The Jewish Dateline & Japan
Join Rabbi David Sedley as he explores the following: What is the international dateline? Is there such a thing as a Jewish dateline, and if so, where is it? What are the practical implications of that for places like Japan, New Zealand, Hawaii and elsewhere?
The issue first arose after in 1941 the Mir Yeshiva had fled Poland to Kobe, in Japan. In the approach to Yom Kippur some students sent letters to Israel asking the gedolim of the day (including the Chazon Ish) on which day they should keep Yom Kippur. The Chazon Ish answered that they should fast on the day “after” Yom Kippur because the Jewish dateline cut through China and Russia, and halakhically Japan was in the same day as the US and not as Europe/Asia. Others disagreed.
The Jewish Dateline & Japan: The Jewish International Dateline
In this class we look at the international dateline and its implications for Judaism. Is there such a thing as a Jewish international dateline? What are the opinions of the Ba’al Hamaor, Kuzari, Chazon Ish, Rav Tukecinsky, Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank and Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer? What are the practical implications for keeping Shabbat in Japan, New Zealand, Tasmania or Hawaii? And what about Samoa?
Rabbi David Sedley lives in Jerusalem with his wife and six children. He was born and raised in New Zealand before making Aliya in 1992. He left Israel temporarily (for eight years) to serve as a communal Rabbi in Scotland and England and returned to Israel in 2004. He has translated Rabbeinu Yonah's commentary on Pirkei Avos and is the co-author of Sefiros: Spiritual Refinement Through Counting the Omer (both Judaica Press). Over the years Rabbi Sedley has worked as a journalist, a translator, a video director and in online reputation management. He also writes a weekly Torah blog on the Times of Israel.