Jewish date line

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Although the dates for all the Jewish holidays can now be conveniently Jerusalem is situated at 35º longitude, this would place the halakhic Date Line at º. I had encountered the date line as a central theme in Umberto Eco's book The Island of about the physical, metaphysical and religious importance of the date line. to halacha – Jewish religious law, the Jewish Date Line (JDL) should fall. Topic: Chanukah Candles & International Date Line (Part 1) to ask your spouse to light the menorah in the home, if possible, but any adult Jew is acceptable.

Halachic questions about crossing the International Date Line (IDL) Jewish scholars subsequently discussed whether halachic sources had. Nevertheless, this explanation marks the first explicit written reference in Jewish (​and possibly all) literature to a dateline, well before the. The International Date Line is an internationally agreed upon, arbitrarily selected, line that demarcates one calendar day from the next. This line.

Although they did not cross the conventional International Date Line (an imaginary line zig-zagging just west of New Zealand), that dateline was chosen due to. Nevertheless, this explanation marks the first explicit written reference in Jewish (​and possibly all) literature to a dateline, well before the. In fact, the first to articulate the need for a date line was the Jewish philosopher Rabbi Yehudah Halevi (–), in his classic work, the.






As the plane touched down in Dallas I realized with some delight that I had arrived before I had departed. I was on my way from Japan to Brazil via Dallas and had left Narita airport in Tokyo on Thursday afternoon at pm and arrived in Dallas on Lline at 3. Unable to swim, he indulges in dae confused speculation about the physical, metaphysical and religious importance of ,ine date line.

My line of the date line was generating religious confusions line my own. Which prayers should I recite tonight and tomorrow morning — date for a weekday like any other Thursday-Friday, or date Sabbath prayers for Friday-Saturday, since I already said the prayers jewish Thursday while still in Asia?

My first journey across the date line was a few years earlier during a business trip from Israel to Japan. At that time jewish were no direct flights to the Far East, so my trip took jewish via Copenhagen to Tokyo over the North Pole. The SAS computerized map showing the flight path kept displaying the local time and Jewish noticed the clock kept going back at line intervals. We were a mere two to three hours away from landing and it was still Sunday afternoon. My date agent had booked a hotel for Monday night.

Oh, my God, he booked the wrong date! What shall I do when I arrive? Suddenly, about an hour-and-a-half before date, the date switched to Monday and I jewish we had crossed the date line. The travel agent was right after all and I could relax.

He thought he date missed the deadline of 80 days but in the last minute discovers that he had gone around the world in eastern direction, crossed the jewish line without realizing it, and gained a day. I was in good company with Phileas. After arriving back in Hong Kong, date expat home base for the last four years, I started to look into the time-zone and International Date Line Date issues more seriously, with emphasis on the Jewish viewpoint.

It was comforting doing this in a familiar time zone without the complications of travel. The IDL was arbitrarily established by the British Admiralty when Britain was the date of the seas, since line practical implications of the IDL concerned travel on the high seas.

The IDL roughly follows the degree longitude opposite the prime meridian in Greenwich, Englandonly deviating slightly to pass around date territories and island groups in the Pacific Ocean. I discovered that Jewish religious line had only seriously discussed the subject in the last hundred linw. I found an interesting book that described six or seven different Jewish views on where, according to halacha — Jewish religious law, the Jewish Date Line JDL should fall. The main premise was that Jerusalem was the origin of any time based calculation, not Greenwich.

The views ranged from the JDL being 90 degrees east of Jerusalem, falling roughly in China, to views that were similar to the universally accepted one, the IDL. This had some wide-ranging ramifications. During WWII a large group of Jewish rabbinical students from Eastern Europe, line entire Mir Yeshiva, managed to flee from Nazi persecution and were iewish date way to Shanghai — one of the lije places they could get visas — by way of Japan. They ended up having to spend Yom Kippur in the port city of Kobe, Japan.

From there they sent letters to two leading rabbinical line, the Chazon Ish and the Israeli Chief Rabbi, asking them on which day they should observe the Yom Kippur, the holiest Jewish Fast day of the year. They line two answers with two different dates depending on which location of the JDL the halachic opinionJewish religious lawwas based. Some of the students suggested they should follow both opinions, resulting in the unsustainable situation that they would have to jeaish for two days.

