2nd day of the First month 5845 years after creation
The Month of Aviv in the Sabbatical Year
The Second Sabbatical Year of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
March 29, 2009
Please forgive me for the confusion I have added to this situation. My impatience has caused me to send out my New Year News Letter without waiting for possible witnesses to come forward. I am sorry and regret any confusion I have added to this situation. Please disregard any prior News Letters concerning the News Year beginning point.
This Sunday morning I awoke to receive this following report from Nehemiah Gordon.
Karaite Korner Newsletter #376
New Moon Report
First Biblical Month
We received reports from observers who sighted the new moon on Friday night, March 27, 2009 (many of them do not use phones on Shabbat, hence the delay). The new moon was sighted:
*from Ashdod by Eli Shamuel and Magdi Shamuel at 19:24;
*from Maale Adumim by Akiva Hoffman at 19:12;
*from Efrat by Daniel Jackson at 19:25;
*from Beersheva by Yaron Laluz (time not recorded).
This confirms that the biblical month began on Friday night March 27 and that the Feast of Unleavened Bread will commence on Friday night April 10.
I then checked the Israeli New Moon Society as some of you are suspicious of the Karaites and this is what they said. They also trust the Karaites as do I.
The Moon was seen on Friday 27th March 2009 from Israel, more details in the next message.
We are due to make the very rare (once per 28 years) blessing over the Sun on the eve of Passover this year. For those who could not make my lecture (in Hebrew), you can find the it at http://chem.ch.huji.ac.il/nmr/foo/hachama/bircathachama_audio.ppt and the lecture materials at http://chem.ch.huji.ac.il/nmr/foo/hachama/
Some people have asked me about intercalating the year. We observe a calculated calendar and this year is not a leap year but the question is how would a Sanhedrin have ruled if it existed and was actively determining the calendar? They would have declared a leap year if there were signs that the Spring had not arrived by the 16th Nisan. The signs are the vernal equinox, ripeness of grains (in particular barley) and the development of fruit on the trees. The equinox has already passed so the next criterion is the barley. This year there was a heavy drought in December and January at the time when barley sprouts and then a lot of rain fell in February. As a result not much barley grew and it was suspected that it may not ripen in time. In the end, the barley that survived ripened about two weeks late. The Sanhedrin would check the barley in three regions termed lands: the land of Judea, the land of the Galilee and the land East of the Jordan. The Karaites made widespread searches and found barley in the northern Negev (on the border of the land of Judea) and near Beit Shaan (on the border of the land of the Galilee) in an advanced state of growth that will be ripe by 16th Nisan. Since there is barley in two lands, a leap year would not have been declared. When the barley is only ripe in Judea they would check the development of the fruit. This year the fruit would not have been an issue because barley was found in two lands. In conclusion, even if there was a Sanhedrin we would not have a leap year this year.
Next month please look for the Moon from Israel and most of the World this Sunday 26th April 2009. From Jerusalem (and similarly for the rest of Israel) the Moon may be visible from 18:58 till 21:03 and will be very easy to see. At 18:58 the Moon will be at azimuth 284½° (2° left of the sunset) and 22½° high. The Moon will appear horizontal. From the USA and with difficulty from western Europe the moon may be visible a day earlier. From parts of Australia the Moon will only appear the following day.
So please note: Do not use the previously stated dates. The dates that follow are the ones we should be using.
Friday March 27- Saturday March 28 2009 is the 1st day of the Month of Aviv and is the first day of the 2nd Sabbatical Year in this, the last Jubilee cycle of this age.
As we are told in Lev 23 we now count forward by 14 days to Passover day which will be from Thursday April 9, to Friday April 10.
The First Day of Unleavened Bread will be on the weekly Shabbat from Friday April 10 to Saturday April 11, 2009.
The Wave Sheaf Offering day or Day of First Fruits will remain Sunday April 12 2009. This is the day we begin to count to the Omer from, and for 50 days until the Sunday May 31st which is Pentecost.
The Last Day of Unleavened Bread is Thursday April 16 to Friday April 17 2009 During the days of Unleavened Bread we are to eat unleavened bread and we are not have any leaven in our homes.
Again Brethren I am sorry for any of the confusion I have added to this situation. But once again this is another life lesson showing us exactly why you cannot know the day or the hour the Messiah is to return as we have recently written about. It is because of the sighting of the moon. It is because you do not know when it will be seen, or when the witnesses will come forward.
I have also received an email from someone who has confirmed that the moon in Israel was a full moon during the Feast last year. His letter is written to all those who still hold fast to the belief that the moon must be full at the start of the Feast and yet they use the conjunction to start the month.
This man, Joe Dumond, was right last year. When most people were starting the Feast of Tabernacles two days early, only he and apparently the Karaite Jews (who follow the holy days the biblically prescribed way – by observation of the moon) had the right day to begin the Feast. I was a witness to this personally in Jerusalem, as there was a full moon (which happens on the 14th day of the month-the commanded start day of the feast of Tabernacles) on the day which most groups were already keeping the third day of their Feast of Tabernacles. I don’t know how they were not embarrassed by this when they looked up in the sky and saw that it was a full moon two days after they started their Feasts.
Please take a moment to step outside and see the moon for yourself. There is enough of a substantial sliver to the new moon to show that it probably did start 24 hours ago. That would make Joe Dumond, who relys on the reports of observers in Israel correct once again and those who follow the calculated system wrong once again, holding their Holy Days two days early yet once again. That would also make the Holy Day dates that are below correct. And that is what I see myself when I look outside the window of my apartment, despite what religious leaders say! Check it out for yourself with your own observation. Did not the new moon start 24 hours ago? Is it not impossible for it to have started 3 days ago? What do your own eyes tell you?
Cheers and happy new year,
There are others who keep the sighted moon. But John is writing those who use the conjunction. I am not the only one. But I was a witness to John in Jerusalem last year and he used the moon to witness to himself, which is what we all must do.
Joseph F Dumond