha Stern... Shalom! Remy Landau

Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2005 12:28:56 +0300 From: Dvir Gassner Subject: Free Hebrew Calendar Software for OUTLOOK Hi Remy, I have recently created a software for incorporating Jewish dates and holidays into the Outlook calendar. I think it might be useful for your visitors. This Jewish calendar tool is free, of course. I was wondering if you'd like to add a link to it from the Hebrew Calendar Related Links section of your site? The url is
Jewish Calendar for OUTLOOK If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me. Thanks, Dvir Gassner Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2005 12:47:41 -0700 (PDT) ==== Remy Landau replies Dear Dvir This will certainly be useful to any reader who uses the Outlook software. Thank you for providing the link for shared use. This will be mentioned soon. Shavuah Tov! Remy Landau
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2005 12:40:08 -0400 From: Ezra Lwowski Subject: Thank you!! ....for your calendar website. It is wonderful. Ezra S. Lwowski, PhD, MBA

Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 03:20:28 -0400 From: J. Neidich Subject: Blessing of the Sun..? I READ THE BLESSING OF THE SUN - BIRCHAS HACHAMAH IS RECITED ONCE EVERY 28 YEARS BECAUSE IT IS BELIEVED THAT IN EVERY 28 YEARS THE SUN RETURNS TO ITS PLACE AT THE TIME OF CREATION. CAN YOU EXPLAIN IN SIMPLE TERMS THE MOVEMENT OF THE SUN And HOW IT MOVES EACH 28 YEARS. I DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THIS BLESSING OR THE NATURE OF THIS MOVEMENT OF THE SUN. THANKS! Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 03:05:22 -0700 (PDT) ==== Remy Landau replies Dear J. Neidich The Ptolamaic model of the universe had the sun circling the earth. This model was used by practically almost all of the medieval sources. The Julian calendar, and the Rab Shmuel system of computing the tequfot, i.e., the start of the seasons, had the time of the sun's annual circuit around the earth exactly equal to 365d 6h. Extending this neat little fraction a bit further, then every 28 years, the start of a particular moment in the sun's circuit would be, over the earth, at exactly the same point in time (right down to the week day) as the initial departure point when that theoretical clock got started 28 years earlier. Thus was born the idea behind the Birqat HaChamah. Of course, there was a competing idea. Rab Adda suggested that the annual solar period was actually a bit shorter and more equal to one nineteenth of 6839d 16h 595p. And so was born the second method of computing the tequfot. This alternate calculation was not popular, possibly because it involved a much more cumbersome fraction than did the Rab Shmuel numbers. It has to be understood that at the time of these competing ideas, the western astronomers had pretty much fixated on 365d 6h as the duration of the annual solar period. In fact, that timing was the fundamental basis of the Julian calendar's construction. Thus, the concept of the sun returning to its very same place in every 28 years, as might be suggested by the commentaries on Birqat HaChamah, has no particular basis in any scientific fact. However, in terms of the rabbinic halachah, reciting the Birqat HaChamah once in every 28 years is a valid custom. Shalom! Remy Landau

Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 23:37:26 +0000 From: Karmen Williams, Ed.D. Subject: The Significance of Enoch's Age? Respectfully, I would like to know if there is special significance in the age of Enoch (365 years) when God took him. I have been reading online correspondence about the Hebrew calendar and wonder if there is any significance to Enoch's age of "departure". Karmen Williams, Ed.D. Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 20:47:29 -0700 (PDT) ==== Remy Landau replies Dear Karmen Some bible scholars have suggested the possibility of significance of practically any and all numbers specified in the biblical narratives. And some scholars have even ventured highly speculative ideas concerning these numbers. For example, the fact that Joseph lived 110 years instead of 120 has led traditional rabbinic literature to suggest that the 10 years removed were because of the ten times that he denied his origins to his brothers in Egypt. Some scholars have looked at Enoch's age as proof that a solar calendar of 365 days had originally been used by the Hebrews. Personally, I could be very silly and suggest that because Sarah lived to be 127 years old, they had computers in those days since 127 is, in binary, a string of seven ones, ie, 1111111. Also remarkable in the biblical age telling is that the Mosaic text records a life span of 137 years for Ishmael, Levi, and Amram (the father of Moses). Surprisingly, no commentary is found on this particular triple coincidence. Returning to your question, the answer is most likely negative. However, it may also be a positive one, in which case the reasons of the significance also would have to be stated. I'm not at all convinced that anyone has actually provided any such credible reasons. Shalom! Remy Landau

Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 10:43:39 +0200 From: A. Zoltan Varga Subject: Next Hebrew New Year Start? Dear Remy, I would like to know when the Hebrew New Year begins in the coming days? Thank you very much. Zoltan Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 02:57:37 -0700 (PDT) ==== Remy Landau replies Dear Zoltan, Hebrew year 5766H will begin at sundown on Monday 3 October 2005g. That represents the start of Hebrew day Tuesday, because the Jewish day always begins on or after sunset. This is an important idea because the molad of Tishrei 5766H is on Monday at 16h 48m 12hl and therefore the 1st day of Tishrei 5766H has to be postponed to Tuesday in accordance with the postponement rule known as Dehiyyah B'TU'KTPT. For more information on the postponement rules please see
The 4 Dehiyyot (Postponement Rules) Shalom! Remy Landau
Date: Mon, 05 Sep 2005 16:05:38 -0400 From: Morris Jesion Subject: Qeviyyot Like 5766H Between 5741H and 5752H? Dear Remy, How many days are there in year 5766H? The question I ask every year - what are the years between 5741H and 5752H that have the same qeviyyah as 5766H? Thanks. May you and your family be inscribed for a good and sweet year. Morris Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2005 15:18:04 -0700 (PDT) ==== Remy Landau replies Year 5766H beginning on Tue 4 Oct 2005g has 354 days. This is the only length possible for any 12-month year beginning on Tuesday. Between 5741H and 5752H year 5742H (Tue 29 September 1981g) is the only 12-month year to begin on a Tuesday. Shannah Tovah! Remy Landau

Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 00:20:57 -0400 From: Ari Meir Brodsky Subject: B'TU'TKPT and Rare Calendar Events Does anyone have, or can you generate by computer, a list of all occurrences of Dehiyyah B'TU'TKPT during the complete calendar cycle of 689472 years? The occurrences between 5001H and 7000H can be determined from the table on page 38 of Shearim LaLuah HaIvry by R. Sar-Shalom, but I'm wondering about the others. It seems (empirically) that the possible intervals between occurrences are 78, 98, 169, 247, and 345 years, but I have not proven that other spans exist. Also, can anyone disprove the claim that B'TU'TKPT is the rarest single Hebrew calendar event? Ari M. Brodsky ==== From: Yaaqov Loewinger I posed the question for myself too. I have no clear-cut mathematical solution. I used Sar-Shalom's lists, as you did. See attached mails from Prof.( Physics) Hayyim Halpern from BIU. --------------------------------------------- From: Prof.( Physics) Hayyim Halpern from BIU.: Dear Reb Yaakov, According to my calculations, in the years 4000H - 6000H, B'TU'TKPT occurred only in the years 4010H, 4179H, 4257H,4504H, 4602H, 4849H, 5096H, 5194H, 5441H, 5519H, 5688H, and 5766H. Hence, the gap of 247 years between successive occurrences last occurred between 4849H and 5096. Since 4010H was before the establishment of the fixed calendar, 5766 is only the 11th time that this postponement occurs. Also, of the classical poskim, the Rif saw such a postponement, but not Rambam nor the Rosh, and while the Tur saw it the Beit Yosef did not. Bevirkat ketivah vechatimah tovah, Haim Halpern ==== Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 11:08:06 +0300 From: Nachum Dershowitz Ari Meir Brodsky wrote: | Does anyone have, or can you generate by computer, a list of all | occurrences of Dehiyyah B'TU'TKPT during the complete calendar cycle | of 689472 years? | | ... It seems (empirically) that the possible intervals between occurrences are | 78, 98, 169, 247, and 345 years, but I have not proven that other spans exist. Assuming the absolute constancy of the fixed Hebrew Calendar then the 3,712 years invoking Dehiyyah B'TU'TKPT are 75 153 322 400 647 745 992 1239 1584 1662 1831 1909 2078 2156 2501 2748 3093 3340 3587 3685 3932 4010 4179 4257 4504 4602 4849 5096 5194 5441 5519 5688 5766 6013 6111 6358 6605 6950 7197 7444 7542 7789 7867 8036 8114 8361 8459 8706 8953 9051 9298 9376 9545 9623 9870 9968 10215 10462 10560 10807 11054 11399 11477 11646 11724 11893 11971 12316 12563 12810 12908 13155 13233 13402 13480 13727 13825 14072 14319 14417 14664 14911 15256 15334 15503 15581 . . . 687524 687693 687771 688116 688363 688610 688708 688955 689202 689300 The occurences are separated as follows

