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Calendar

The Genesis of Time

The simple meaning of Genesis 1–2:4 is that God created the world out of primordial elements. And yet, one important new initiative was the construction of time, embracing the day, the month, the year, and the week. The week, however, does not depend on a cosmic phenomenon but served to introduce the concept of a people holy to a creator God.

Professor

Jack M. Sasson

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What Is the Bible’s Calendar?

The Torah prescribes the observance of festivals on very specific dates, but does not explain how the calendar must be reckoned: Is it lunar? Is it solar? Does it follow some other scheme? And why is the Torah silent on this?

Prof.

Sacha Stern

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Is the Autumn Ingathering Festival at the Beginning, Middle, or End of the Year?

The Feast of Ingathering is “at the tzet (צֵאת) of the year” (Exod 23:16). This phrase is generally translated as “the end of the year,” but a closer look at the meaning of the Hebrew verb in biblical Hebrew suggests it may mean the beginning.

Harvey N. Bock

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Does a Day Begin in the Evening?

Close reading of the relevant biblical texts uncovers friction, maybe momentous historical reform.

Dr. Hacham

Isaac S. D. Sassoon

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How the Temple Scroll Rewrote the Festival of Bikkurim

Throughout the Bible, we find that the land of Israel is blessed with grain, wine, and oil (דגן, תירוש, ויצהר). In the Torah, however, the festival of Bikkurim, “First Produce,” only celebrates the wheat harvest. In Qumran, the Essenes rewrote the biblical festival calendar to include two further bikkurim festivals to celebrate wine and oil.[1] 

Prof.

Marvin A. Sweeney

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The Essence of the Hebrew Calendar

Celebrating Multiple News Year’s Days to Express Multiple Values: Nature and History, Universal and Particular

Prof.

Aaron Demsky

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"The First Month of the Year"

A Cornerstone of the Jewish Luni-Solar Calendar or a Commandment about the Order of Months?

Dr.

Jonathan Ben-Dov

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The Historical Uniqueness and Centrality of Yom Kippur

Prof.

Isaac Kalimi

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On the Origins of Purim and Its Assyrian Name

In the book of Esther, the name for the holiday Purim derives from Haman’s pūr (פּוּר, “lot”) to determine what day to attack the Jews. The name Purim predates the story of Haman’s lot, and may originate in a forgotten Assyrian calendrical celebration, when the new year was named with a pūru.

Dr.

Amitai Baruchi-Unna

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The Origins of Sukkot

The connection between the Israelite festival of Sukkot in the temple and the Ugaritic new year festival and its dwellings of branches for the gods.  

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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Darius II Delays the Festival of Matzot in 418 BCE

A new look at the “Passover Papyrus” from Elephantine and the nature of the Hebrew calendar in the Achaemenid Empire.

Dr.

Idan Dershowitz

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Megillat Ta’anit and Its Scholion (Commentary)

A Brief Introduction

Prof.

Vered Noam

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When Does Counting the Omer Begin?

The omer or “sheaf” offering takes place ממחרת השבת, “after the Shabbat” (Leviticus 23:15). Jewish interpreters have debated the exact meaning of this phrase for two millennia, resulting in all four possible dates being adopted by one Jewish sect or another.

Prof.

Marvin A. Sweeney

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Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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The Jewish Calendar in Jubilees

A 364 Day Solar Year

Dr.

Michael Segal

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Biblical Exegesis as a Source of Jewish Pluralism: The Case of the Karaites

Karaism is often characterized by its rejection of the Talmud in favor of a super-literalist interpretation of the Torah. But Karaism is better understood as an alternate, parallel form of Judaism based on the Bible.

Prof.

Daniel J. Lasker

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