Thursday, January 11, 2018

Should we observe the Moon or use calculations?

Should we observe the Moon or use calculated values for Moon phases?

As far as I can tell, we need to use both.

The reason for this being that the Moon cycle is not perfect so in some month observations of the Moon can be misleading. This is why we need to use calculations sometimes.

For example, in the 7th month, the Moon phases align perfectly with Shabbats, so we do not really need calculations in this month. However, in the 1st month the cycle is shifted, so we must use calculated values for the phases to determine the Shabbat days for this month.

I am still doing observations so as to determine the best way to determine the Shabbats.

And the reason why Torah gives us day's numbers and not Phases of the Moon is because of the above issue of Lunar cycle being out of alignment in some months. So in these month one can only use calculations and therefore one need to use day's numbers and not Moon Phases, even though they should still fall on the correct days.

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