B'TU'TKPT Separations
SEPARATIONOCCURENCES
78819
98575
169457
2471,531
345330

Shannah Tovah! Nachum Dershowitz Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 03:35:56 -0700 (PDT) ==== Remy Landau replies Thank you Nachum Dershowitz and Professor Halpern for the fascinating notes you made in response to Ari Brodsky's questions. Ari Brodsky also asked whether or not there are any Hebrew calendar events rarer than Dehiyyah B'TU'TKPT. This question will require significant qualification in order to be properly understood. For example, any molad of Tishrei occurs exactly either 3 or 4 times only in the full Hebrew calendar cycle of 689,472 years. The 3-timers occur only for the 11th, 13th, and 15th years of the mahzor qatan GUChADZT (ie, the fixed Hebrew calendar's 19-year cycle). Clearly then, the frequency of each molad of Tishrei is therefore far less than Dehiyyah B'TU'TKPT which occurs 3,712 times in the full Hebrew calendar cycle of 689,472 years. Are there any rarer events? Assuming the improbable, which would allow Hebrew and Gregorian calendar rules as known today to be fixed into a very large indefinite future, then the following formal calculation can be made. Due to the fact that both the Hebrew years and the Gregorian years are of different lengths, the correspondence between the Hebrew and Gregorian calendars repeats itself in a cycle of 14,389,970,112 Hebrew years, which is also 14,390,140,400 Gregorian years! In other words, once in every 14,389,970,112 full and complete Hebrew years, both the Hebrew and Gregorian calendars return to the synchronization known at the start of that time period. This is a very rare event indeed since the time span covered appears to come very close to the age of the known universe. I have heard from another correspondent, and will let others verify this fact, that the Hebrew calendar to Easter cycle is several thousand times longer than this. So it seems that the rarest Hebrew calendar event still has many possibilities. Shannah Tovah! Remy Landau


Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2005 22:55:15 +1000 From: Al Persohn Subject: Date of Tisha b'Av 3830H? Hello Remy, Thank you for your webpage Hebrew Calendar Science and Myths. I wonder if you could help me. What is the date on the Gregorian calendar for Tisha b'Av AD 70? Thank you in advance. Al Persohn Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2005 09:06:42 -0700 (PDT) ==== Remy Landau replies Dear Al, That date is actually unknown in terms of any of the western calendars, including the Hebrew calendar itself. The Hebrew calendar does not emerge in its present form until at the very least the 10th century. So it is not possible to reflect an actual correspondence between the Hebrew date and any other pre-existing calendar and conclude that a historically true fact has been derived. It is possible to formally calculate the date correspondences between various calendars. The results must be understood as numbers coming from the exercise of specific rules only as known at the time of the calculations. Formally, the date Shabbat 9 Av 3830H = 2 Aug 70g = 4 Aug 70j. Historically, 9 Av 3830H probably may have been some day of the year other than that derived formally. Shannah Tovah! Remy Landau
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 21:43:36 -0500 From: Lara Aase Subject: Date of Rosh HaShannah 5456H? Dear Remy Landau, Is there any way for me to find out when the High Holy Days happened according to the Gregorian calendar in 1695? I'm doing some research on Sephardic (crypto) Jews in New Mexico in the late 17th century, and although your website is fascinating, I don't have a mathematical mind, so I thought I'd just ask you straight out. Please email back if you can help! Thanks so much, Lara A. Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 20:16:54 -0700 (PDT) ==== Remy Landau replies Dear Lara, Rosh HaShannah 5456H coincided with Shabbat 10 September 1695g. This date in the Julian calendar was August 31. To convert dates from one calendar to another, you might also want to use the calendar converter found at
Calendar Converter Shannah Tovah! Remy Landau
Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2005 21:59:41 -0400 From: Ari Meir Brodsky Subject: Rare Calendrical Event for 5766H Dear Friends, This year, we will experience a very rare calendrical event, one that has not happened in 78 years, and as long as the fixed Hebrew calendar remains unchanged, will recur 247 years from now for Rosh HaShannah 6013H. It is known as Dehiyyah B'TU'TKPT. Dehiyyah B'TU'TKPT calls for a postponement of Rosh HaShannah from Monday to Tuesday whenever the calculated time of the molad (theoretical new moon) of Tishrei is on a Monday following a leap year (13-month year) and is, or exceeds, 15 hours 589 halaqim. (There are 18 halakim in one minute). The acronym B'TU'TKPT is formed from the Hebrew symbols representing Monday (Bet), 15 (Tet-Vov), 589 (Tof-Kuf-Peh-Tet). Only about one half of one per cent of all of the Hebrew years are affected by this calculation rule. Here is a complete list of all occurrences of Dehiyyah B'TU'TKPT according to the rules of the fixed Hebrew calendar, from the time that Hillel II is traditionally said to have published its rules, until the year 6013H (2252g).
4179H ( 418g) 4257H ( 496g) 4504H ( 743g) 4602H ( 841g) 4849H (1088g) 5096H (1335g) 5194H (1433g) 5441H (1680g) 5519H (1758g) 5688H (1927g) 5766H (2005g) 6013H (2252g)
The theoretically possible interval lengths between occurrences of Dehiyyah B'TU'TKPT are 78, 98, 169, 247, and 345 years. The 345 year interval will not begin until 6605H (2844g). The following is adapted from Section W of my essay which describes the calendrically exciting features of the year 5765H, and which is available at
How Is This Year Different from All Other Years. Here are some very brief highlights of 5766H: 1) Beginning on Tuesday, the year is 354 days long causing its 12 months to alternate exactly between 30 and 29 day months. About 6.2% of all of the years in the full Hebrew calendar cycle of 689,472 years are 12-month years beginning on Tuesday. 2) Dechiyyah B'TU'TKPT postponed the beginning of 5766H, as explained above. 3) For observant Jews living in Canada, there are no three consecutive working days in October 2005g, due to the arrangement of the High Holiday Festivals and the fact that Thanksgiving falls during the same week as Yom Kippur. 4) We read from 3 Torah scrolls on Shabbat Rosh Hodesh Hanukka. The regular parsha that day is Mikketz, which is quite long as well. 5) There are only 6 days of Chanukka in 2005g. 6) 5766H is the 9th year of the 19-year Jewish calendar cycle GUChADZT. Until the end of Shevat 5766H (February 2006), we are within the “late-year” period, when all Jewish calendar dates and holidays fall at their latest possible points in the solar year (i.e. relative to the civil calendar). 7) February 2006 does not contain the first day of any Jewish month. 8) All possible “double parashiyyot” are combined during 5766H. As well, Parashat Vayyeilekh will be read on two Shabbat mornings during the year – on the first Shabbat of the year (5 Tishrei / October 8, 2005g) and on the last Shabbat of the year (23 Elul / September 16, 2006g). 9) Yom HaAtzmaut is actually celebrated on 5 Iyyar, for a change. 10) There will be a discrepancy in Torah readings between Israel and the Diaspora, for several weeks after Shavuot, due to the second day of Shavuot falling on Shabbat. 11) Last but not least, my sister Sara will be married to Noah Farkas, on the evening of 4 Kislev, December 4, the night Diaspora Jews begin praying for rain. That certainly makes for an exciting year! Wishing everyone a Shana Tova, Ketiva VaChatima Tova, may you be written and sealed for a happy, healthy year 5766H. Ari Brodsky P.S. Feel free to forward or print this message in its entirety. Ari M. Brodsky Date: Tuesday 12 October 2005 ==== Remy Landau replies Dear Ari Thank you for your very well researched comments. Shannah Tovah! Remy Landau
From: Rabbi Steven S. Saltzman Subject: Prime Numbers in the Hebrew Calendar? Remy What is the significance of prime numbers in the Hebrew calendar? (This question was asked in person) Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 18:34:25 -0700 (PDT) ==== Remy Landau replies Dear Rabbi I'm not quite sure. The fundamental generating value of the calendar is the molad period given as 29d 12h 793hl. Converted to halaqim, the value becomes 765,433 halaqim = 131 * 5843, which is not prime. The fraction of day is 12h 793hl = 13753 halaqim = 17 * 809. The 793 halaqim = 13 * 61. From these values, it may be deduced that a 12-month year is 12 * 131 * 5843 halaqim, and that a 13-month year = 13 * 131 * 5843 halaqim. So it appears that the fundamental time units of the calendar do not involve prime numbers. There is the 7 day week and the 19 year cycle and possibly the 13-month year. But these are not the units at the fundamental calculation base of the calendar arithmetic. Now, going off into the single year lengths in days 353 = prime number 354 = 2 * 3 * 59 355 = 5 * 71 383 = prime number 384 = 128 * 3 (the number of place settings wanted by the caterer) 385 = 5 * 7 * 11 (a multiple formed by 3 consecutive primes) Intriguingly, only the deficient single years, that is, the 353-day and 383-day years, have prime number of days. Just as an aside, the year value next year will be 5767 = 73 * 79... Incredibly a multiple of two consecutive primes. Shana Tova!

