Nazarene Space

Beit Din Passes Halacha "When is the year extended?"

Today (March 28th 2013) The International Nazarene Beit-Din has passed a halacha concerning the question of when the year is to be extended by a month.  The complete halacha is below:

The year, when is it to be extended?

The Qumran Sect says that we do not extend the year, but we use a 364 day solar year, as we read in the Book of Enoch.

The International Nazarene Beit Din says:  The Book of Enoch recounts the fall of a group of angels, who fell from heaven and took human form in order to copulate with human women (1Enoch 6; Gen. 6). Enoch gives a prophecy Enoch received BEFORE this fall of angels (1En. 39:1). At that time Enoch says concerning the movements of the Sun and Moon:

5 And I saw the chambers of the sun and moon, whence they proceed and whither they come again, and their glorious return, and how one is superior to the other, and their stately orbit, and how they do not leave their orbit, and they add nothing to their orbit and they take nothing from it, and they keep faith with each other, in accordance with the oath by which they are bound together.
6 And first the sun goes forth and traverses his path according to the commandment of YHWH Tzva’ot, and mighty is His name for ever and ever.
7 And after that I saw the hidden and the visible path of the moon, and she accomplishes the course of her path in that place by day and by night-the one holding a position opposite to the other before YHWH Tzva’ot.
And they give thanks and praise and rest not;
For unto them is their thanksgiving rest.
8 For the sun changes oft for a blessing or a curse,
And the course of the path of the moon is light to the righteous
And darkness to the sinners in the name of YHWH,
Who made a separation between the light and the darkness,
And divided the spirits of men,
And strengthened the spirits of the righteous,
In the name of His righteousness.
9 For no angel hinders and no power is able to hinder; for He appoints a judge for them all and He judges them all before Him.
(1En. 41:5-9 Trimm Translation)
And in the Astronomical/Calendar section we read:

"And in the days of the sinners the years shall be shortened,
and their seed shall be tardy on their lands and fields,
and all things on the earth shall alter,
and shall not appear in their time . . . .
and many chiefs of the stars
shall transgress the order (prescribed);
and these shall alter their orbits and tasks,
and not appear at the seasons prescribed to them"
(1 Enoch 80:2,6)

However AFTER the fall of these angels Enoch receives another revelation concerning the “stars” (The ancients counted the Sun, the Moon, and the five visible planets as “stars”):

14 The angel said: 'This place is the end of heaven and earth: this has become a prison for the stars and the host of heaven.
15 And the stars which roll over the fire are they which have transgressed the commandment of YHWH in the beginning of their rising, because they did not come forth at their appointed times.
16 And He was wroth with them, and bound them till the time when their guilt should be consummated (even) for ten thousand years.'
(1En. 18:14-16 Trimm Translation)

Jude refers to these “stars” when he refer to “wandering stars for whom is reserved blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 1:13b).

The Book of Enoch speaks of a calendar that functioned before the fall of the angels before the flood (Gen. 6) but this calendar ceased to function after the fall, when the wandering stars did not come forth at their appointed time.  

Moreover the Qumran calendar uses non-lunar, solar months.  But the Torah directs us to observe the new moon as the beginning of the month:

10 Also in the day of your gladness, and in your appointed seasons, and in your new
moons (Rosh Chodesh), you shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt-offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace-offerings. And they shall be to you for a memorial before your Elohim: I am YHWH your Elohim.
(Num. 10:10)

And in your new moons (Rosh Chodesh), you shall present a burnt-offering unto YHWH: two young bullocks, and one ram, seven he lambs of the first year without blemish.
(Num. 28:11)

And what if one shall say, "Rosh Chodesh" refers to the new month, but not to a new moon?

The new month is the same as the new moon, as we read in the Wisdom of Yeshua ben Sira:

6 And even the shining moon wanes according to its time.
Though it is for ruling the seasons and an everlasting sign.
7 By it are the seasons and the times of the statute:
And shining, it vanishes in its circuit.
8 The new moon (Rosh Chodesh), according to its name renews itself;
How wonderful is it when it changes!
The beacon of the host wanes on high,
Leaving the firmament aglow from its shining.
(Sira 43:6-8)

The Elaphantine Cult said that the first of Nisan is always the first new moon after the Spring Equinox.

The International Nazarene Beit Din says:   

The Elaphantine cult had their own Temple in Egypt which functioned alongside that of the local ram-headed deity, Khnum. They worshiped YHWH as a god within the Egyptian pantheon.  We do not adopt the apostate customs of the Elaphantine cult.

The Karaites say: The new year begins with the first New Moon after the barley in Israel reaches the stage in its ripeness called Aviv.

