Posted on April 21, 2022
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Pesach Sameach!! We are almost to the end of Pesach!
Shabbat and Pesach Greetings:
Our Pesach Day 7 services tomorrow morning will be held at our usual Morning Minyan on Zoom – 7:30 a.m..
Our Shabbat evening services tomorrow night are combined with a special Social Justice Seder. Please join us in person or on Zoom at 7:00 p.m.!
Shabbat and Yom Tov morning services will be on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and are also multi-access: in person and on Zoom. Yizkor will follow at 12:30 p.m. To register to come in person to any of these services, please go https://forms.gle/8y8z5tqBHj5Vwr1B8. All other Zoom links can be found in the Shabbat Preview. Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach!
Torah Question of the Week and a Note about the Israeli Liturgical Calendar: How do you connect with the Land of Israel? Through travel? Language? How about time? A few years ago, in solidarity with Israel, TBAY decided to align with the Israeli liturgical calendar. What does this mean? Jews living in the Diaspora (outside of modern Israel) typically observe two days of chag on holidays that are Yom Tov – holidays where work is forbidden (for example, the 1st two and last two days of Pesach). In Israel, only one day of chag is observed.
Why is this? In Antiquity, to proclaim a new month, the Sanhedrin (the Jewish governing body in the Land of Israel) had to receive sworn testimony from two eyewitnesses who had observed the new moon. They then broadcast the information from Jerusalem using huge bonfires which were lit on designated mountaintops. The lookouts stationed on other mountaintops would see the fires and in turn light their own fires. (Think Lord of the Rings!) This ancient chain of communication extended to Babylon and beyond. When this method was discontinued in favor of (much slower) messengers, they found that distant communities did not always find out that Rosh Chodesh had been declared in time to celebrate a holiday or festival on the proper day. As a result, it was decreed that outside of the Land of Israel people would celebrate every Yom Tov for two days: the day of the month the holiday would be if the previous month had been a 29-day month, and the day of the month it would be if the previous month had been a 30-day month.
When the Jewish people transitioned from Temple- and sacrifice-based religion to Rabbinic Judaism, they eventually developed a fixed calendar, which began being used in the 4th Century. However, the rabbis of our Talmud retained the two-day observance outside of the Land of Israel and this continues to be the practice of Orthodox and many Conservative communities today.
While TBAY continues to follow the Israeli liturgical calendar, like the ancient rabbis, we are aware of the logistical needs of our community. Since we recognize that many people would be unable to take Friday off from work, we are holding Yom Tov services, including Yizkor, on Day 8 of Passover, in order to allow more people to attend these services this year.
— Rabbi Rubin : )