Date: Sat, 8 Oct 2005 08:30:06 -0700 (PDT) From: Kevin Kelly Subject: Which are the Shabbat Days in America? I'm researching Shabbat in America. Because of the various time zones in America, what days of the week correspond to Friday/Saturday in American time? If we use the traditional Jewish Shabbath day would it be the same here or would it be Sunday or Thursday? Thank you for your time Kevin B. Kelly Date: Sat, 8 Oct 2005 18:03:37 -0700 (PDT) ==== Remy Landau replies Dear Kevin With regards to the start time of Shabbat, anywhere in the world with a reasonable sunset time, it is usually set at a halachically predetermined number of minutes prior to the local time of the sunset. The time will therefore vary in accordance with the astronomical and geographical realities of the particular place on earth. With regards to geographical locations which have unusually long periods of time between sunsets, such as the Arctic regions, or space vehicles orbiting the planet, the Halachah here is still developing. As far as the day of the week is concerned, that is governed by the geographic location relative to the international date line, a concept which doesn't emerge in western thinking until, I believe, the late 17th century. On one side of that line it is today, while on the other side it is still yesterday (or vice versa, depending on which side you happen to be). Shavuah Tov! Shannah Tovah! Remy Landau

Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2005 19:12:44 +0000 (GMT) From: Cloves Santos, Brazil Subject: Request for Lunar Calendar Algorithms Dear Remy, I read your web page
Hebrew Calendar Science and Myths. Could you help me please? Can you please provide me the lunar calendar algorithms, and their explanations? I'd like to build a calendar with biblical data, and build an EXCEL spreadsheet that will give the lunar phase for any input specifying the day, month and year. Thank you. Cloves Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2005 10:19:33 -0700 (PDT) ==== Remy Landau replies Dear Cloves The Hebrew calendar algorithm may easily be found almost anywhere on the web ... just Google search Hebrew Calendar algorithm or Hebrew calendar Software... If you look for the Gauss formula on my page you'll find a Qbasic version of the formula which maps the Hebrew date of Pesach on its equivalent Julian date. If you wish to check into lunar formulas, as per current astronomical knowledge, you'll be able to find those through a fairly simple Google search. Dvir Gassner has made available some free calendar software at Jewish Calendar Software. You might also want to check the code for the calendar converter found at Calendar Converter Dr. Irving Bromberg has a web site which might help you at Kalendis I hope that this will help you. Shana Tova! Remy Landau
Date: Tue, 1 Nov 2005 08:08:00 -0500 From: Irv Bromberg Subject: The Rectified Hebrew Calendar Remy: Please check out my new web page on
The Rectified Hebrew Calendar Irv Bromberg Date: Tue, 1 Nov 2005 08:08:00 -0500 ==== Remy Landau replies Dear Irv Awesome work! Hodesh Tov! Remy Landau
Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2005 14:14:38 -0800 From: Vlach, Bernie Subject: Month of Abijah's Course? I am trying to relate the course of Abijah's Levitical duties to a specific Jewish month, and then to the Gregorian calendar for the year 7 BC. 1 Chronicles 24:10 states that Abijah's course was the eighth. Since there were a total of 24 courses, I assumed each course was for half a Jewish month. (What happened in a leap year?) In which month was Abijah's course? Didn't God instruct Moses to change the Jewish calendar to make Nisan the first month of the year in rememberance of the Passover? Does that mean that Abijah's course was the latter half of the fourth Jewish month (Tamuz)? Your calendar seems to have the Jewish year begin with the month Tevet, not Nisan. Please explain. Bernie Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2005 14:33:24 -0800 (PST) ==== Remy Landau replies Dear Bernie, The courses to which you refer were, I believe, one hour long, there being 24 courses in one day. There is no way of mapping the Gregorian calendar onto any Hebrew calendar month prior to the 10th century ce. That is due to the fact that the fixed Hebrew calendar as it is presently known did not emerge in that form until the early part of the 10th century. Consequently it seems quite unlikely that anyone, except for heavy speculation, would be able to make the determinations that you are attempting. As for the starting point of the Hebrew year, there are four known Hebrew new years. The first one is Nisan 1, and is usually known as the year of the kings. The next one is Elul 1. Then we come to Tishrei 1 which is known as Rosh Hashana. This is the day on which one is added to the Hebrew year count. The year count was last updated on Tuesday 4 October 2005g, making 5766H the current Hebrew year value. Finally, there is Shevat 15, known as TU B'Shvat, which is also known as the new year of trees. We've just started the month of Heshvan. Hodesh Tov! Remy Landau


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