Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Calendar Issues: “2024: It’s Déjà vu All Over Again”

Those who have been following our calendar at The Refiner’s Fire Ministry, know that the calendar of the Bible has been made a mess by man! Nowhere in scripture does YHWH tells us how the calendar is to be formulated, so it has become a "free-for-all" with nearly everyone saying their calendar is "THE calendar of God" or even "The Creator's Calendar!" 

The bottom line is that many of those calendars simply "don't hold water" when push comes to shove! Even the traditional (modern) Hebrew calendar is fraught with issues resulting in most of YHWH's appointed times celebrated on the wrong days! 

Our ministry, established in 2001, offers the FREE  2024 Eternal Torah Calendar  (simply click to view and/or download) which is based on the actual sun, moon, and stars; NOT the traditional Jewish calendar which is based on an "average moon", and rabbinical additions and changes. (For further explanation, please see our Basic Guide to the Original Biblical Calendar.) 

So, what do we mean by ""Déjà vu All Over Again” when it comes to the 2024 calendar? 

Similar to some other years 2024 is a Disruption Year, which is to say that, like 1970, 2016 and 2019 before it, 2024 will have the Rabbinic Calendar out of synch with the seasons by about a month, causing an enormous amount of confusion!

The following is an excerpt by author, Bible scholar and International speaker Andrew Gabriel Roth, who produces the Eternal Torah Calendar (gleaned from the expertise of the late Lt. Col (Ret) William "Bill" Welker, whose knowledge in astronomy, the sciences, computers and calendars were an invaluable asset).

“2024: It’s Déjà vu All Over Again”

The year 2024 is a Disruption Year, which is to say that, like 1970, 2016 and 2019 before it, 2024 will have the Rabbinic Calendar out of synch with the seasons by about a month. This is dangerous to agriculture in Israel. ETC correctly picks Tuesday, March 26th as the ideal time to
have the barley in Aviv. The barley begins ripening the early days of March.

Unlike the misconceptions of the Karaites, it is not the case that barley must be in Aviv at Abib New Moon; but rather only by the 16th of that month. The barley season then has the crop ripen gradually throughout the Israel over the next three weeks, so by March 24th, almost all of Israel
has barley that either is or has just been in green ears. By contrast the Rabbinic Calendar will have its “firstfruits” only on April 24th, by which time the barley is definitely no longer freshly ripe. In fact, late April to early May is more consistent with the timing of the first fruit of the grain, not the barley. So if we throw off the timing for barley it also negatively impacts that of the wheat and other critical harvests throughout the agricultural year in Israel.

The other thing that 2024 shows us is the extent and seriousness of the disruption away from the tropical year for the Rabbinic Calendar. As we have also mentioned before, I found no evidence of any problem with the Rabbinic Calendar prior to 1970, when the last day of Pesach fell on April 27th. You may also recall that I said no part of Pesach can ever touch any part of May; if it does the rest of the harvests are put at far greater risk at not being in synch with the feasts that are supposed to align with them (Deuteronomy 16:1).

But I also said the error on the RC side was a cumulative math one, and that it would inevitably get worse over time. New calculations have confirmed that as a mathematical certainty. In 2016, the first Disruption Year since 1970, the last day of Pesach hit even later, on April 29th! Then in 2019 a slightly less serious disruption put that occasion on April 26th . But here in 2024 we have the most disastrous timing ever recorded, with the last day of Pesach being April 30th; in fact but for the arrangement of the days of the week, we could have hit May this year. Also, if the ETC dated feast timings locally rather than centralizing it over Jerusalem skies, some parts of the world also would have had the last day of Pesach hit May.

We simply cannot allow that to happen—ever—so I am sounding the alarm now. The Rabbis may have to make a change to their calendar even sooner than I anticipated initially. If they do, all they have to do to fix it forever, meaning never losing a day as they are now, is to apply Rule 1 of the ETC that Abib must be the New Moon nearest the Vernal Equinox, either before or after.

They are more than welcome to keep all of their other traditions intact, including the Metonic Cycle barring when it gets a wrong result, and other traditions that I personally disagree with but will nevertheless be fixed with the adoption of this one simple rule. Otherwise my hope is that 2024 represents the latest possible timing of the end of Pesach on the rabbinic calendar, for the next one in 2030 is more moderate, ending on April 24th. On the other hand, cumulative is as cumulative does, and that has been the pattern up until now

In a sense, these oddities in 2024 are a continuation of the rare timings we saw in 2023, which had five consecutive 30-day months and triggered a claw-back contingency where the sun prevented the moon from having a 31-day month. In this case, 2023 was actually very helpful because its circumstances forced me to issue better descriptions of my calendar rules. In other respects though 2024 is a pretty stable year. Their order of month lengths for thirteen months beginning with January 11th is: Tevet (29), Shevat (30), Adar (29), Abib (30), Iyar (29), Sivan (29), Tammuz (29), Av (29), Elul (30). Tishri (29). Cheshvan (30), Kislev (30), Tevet (29) or seven 30-day months and six 29 day months.

This is almost an ideal arrangement, generally alternating between the two lengths, except for two consecutive 29 day months (Tammuz and Elul) and two consecutive 30 day months (Cheshvan and Kislev), each one balancing out the other pair. But what is stable on ETC in 2024 is chaotic on the RC side, unfortunately.

On the other hand, the years 2025-2029 will once again be times of great agreement and alignment between the two calendars, which means 2030, the 2,000th anniversary of the resurrection, will once again be a Disruption Year, though not nearly as bad as what we have on tap now. 2024 is, by far, the most disruptive year that is harmful to the rabbinic calendar that I have ever tracked.

(Andrew Gabriel Roth Andrew has become an international speaker having taught in Israel, Canada, South Africa and across the United States and may be contacted for speaking engagements at: onefaithandrew@gmail.com)

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