Category Archives: Rosh Chodesh

The Shofar and the New Moon: Solving a Karaite Quandary (Reader Poll)

Yemenite Jew blowing the Shofar

I finally did it. For almost 20 years I have been thinking about how to reconcile Psalms 81 which specifically says to blow the Shofar on new moon with the traditional Karaite view that there is no commandment to blow the shofar on the Yom Teruah (i.e., what the Rabbanites call Rosh Ha-shanna), which is a new moon. And this weekend, as I was preparing for a class I taught at a Conservative Synagogue, I did it.

It was actually pretty easy once I read the entirety of Psalms 81 (and not just the part that was perplexing me).

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Filed under New Moon, Rosh Chodesh, Rosh Hashanah, Shofar, Yefet ben 'Ali, Yom Teruah

Palestinian Rabbanites, Karaites and Moon Sightings

The gift that keeps on giving.

The gift that keeps on giving.

The new moon was sighted in Israel on May 11, 2013 – two days after the calculated Rabbinical calendar sets rosh chodesh (i.e., the start of the new month). As a result, most observant Karaites celebrated rosh chodesh on a different day from observant Rabbanites.

1100 years ago, though, (at least some) Palestinian Rabbanites set their calendar by the actual sighting of the new moon – and even observed “Rosh Hashanah” on a different day from the Babylonian Rabbanites.

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Filed under Books, Dr. Rustow, New Moon, Rosh Chodesh

Karaite Fact Card 6: Sight for Sore Eyes

Rosh Chodesh Sameach!

The new moon was sighted on November 15, 2012 in multiple locations throughout the Land of Israel. In future months, we expect to interview someone with tremendous experience sighting the new moon. In the meantime, check out this fact card.

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Filed under Karaite Fact Cards, New Moon, Rosh Chodesh