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May 6, 2008

Experience the declaration of the New Moon

I thought the following email sent to me offers an interesting educational experience.

Please look for the New Moon tomorrow Tuesday 6th May 2008. From Jerusalem and similarly from the rest of Israel the Moon may be visible staring at 19:13. At the start of its appearance the Moon will be at azimuth 289° and altitude 18°. From the southwestern USA The Moon may be visible with optical aid tonight. The Moon will not be visible till the Wednesday in Australia and may only be visible with binoculars tomorrow in South Africa.

On Wednesday 7th May 2008 there will be a reconstruction of receiving eyewitness testimony of the Moon by a religious court in Jerusalem. Whoever sees the Moon on Tuesday is invited to report to the court (beit din) at 8 Beer Sheva St., Nachlaot, Jerusalem between 14:00 and 15:00. If it is difficult for you to get there, please call the court secretary on 025661962, 025664137 or 0506733831 to set another time or, if there is no other choice, give your report by phone. (This is only a reconstruction. The court has no intention of changing the calendar and I would not cooperate with such a move unless there was wide ranging agreement to it by the rabbis and people of Israel.)

The Machon something or other about the New Moon (I forgot the name of the Machon) is running this, and if I have the time, maybe I will try to go and see what it is like... What would really be cool is if after the testimony is given and the beis din "declares" the new month, if we go out to the mountaintops, as prescribed in the mishna, and lit large bonfires to pass the message to outlaying communities. That would really make it worthwhile....


  1. All we need is another holiday for the pyromaniacs along with Lag Baomer, Biur Hametz,Yom Haatzmaut, etc.

  2. maybe that's the idea! taking advantage of all the mangals from yom haatzmaut to double as the bonfires!

  3. Is this a project of the Shai Walters/KBY machon? (http://kby.org.il/article.asp?pid=1897&id=1897)

  4. I have no idea, but the name of the person was not the same as that on the email


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