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Passover, Setting the Date-2016

In Blog, Events, John's Blog, Passover, Teachings | on March, 14, 2016 | by



Every year we seem to face the same dilemma, “When do we celebrate Passover and what criteria do we follow?”

Since the first month is called the month of the Abib (Aviv), and since the Feast of First Fruits requires two sheaves of ripe barley, it seems logical to seek abib barley before determining whether to add another month to the calendar or not. This year there were groups seeking to find abib barley in The Land with conflicting results.

Even searching the same fields, the groups’ determinations were diametrically opposed with some saying yes and others no. Who are we to believe? Are we to vote on whose report to believe?

If the determination is yes, then the Passover comes in March while if no then probably April 22. Why is this even important? This dating becomes the foundation for all the rest of the feasts for the year.

Michael McHugh, author of the in depth study of the ancient calendars, was consulted concerning this matter. His first point comes from scripture:

Gen 1:14 And God 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:

His point is the moedim are controlled by the sun, moon, and stars and not the abib.  From the ancient calendar documents, he points to the fact the Month of the Abib came after the Equinox. And thus, the early harvest was not in control of the month’s determination, but the early harvest came at the same time every year.  The equinox, by the way, comes on March 20 this year.

This latter makes sense because agricultural studies show various types of seed germinate based upon the number of hours of sunlight. Therefore the volunteer seeds always germinate at about the same time every year. And, this is why grow lights allow greenhouses to get ahead of the season.

With all these factors considered, Torah Chai’s Board has determined to follow the ancient determination system and our official Passover observance will come on April 22 (if the calendar estimation of the new moon is correct).

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