7 thoughts on “Nehemia’s Newsletter

  1. Hi,

    this is Yaakov Roth from Kiriat Arba. I didn’t do any melacha for the last 3 days just in case the calculation of Yom Truah was right. I can confirm that from my vantage point it didn’t look like it was. On the evening of the fourth day I saw nothing. On the evening of the fifth day again I saw nothing. Just after the sun went down at the end of the sixth day there was a crescent moon clearly visible pointing up and to the left of the point where the sun was last visible. This made it seem to me like Yom Truah actually coincided with Shabbat. The moon admittedly was quite high in the sky making it slightly possible that from a better vantage point a new moon could have been seen the day before but if it was visible I certainly didn’t see it from Kiriat Arba. I was even stood at the park at the top of the hill trying to be as high up as possible to see it but did not see it.

    My experience taught me that probably the best places to sight the new moon from Erets Israel are anywhere along the sides of the Judean and Samarian mountain ranges facing towards the Great Sea. But then somebody would have to make a fair journey to the Mishkan in Shiloh when sighting from one of these locations. Something you really wanna avoid on a national rest day.

    My guess is that news about the Truah sighting most likely spread by hearing the Truah sound from one station to the next. Or more likely the guys in Shiloh only went ahead with the sacrifices of Yom Truah if they saw the new moon themselves from their own vantage point.

    See the opening passages of the book of Joshua which states that the Bnei Israel stood in the Jordan on the tenth of the month. From their vantage point inside the Jordan valley there were mountains in the way making the worst possible conditions for sighting the new moon. How did they know it was the tenth of the month?

  2. The astronomical charts of the moon do indicate the new moon should have been visible Thursday eve, the 5th. I do have one of those astronomical clocks which showed the new moon for Friday eve, the 6th but it receives its info from the US Midwest and I understand that it should have been seen about 8 hours earlier in Israel. Another person in Israel reported that there were cloudy conditions on the new moon night so the slight crescent may have passed unperceived. That may explain why it was higher up on the 6th. Wish Moshiach will come back soon to settle things…

  3. I have a question if someone who lives on the other side of the world from Israel and they have no technology -How are they to know when the feast days are!! I trying to learn to keep them!!

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