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October 16, 1981 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-10-16

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Friday, October 16, 19111

Calendar Dictated Need for Holidays' Added Day

- Why the extra day for the supreme judicial body in
holidays, observed by Jews Jewish life.
in the Diaspora? In his
"The witnesses would
highly informative book, testify that they person-
"The Jewish Book of Why" ally had seen the crescent
(Jonathan David), Dr. of the new moon.- If ac-
Alfred Kolatch provides the cepted as truth by the
answer to the question as he Sanhedrin, this informa-
poses it: "Why are some tion was transmitted by
Jewish holidays celebrated torch signals from corn-.
for more days in tIte Dias- munity to community
pora than in Israel?"
throughout Palestine.
"The Bible dictates the Jews in distant places
number of days each of the (e.g., Babylonia, Egypt)
following holidays is to be were informed by mes-
celebrated: Passover, seven
days; Sukkot, seven days;
Shavuot, one day; Shemini
Atzeret, one day. In the
Diaspora, Orthodox and
most Conservative congre-
gations add an extra day of
observance to these holi-
"The extra day of obser-
vance was added to the holi-
days because of the uncer-
tainty of the calendar in
early times. Not until the
middle of the Fourth Cen-
tury CE was a fixed calen-
dar established by the
Sanhedrin. Before that time
the arrival of each month
had to be attested to by two
witnesses who would ap-
pear before the Sanhedrin,

senger of the new moon's

The messenger system
was not reliable. Travel was
difficult and uncertain, and
distant communities were
often reached a day late.
When this occurred, the
Rosh Hodesh was not celeb-
rated on the propel' date,
there was the possibility
that holidays falling in that
month would be celebrated
on the wrong dates. To avoid
this possibility, the com-



munities of the Diaspora
added one day to the obser-
vance of the major holidays.
"These communities
could then be reasonably
sure that even if an error in
transmission were made,
one of the two days on which
they celebrated a given
holiday would be the actual
holiday. This second day of
observance became known
as the 'Second-Day Festival
of the Diaspora' (`Yom Tov
Sheni Shel Galuyot')."



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German Movie
Extols the PLO

BONN (JTA) — "Die
Faclschung" ("The
Forgery"), a film which
deals with the situation in
Beirut and was photo-
graphed with the help of the
Palestine Liberation Or-
ganization, has opened in
West Germany to negative
Made by the Oscar-
winning West German di-
rector, Volker Schloendorff,
it presents the Christian
population of Lebanon in a
poor light and is sympathe-
tic to the PLO.
The daily, Die Welt,
criticized the film for depict-
ing the Lebanese Christians
as being brutal and disgust-
ing while ignoring the
military cooperation bet-
ween the PLO and German
neo-Nazis. The newspaper,
which has a nationwide cir-
culation, compared
Schloendorffs work to the
movie productions in Ger-
many during the Nazi era.

Senate Approves
U.S, in MFO

The Senate has approved by
voice vote United States
participation in the Multi-
National Force and Obser-
vers (MFO), which will pat-
rol the Sinai Peninsula
after Israel's final with-
drawal next April.
The resolution adopted
last week authorizes the
United States to commit
some 1,000 troops and civi-
lian observers to the
2,500-member MFO. It also
appropriates $125 million
for the 1982 fiscal year to
cover 60 percent of the cost
of starting up the force and
operating it until the 1983
fiscal year, starting in Oc-
tober 1982. After that Is-
rael, Egypt and the United
States will each contribute
$35 million annually for the





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