In the Second Temple Era a minority group came to the Pharisaic Sanhedrin and said:  "A year may be intercalated on three grounds: on account of the premature state of the barley; or that of the fruit-trees; or on account of the lateness of the Tekufah. Any two of these reasons can justify intercalation, but not one alone. All, however, are glad when the state of the spring-crop is one of them."

But the Nasi Rabban Shimeon ben Gamaliel ruled against them saying: "On account of [the lateness of] the Tekufah. "
(b.San. 11b)

The minority came again to the Rabbinic Sanhedrin at Yavneh saying "Did he mean to say that `on account of the [lateness of the] Tekufah' [being one of the two reasons], they rejoiced, or that the lateness of the Tekufah alone was adequate reason for
intercalating the year? — The question remains undecided."
(B.San. 11b)

But the Nasi Rab Judah said in Samuel's name: A year is not to be intercalated unless the [spring] Tekufah is short of completion by the greater part of the month.
(b.San. 12b)

And how much is that? — Sixteen days: so holds Rab Judah.

R. Jose said: Twenty-one days. Now, both deduce it from the same verse, And the
Feast of Ingathering at the Tekufah [season] of the year (Ex. 34:22). One Master holds
that the whole Feast [of ingathering] is required to be included [in the new Tishri Tekufah]; the other, that only a part of the Festival [of ingathering] must [be included].

Now, which view do they adopt? If they hold that the Tekufah day is the
completion [of the previous season]: then, even if it were not so, it will
meet with the requirement neither of him who holds that the whole Festival [must
be included,] nor of him who holds that only part of it [is necessary]! — One
must say therefore that they both hold that the Tekufah day begins [the new

An objection is raised: The Tekufah day concludes [the previous season]:
this is R. Judah's view. R. Jose maintains that it commences [the new].
Further has it been taught: A year is not intercalated unless the [spring]
Tekufah is short of completion by the greater part of the month [Tishri]. And
how much is that? Sixteen days. R. Judah said: Two thirds of the month. And
how much is that? Twenty days. R. Jose ruled: It is to be calculated thus: [If
there are] sixteen [days short of completing the Tekufah] which precedes
Passover, the year is to be intercalated. [If, however, there are] sixteen
[short of completing the Tekufah] which precedes the Feast [of Tabernacles],
the year is not to be intercalated. R. Simeon maintained: Even where there are
sixteen [days short of completing the Tekufah] which precedes the Feast [of
Tabernacles], the year is intercalated. Others say [that the year is
intercalated even if the Tekufah is short of completion] by the lesser part of
the month. And how much is that? Fourteen days? — The difficulty remained

The Master has said: `R. Judah said: Two thirds of the month. And how much is
that? Twenty days. R. Jose ruled: It is to be calculated [thus: if there are]
sixteen [days short of completing the Tekufah] which precedes Passover, the year
is to be intercalated.' But is not this view identical with R. Judah's? —
They differ as to whether the Tekufah day completes [the previous] or begins
[the new cycle].

The Master has said: `[R. Jose holds that] if there are sixteen [days short
of completing the Tekufah] which precedes the Feast [of Tabernacles], the year
is not intercalated.' According to R. Jose, then, only if there are sixteen
[days short of completing the Tekufah] preceding the Feast [of Tabernacles is
intercalation] not [permitted]; but if there are seventeen or eighteen [days
short], the year is intercalated. But has he not himself said: If there are
sixteen [days short of completing the Tekufah] which precedes Passover, we may
intercalate, but not if less? — But no; in neither case may we intercalate.
But seeing that he spoke of the number sixteen [with regard to the Tekufah]
preceding Passover, he gives it also [in connection with the Tekufah]
preceding the Feast [of Tabernacles].
(b.San. 13a)

"The Jews of old, even before Messiah, Philo, Josephus, and Musæus; and not only by them, but also by those yet more ancient, the two Agathobuli, surnamed `Masters,' and the famous Aristobulus, who was chosen among the seventy interpreters of the sacred and divine Hebrew Scriptures by Ptolemy Philadelphus and his father, and who also dedicated his exegetical books on the Torah of Moses to the same kings, said:  "All alike should sacrifice the passover offerings after the Spring Equinox."
(Eusebius; Eccl. History 7:32:16-17)

Aristobulus said: "It is necessary for the feast of the Passover, that not only the sun should pass through the equinoctial segment, but the moon also. For as there are two equinoctial segments, the Spring and the Automn, directly opposite each other, and as the day of the Passover was appointed on the fourteenth of the month, beginning with the evening, the moon will hold a position diametrically opposite the sun, as may be seen in full moons; and the sun will be in the segment of the Spring Equinox, and of necessity the moon in that of the Automn.
(Aristobulus - Eusebius; Eccl. History 7:32:17-18)

