• October 21, 2019
  • 22 5780, Tishrei
  • פרשת בראשית

What is the Molad?

What is the Molad?

Each month on the Jewish calendar a specific time called the ‘molad’ refers to the ‘birth’ of the new moon. The molad is usually announced during the Bircat Hachodesh prayer said on the shabbat prior to Rosh Chodesh. Join Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman as he covers the background of how the molad came to be and helps us understand it’s importance on the Jewish calendar.

September 3, 2019 10:00 am - 11:00 am
What is the Molad?: Lesson
Class description

Hello Everyone,

We have now entered the final month of the year in the Jewish calendar, Elul. Last Shabbat in all synagogues we blessed the month and the “Molad” of Elul was announced.

In the next two shiurim we will discuss the “Molad.” What is the Molad, what does it signify  how is it calculated? The classes will combine astronomy and history and I hope to successfully and accurately explain the development of the Jewish calendar.

The Jewish calendar is perhaps the last part of our tradition which unites all Jews. Whether a person is Orthodox or not, a Yemenite or an Ashkenazi, all Jews share the same calendar and observe the holidays on the same days. This is quite remarkable and I think that the time taken to study our calendar is well spent.

Explaining the calendar requires a discussion of some astronomic phenomena so I prepared (for the first time) a PowerPoint presentation. I hope that it will help to make the classes more understandable.

For anyone who wishes to review the shiur please feel free to download the PowerPoint slides.

I look forward to meeting with you tomorrow for the first class.

Yours truly

Stuart Fischman

<fish9999@gmail.com>

September 10, 2019 10:00 am - 11:00 am
What is the Molad?: Lesson
Class description

Hello Everyone,

In last week’s shiur we discussed the rudiments of the Jewish calendar. We saw how our calendar system changed from one based on the testimony  of witnesses to one based on the calculation of the mean lunar conjunction- the “Molad.”

The question that we left off with was why is the Molad significant? The Molad does not correspond to any “real” phenomena. The Molad is a mean value- it does not correspond to the true lunar conjunction and it does not correspond to the moment that the new moon will appear.

In today’s class we will discuss why the Molad is significant in our unique calendar system.

I look forward to meeting with you and I again invite everyone to write to me with comments and questions

Stuart Fischman

<fish9999@gmail.com>

 

Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman graduated from Yeshiva University in 1980 and the dental school of Columbia University in 1985. Since 1989 he has been studying and teaching at Yeshivat Hamivtar in Efrat. He has rabbinic ordination from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg.