Halacha: Warum die, die am Adar I geboren sind, keine Unglücklichen sind

March 2, 2016

calender - leap day

Austrian-German_Swiss_flags-tinyDer deutsche Mathematiker, Experimentalphysiker und Satirist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799) widmete den armen Seelen, die im gregorianischen Kalender ihren Geburtstag nur alle vier Jahren feiern können, seine Schrift „Trostgründe für die unglücklichen, die am 29sten Februar geboren sind“. Wobei relativ wenig Menschen davon betroffen sind. Schätzungsgemäß sind es etwas mehr als 55000 Deutscher, die an diesen Tag geboren sind. Es entspricht 1/1461 der Bevölkerung.

Nicht so nach dem jüdischen Kalender. Innerhalb eines Zyklus von 19 Jahre fügen wir ganze 7 Schaltmonate hinzu. Die Geburtstage von nicht weniger als 7/235 der jüdischen Bevölkerung sind also vom extra Adar-Monat des jüdischen Schaltjahres betroffen. Wann feiern Schalt-Jahr-Adar-Kinder also ihre Geburtstage? Read the rest of this entry »


Muslims Question Their Calendar – Could it Have Happened to Us?

September 12, 2011

Both Jews and Muslims follow a lunar calendar for counting months. Once upon a time, Jews did not calculate the calendar, except to double check their astronomical observations. The new months was instead declared by the Great Tribunal in Jerusalem, after they cross examined witnesses who had seen the tiniest sliver of the new moon. This system was gradually abolished when it became increasingly difficult for the Great Tribunal to meet and to convey its declarations to the entire Jewish diaspora. Instead, during the early centuries after the destruction of the Second Temple, the Great Tribunal increasingly relied on astronomical calculations, culminating in the leader Hillel II sanctifying all future months (at least until the year 6000 since Creation) in advance, enabling us to use a fixed calendar ever since (For a brief primer on the Jewish calendar, click here).

Muslims, on the other hand, continue the practice of establishing the new moon — and the new month — every month, a practice which … might sometimes potentially cause some chaos. Apparently, with the end of the most recent Ramadan, that is exactly what happened, as the Jerusalem Post reports (see below). Had we Jews not moved to a fixed, precalculated calendar, could that have happened to us, too? Read the rest of this entry »