Rav Huna bar Abin sent an instruction to Raba: When you see that the cycle of
Tevet extends to the sixteenth of Nisan, declare that year a leap year
and have no doubts, since it is written, Observe the month [hodesh] of
Aviv, (Deut. 16:1 which signifies, See to it that the Aviv of the Tekufa should commence in the earlier half [hodesh] of Nisan.
(b.Rosh HaShanna 21a)

As we read in Targum Jonathan:

Be mindful to keep the times of the festivals,
with the intercalations of the year,
and to observe the TEKUFA thereof in the month of Aviv
to perform the Passover before YHWH your Elohim,
because in  the month of Aviv
YHWH your Elohim brought you out of Egypt;
you shall eat thereof by night.
(Targum Jonathan on Deut. 16:1)

The International Nazarene Beit Din says:

We read in the Torah:

“And Elohim 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.
And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven,
to give light upon the earth. And it was so.
And Elohim made the two great lights:
the greater light to rule the day,
and the lesser light to rule the night,
and the stars.”
(Gen. 1:14-16 HRV)

The calendar of YHWH is therefore regulated by the sun, the moon and the stars, but nothing is said of barley, moreover the Karaite calendar makes use of the sun and moon only, but not the stars.  

Again we read in the Torah:

Observe the month (chodesh) of Aviv,
and keep the Pesach unto YHWH your Elohim:
for in the month (chodesh) of Aviv,
YHWH your Elohim brought you forth out of Egypt, by night.
(Deut. 16:1 HRV)

From this we understand that the Tekufa of Aviv (Spring Equinox) must occur in the first half of Nisan.

And again we read in the Torah:

And you shall observe the feast of weeks:
even of the first fruits of wheat harvest,
and the feast of ingathering at the Tekufah of the year.
(Ex. 34:22 HRV)

From this we understand that at least some portion of Sukkot must occur after the Autumn Equinox.

The Tekufa Aviv should commence in the beginning of Nisan.  A year is not to be extended unless the Tekufah Aviv is short of completion by the greater part of the month, meaning sixteen days. If calculations show that the 14th of Nisan will occur before the Tekufa Aviv, then an additional month "Adar Sheni" (Adar II) shall be added before the first of Nisan that year, thus the Passover offering should be made after the Tekufah Aviv.

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Views: 221

Comment by Mikha El on March 29, 2013 at 7:28am
One BROTHER in the Messianic faith thinks a March Passover is not possible if anyone 1st requires the spring equinox has occurred.  How can one determine the exact timing of the spring equinox?  Does it "always" occur on the 21st or 22nd of March?
For as long as can be remembered Passover has always occurred in either March or April. If a person goes by the Spring Equinox Passover can never occur in March. The Spring Equinox always occurs on the 21st or 22rd of March. If a new moon occurred a split second after a Spring Equinox that occurred on the 21st of March and you began counting 15 days from the day of the Spring Equinox Passover would always occur in April.

If you determine when the 15th of Aviv is starting with the 21st of March as day 1, the earliest date you could have Passover would be with the 14th of Aviv on April 3rd, and the 15th of Aviv on April 4th. I've got many ancient texts and Historical sources that record Passovers that occurred in March.

The source that made me think about this technicality was Philo the Alexandrian and his statement that a Passover could occur in March or April.
--  Yaakov benYosef
Comment by James Trimm on March 29, 2013 at 7:41am

No it is typically the 20th of March, I think it will be until 2044.  Then it will dip to the 19th for one year.

It will stay between the 19th and 20th until 2201 when it will then creep over to the 20th and 21st.

Comment by Mikha El on March 29, 2013 at 8:38pm

So then, equinox date aside for a moment....

1) Yaakov is mistaken in thinking Tekufa Aviv marks the beginning of the countdown to Passover instead of only the start of a new year apparently? 

2)Did the calculated/actual new moon in Israel occur March 11,  thereby using the moon as the indication of the start of the month as is normal every month;  only difference being this one marked the beginning of the countdown to Passover?

Comment by James Trimm on March 30, 2013 at 12:48am

1)  Well Passover must always occur after the day of the Tekufa Aviv (Spring Equinox) and during the season of Tekufa Aviv (Spring).

2) The Beit Din had not passed a New Moon halacha, this halacha relates only to the timing of the year.  It will be many years, if ever, before the timing of the year would hinge on the question of invisible New Moon vs. sighted crescent.  In other words, for that to impact this halacha the 14th of Nisan would have to potentially occur before the Equinox using the dark New Moon but after it using the sighted New Moon, and that situation is not in the near future, so it is a totally different issue.


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