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Passover Limood 

Chapter Four

Passover Limood Video

Lunar Year / Solar Year - 5

By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Chapter 4

Lunar Year / Solar Year

The Torah portion of the Bible Teaches we are to measure our time by the sun, moon and stars. So it is proper to measure accordingly. 

Genesis 1.14

And God Said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the Heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years...

Judaism measures time several ways. We measure years F.C., i.e. From Creation. 

Catholics and Christians for the past 431 years have been measuring time in terms of years from when they estimate Jesus was conceived. This would be from around 3760 F.C. From 3760 F.C. Christians measure back using B.C. Or measure forward using A.D. There is no zero year. Jews contribute to the confusion of this system of measurement by using BCE instead of BC and CE instead of AD. Our Creator confused the languages and we have confused just about everything else. For the most part, this paragraph will not be a part of the discussion.

A Lunar month in the Bible is the time between two new moons. A new moon is reached when the moon is closest to the Sun. A new moon is the first visible crescent of the moon after conjunction with the sun.. In terms of time a lunar month is 29 days, 12 hours and 44 minutes. A Lunar month consists of either 29 or 30 days. 

In Judaism we are to Sanctify the moon. This is called, Kiddush Levanah. We say special prayers and blessings one evening, normally after Sabbath has past. We say these blessings outside of the synagogue when when we can view the moon. One may Sanctify the moon in individual prayer but it is best to do so in a minyan, i.e. with ten Jewish men above the age of twelve.

On one occasion I was saying  Kiddush Levanah at our Colorado mountain home which was close to a forest area. As I was saying the prayers a conversation with a local businessman slipped into my mind. He told me that he saw two mountain lions chasing deer on the street in front of our home around 11:00 at night. Can you imagine what it is like to  Sanctify the moon knowing a mountain Lion might be near by? 

Dear Reader the point is that where ever Jews are, we are required to Observe Kiddush Levanah. This is a very important Observance because Kiddush Levanah was the first Observance given to the Children of Israel. Rabbi Moshe Weissman, The Midrash Says (Brooklyn, New York: Benei Yakov Publications 1980), p. 89.

Our Sages Teach that on the First Day of the First Month that the Lord Said,

Exodus 12.1

And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the First Month of the year to you.

From this our Sages Teach that we should go out to meet the New Moon, i.e the New Month. Rabbi Yochanan taught that one who goes out to Bless the New Moon in its proper time is like one who greets God's Presence, i.e. the Shechinah. The second purpose has to do with the Jewish People's rebirth... The Jewish people in Egypt were in decline just as the moon is once a month. Then as the moon is reborn from it's lowest point so are the Jewish people reborn. Rabbi Menachem Davis, The Shottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash Bereishis / Genesis, {Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. First Edition 1st impression 2007}, p 454.


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