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February 06, 1981 - Image 23

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-02-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Jewish Leap Year Focuses on Calendar

By ARYEH NEWMAN

JERUSALEM — How
many of us know that the
current Jewish year is a
leap year and this means
not an extra day in Feb-
ruary, but an extra Feb-
ruary? We have now
entered the leap month
which is called Adar Rishon
— the first Adar — and we
shall have to wait a whole
month to Adar Sheni — the
_second Adar — for Purim
this year. It may all sound
so odd, geared as we are to
the rhythm of another
calendar, but in reality the
')rew calendar is a mas-
-, piece of logic and exac-
titude beautifully suited to
human and specifically
Jewish needs.
The first step in the mak-
ing of the Jewish people was
the adoption of a calendar.
On the eve of the Exodus,
Moses was told (Exodus
12,2): "This moon shall
mark for you the beginning
of months."
The ancient Israelites
could not be satisfied with
an exclusively lunar calen-
dar like the nomads of the
Arabian deserts and even
the present Moslem calen-
dar. Twelve moons only
make 354 days nine hours,
some 11 days shorter than
the solar year. God had or-
dered that the Passover and
Tabernacles be celebrated
not merely on the 15th day
of the month at the full
moon, but in the spring and
autumn respectively. These
feasts would move back-
wards by 11 days every
year, eventually occurring
in the winter and- summer
respectively.
To correct this, an
extra or leap month was
inserted every two to
three years. This decision
was determined usually
by the state of the crops
and livestock, but occa-
sionally by political con-
siderations. If the
Passover was approach-
ing but such signs of
spring in Palestine as
calving and lambing, the
drying up of the rain-
soaked earth were still
not evident, an extra
month was inserted.

The decision was taken by
the people's supreme reli-
gious authority in
Jerusalem, the Sanhedrin,
which likewise proclaimed
the beginning of each
month, after two reliable
witnesses had declared they
had seen the new moon. The
rabbis determined the be-
ginning of the astronomical
month, i.e. the Molad or con-
junction, when the moon
passes between the earth
and sun and is completely
invisible and witnesses
were sent out to watch for
the crescent to emerge.
If two witnesses were
forthcoming by the 29th day
of the month, the 30th was
proclaimed Rosh Hodesh, if
not till the 30th (since luna-
tion is 29 1/2 days), then the
31st was proclaimed Rosh
Hodesh, some months thus
being 30 days, others 29.
But care was taken to
ensure that no more than
eight months were full and
no less than four were defec-
tive.
Babylonian Jewry, the
largest and most important
Jewish community outside
Palestine, was informed of
the date of Rosh Hodesh by
means of a series of pyres
lighted on the hilltops, and
when this was no longer
feasible, special emissaries
were sent out month by
month. But since distant
communities could not be
reached in time, two holy
days were observed by them
to ensure they did not viol-
ate the sanctity of the festi-
val as determined in
Jerusalem. For the only
doubt was whether the
previous month had been
fixed at 29 or 30 days.
Since the New year fell
on the first of the month it
happened that the same
doubt arose even in
Palestine and Jerusalem
itself, so that the New
Year was universally ob-
served as two days.
Hillel II, one of the last
Patriarchs, finalized the
Jewish calendar (359 CE),
publishing the various
arithmetic formulae for de-
termining intercalation,
the full and defective
months and dating of the

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ALL NEW 1981

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A
Jerusalem magistrate's
court last week extended for
another 15 days the deten-
tion of the three Muadi
brothers suspected of the
murder of Bedouin MK
Sheikh Hamad Abu Rabia.
Abu Rabia was murdered
two weeks ago in front of a
Jerusalem hotel.
The three sons of his ri-
val, Druze Sheikh Jaber
Muadi, were detained by
police the same night. The
police said in court that they
had sufficient evidence
tying the brothers to the
murder — including their
confessions, and the recon-
struction of the actual mur-
der.

Manischewitz
PASSOVER RECIPE GUIDE

--- .



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Israel:
7:30 P. m . Past - Present -
t o '
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8:20 p.m.
Rabbi Loss

Introduction
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for your favorite Passover foods

COUPONS EXPIRE APRIL 24. 1981

Mail coupon to: RECIPE GUIDE, P.O. BOX 484A. JERSEY CITY. N.J. 07303

Please send the Manischewitz Passover Recipe Guide to

Name

Address

lip

State

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PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY ,

TUITION: $10.00
per one-hour course

ROom 205

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Intermediate
Hebrew #

Book of
Genesis

Modern Jewish
History

Rabbi
Rosenbaum

Cantor Asher

How Viable
is our
. , Bible?

Introduction
to
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Beginner's
Hebrew

Cantor Rose

Introduction
to
Judaism *

Rabbi Conrad

Rabbi Loss
and
Mrs. Abramson

'Two-hour -course: Required for Conversion. but open to anyone.
**Two-hour course.
#For those who can read the language or have completed one term.

Rabbi Weiss

Cantor Asher

Family Feuds
in the
Bible

Cantor Asher



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Room 204

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Blocks Removed
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VIDEO TAPE

Wednesday or Friday so'.
that Hoshana Rabba should
not occur on the Sabbath
when the custom of beating
the willow twigs would be
forbidden, Yom Kippur on
Friday or Sunday, the jux-
taposition of two such sup-
remely holy days, when all
work and even cooking is
forbidden, giving rise to
acute problems of food prep-
aration and preservation
and burial.

Court Extends
Mauch Detention

JERUSALEM (JTA) —
The coalition majority
struck from the Knesset
agenda last week six opposi-
tion motions against a plan
by Agriculture Minister
Ariel Sharon to offer private
housing companies prime
building land in Jerusalem
and other cities if they will
build residential units for
more settlers on the West
Bank.
Replying to the motions,
Sharon confirmed that' he
was negotiating the deal
with several private con-
tractors and that the Israel
Lands Authority, which is
subordinate to him, is
examining the legal ramifi-
cations of the proposal.

23

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main feasts. In every cycle
of 19 years there are seven
leap years (in the third,
sixth, eighth, 11th, 14, 17th
and 19th years). The adher-
ence to this cycle ensured
that the Passover would
never fall before the begin-
ning of spring, i.e. the ver-
nal equinox.
The calendar also in-
cludes an automatic ad-
justment ensuring the New
Year — Rosh Hashana —
would not fall on a Sunday,

Friday, February 6, 1981

Rabbi Weiss
and
Mrs. Kramer

Patterns of
Prayer

Rabbi Weiss

Rabbi Steinger



Mrs. Abramson

Synagogue •
Past - Present - Rabbi Steinger
Future
and
Rabbi Schwartz
Mrs. Kramer

When Children
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Rabbi Steinger

Rabbinic
Responses
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Mrs. Syme

"Rabbinic Responses to Modern Jewish Prob-
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12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. beginning on Februa
February
19, 1981.**

REGISTRATION: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY-11, 1981, 7:30 P.M.

CLASSES MEET: FEBRUARY 18, 25 • MARCH 4, 11, 18, 25 • APRIL 1, 8, 15, 29 • MAY 6, 13

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