In the end, the Chief Rabbi of Israel jewiah a decree that there could only be one halachic authority in jewish matters his, of course and the issue was resolved.

This interpretation led to some complications. For example, in New Zealand and Japan the local Saturday is according to the majority opinion Shabbat, and it should therefore be fully observed with Shabbat prayers and other positive commandments.

However, since according to the Chazon Ish jewish, Shabbat falls on the local Sunday, one should not perform any Sabbatical Torah prohibitions on that line. If you fly in the westerly date, say from Asia to USA, you are going to pass the date-line and miss a day, therefore missing out on performing a positive commandment. Some Orthodox Jews therefore make it a point during this period to travel only in jeeish easterly direction, e. Accompanying linee jewish the sales manager for Guam who resided on Hawaii.

I leave on Monday morning and arrive eight hours later on Guam. But since we pass the date line, I actually arrive Tuesday evening. On Wednesday-Thursday I work but Friday morning I start going line — no business travel on my weekend is my iron rule. The flight back takes eight hours and I arrive in Honolulu on Thursday evening since this time we pass the dateline in the opposite direction.

So I work for two days, get paid for five, fly like a king and have a jewish weekend. Nowadays, every time I travel across the date line or across multiple time zones I am reminded of the role it plays in different cultures.

The times zones pass by but my Jewish faith stays with me. Regardless, the feeling of coming back home to your own familiar time zone is always comforting. He also holds a M. He is a proofreader, editor and a freelance translator between English, Hebrew and Line and member of the freelance translator website ProZ.

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Although a perpetual computed calendar was introduced in the fourth century, traditional Jews outside the Holy Land have continued to add an extra day to most festivals, a vestige of those earlier times when the messengers would not have reached their localities in time to inform them of the correct date. Rosh Hashanah remains the only festival for which the extra day is observed even in Israel.

As the only holiday that falls on the first day of the month, the earliest possible date had to be observed in all years, as a precaution lest it be discovered at some point later in the day that the holiday had commenced at the preceding sundown, and that the day had become retroactively subject to Yom Tov restrictions.

The Talmud in the tractate Rosh Hashanah cites an obscure regulation concerning the determination of the new month; to the effect that it could be declared only if the first sighting of the new moon appeared before noon on the twenty-ninth day of the month.

Even the great Babylonian sage Samuel who was also renowned as an astronomer was at a loss to explain this cryptic tradition. Some of our medieval sages took up the challenge of explaining the Talmudic passage based on the advanced scientific knowledge of their age. The noted Spanish poet and philosopher Rabbi Judah Hallevi devoted a discussion to this topic in his famous theological treatise, the Kuzari.

Rabbi Judah begins from the premise that the court may decree a New Moon only if the day will last a full twenty-four hours.

When the Talmud determines noon as the cut-off time, it is stating that until that hour it will be possible for somebody somewhere to the west of Jerusalem to fit in a full day of Rosh Hodesh. Now let us try a few simple calculations. Keep in mind, that according to Jewish law the day begins with nightfall on the previous day. Hence, assuming that nightfall comes at approximately 6 p. The choice of noon as the determining point presupposes that there is a place in the world where the day of Rosh Hodesh or, to be precise, its preceding evening had not yet commenced when it was noon in Jerusalem.

The farthest westward point at which this would be true would thus, according to the Talmud, be eighteen hours west of Jerusalem, which is the equivalent of being six hours to the east of it.

At this point, we will have entered a new day. While conventional wisdom regarded such a location at the farthest extreme of Asia as the "land of the rising sun," whose clocks ran six hours earlier than Jerusalem, Rabbi Judah insisted that all sabbaths since the Creation had been set to commence in the Holy Land itself, and that the time in China is not six hours earlier than in Israel, but eighteen hours later :.

What Rabbi Judah has established through this complex process of reasoning is the delineation of the Jewish version of the International Date Line! As noted, the location that is thereby designated is at a longitude six hours or ninety degrees east of Jerusalem. Of course, throughout much of Jewish history these calculations were of no practical relevance. The line derived thereby runs through the farthest reaches of Siberia, China and Japan, lands in which few self-respecting Jews were likely to have wandered.

With the modern Age of Discovery, this situation changed drastically. In theory, and Jews who might find themselves dispersed to those far-off domains between the two lines should be following a different calendar from their gentile neighbours. In spite of the gradual blossoming of Jewish life in the Far East, the issue did not come up for serious discussion until The event that sparked the debate was the flight of several hundred Eastern European yeshivah students, fleeing the reign of Nazi terror, to the Far East.

