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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Soon to be Sh'vat, Expect a Long Winter on The Jewish Calendar

The Jewish Calendar, as I've mentioned many times, is brilliant.  It's a strictly lunar calendar which also manages to be accurate according to the seasons, unlike the Moslem one.  The solar calendar is accurate according to seasons and is longer than the twelve month lunar calendar.  This year and last, the Jewish Holidays came out rather "early" according to the secular/goyish calendar. And that will be made up this year by adding another month of Adar hereby extending our winter by a month.
The Jewish calendar is based on three astronomical phenomena: the rotation of the Earth about its axis (a day); the revolution of the moon about the Earth (a month); and the revolution of the Earth about the sun (a year). These three phenomena are independent of each other, so there is no direct correlation between them. On average, the moon revolves around the Earth in about 29½ days. The Earth revolves around the sun in about 365¼ days, that is, about 12.4 lunar months.
The civil calendar used by most of the world has abandoned any correlation between the moon cycles and the month, arbitrarily setting the length of months to 28, 30 or 31 days.
The Jewish calendar, however, coordinates all three of these astronomical phenomena. Months are either 29 or 30 days, corresponding to the 29½-day lunar cycle. Years are either 12 or 13 months, corresponding to the 12.4 month solar cycle...
n the fourth century, Hillel II established a fixed calendar based on mathematical and astronomical calculations. This calendar, still in use, standardized the length of months and the addition of months over the course of a 19 year cycle, so that the lunar calendar realigns with the solar years. Adar I is added in the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th years of the cycle. The current cycle began in Jewish year 5758 (the year that began October 2, 1997). If you are musically inclined, you may find it helpful to remember this pattern of leap years by reference to the major scale: for each whole step there are two regular years and a leap year; for each half-step there is one regular year and a leap year. This is easier to understand when you examine the keyboard illustration below and see how it relates to the leap years above.
Keyboard illustrating pattern of leap years

We're now in the month of Tevet, and like a good Tevet it has been cold.  We have even had a record-breaking snowstorm-blizzard.  A full week plus after the snow stopped falling, it still hasn't fully melted in Shiloh which is unprecedented.

One of the amazing things about the timing of the blizzard is that it took place in the middle of Tevet.  The middle of a Jewish/lunar month is when the moon is fullest, so even though there was no electricity for quite a few days, there was light at night.

Time flies, when you're as busy as I've been, and suddenly I realize that I have to remind everyone that Rosh Chodesh is coming very soon, like late next week.  And Rosh Chodesh for me is going to pray at Shiloh HaKedumah, Tel Shiloh, where the Mishkan, Holy Tabernacle stood in Biblical times.

Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Shvat

Thursday, January 2, 2014
First of Shvat 5774, 8:30am
Tour of Tel Shiloh & Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors

תפילת נשים
ראש חודש שבט בתל שילה

יום ה' 2-1 א' שבט תשע"ד 8:30
יהיה דבר תורה קצר וסיור בתל
 כדאי לבוא ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

You're welcome to join our facebook page. Tel Shiloh is open to visitors daily. Tours can be arranged through the Shiloh HaKeduma, Ancient Shiloh office. Email visit@telshilo.org.il  or phone 02-994-4019.

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