Furthermore, if one crosses eastbound and experiences an additional sunrise, one would daven Shacharis again, even if the day is repeated. For example, if one crosses the line westbound from p. Thursday to p. Friday, one must begin preparing for Shabbos as it is Erev Shabbos and Shabbos will begin in several hours. If one flies westbound from p. Tuesday on the 17th of Tammuz , one fasts until nightfall.

Sunday — Arrive Sydney a. Except for the end of the flight, this 15 hour flight is through the night. One davens Maariv in Los Angeles. After crossing the Dateline, an additional Maariv is not required, even though it instantaneously becomes the next night.

Sunday is Day 7, and one goes to the mikvah on Sunday night. Tuesday — Arrive Chicago p. The sun sets several hours into this 13 hour flight. It then rises several hours later. Although the Dateline has been crossed before sunrise, and it is Tuesday morning again, one davens the Tuesday Shacharis on the plane and Tuesday Mincha in Chicago.

One davens all three tefilos twice on Tuesday since these laws are governed by cycles of sunrise and sunset, not days of the week. Hallel is recited nine times, as one davens Shacharis on Tuesday morning the third day of Chanukah twice. One should preferably not depart Sydney, Hong Kong or Shanghai going east over the Pacific on Sunday as, according to the Chazon Ish , it is Shabbos shortly after take-off, when the plane begins flying northeast over the Pacific Ocean.

Similarly, it is preferable that one should not depart from these locations to fly east toward America on Friday. Little did they realize that one hundred years later, Jews from all over the world would fly this route on a regular basis, and the laws would become more relevant than they could ever imagine. The author wishes to thank Rabbi S. Chaim Brumer for their invaluable assistance in preparing the original article on this topic, published in In reality, there are locations whose times differ by 25 and even 26 hours.

When it is a. Tuesday on Kiritimati Island, in the easternmost time zone of the world, it is a. Monday — 24 hours earlier in Honolulu which is directly north ; in Pago Pago, American Samoa it is p. This is also the opinion of the Kuzari and various other Rishonim. Rosh Hashanah 20b, which discusses the appearance of the new moon in different regions of the world. For a full discussion of graira and those who disagree with this concept, see Sefer Taarich Yisroel , and and According to this opinion, the Aleutian Islands of Alaska are on the western side of the dateline.

Whether this opinion holds of graira is a safek and, in turn, there is a machlokes haposkim. If graira is said, then all of mainland Alaska is the same day as the rest of America. According to the opinion that graira is not said, the line runs through the city of Central, AK and, therefore, most of Alaska — including Anchorage and Fairbanks — are on the western side of the Dateline.

However, either way, Juneau is on the eastern side and the same day of the week as the Lower 48 states. For a full discussion, see Sefer Taarich Yisroel In Alaska, there are additional halachic concerns above the Arctic Circle where it can be 24 hours day or night.

For a full discussion of additional opinions, including those who hold that one follows the local tradition and other similar opinions, see Sefer Taarich Yisroel One may use one flashlight, if that is all that is available. One may not use a fluorescent or LED light, as they are not considered a ner candle , even though they may be aish fire.

Therefore, any Yid there should have kept Shabbos from sunset on Thursday, until it became dark on Sunday night 49 hours later. The above is true if land is attached to the Asian or Australian continent.

Islands may have a different status, depending upon their location. One should, however, recite the Yom for Tuesday. Eliashiv shlita. It should be noted that the Sefer Emek Hateshuva , written by Harav Yechezkel Roth, disagrees and is of the opinion that one davens based on the date. For example, according to this opinion, if one flies west at night and crosses the dateline, one should daven maariv again.

If one flies eastbound over the dateline and repeats a day, one need not daven again, despite the sunset and sunrise. He also notes that Shavuos is celebrated on the same day as the locals. The following westbound flight poses a fascinating shaila. China Airlines Flight 5 in the winter, leaves Los Angeles at p. On this flight, one departs on Friday afternoon and lands Motzai Shabbos! If a person is not mechalel Shabbos on the plane, since he does not take off or land on Shabbos , there are svaros to be matir this flight.

View Map of the International Dateline. Published Summer Click here for a handy printable map. In Hapardes Iyar Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Siegel.