Nature Notes: New Moon

nature-noteMichelle at Rambling Woods writes:

I am going to challenge myself and hopefully you to take a look at nature. What is going on in your area? Is it spring in your part of the world or are you heading into cold weather. Take a little walk….. look at something you might never had paid attention to..a flower…a animal…What changes are taking place?..Is your garden starting to come to life again?..Step outside and close your eyes. What do you hear? …take a deep breath…What do you smell?

I’d really like to know how my blogger friends feel about what they observe in nature. Post a photo..a poem..artwork or a even few words about what you see and how it made you feel…

I am cheating a little this week, because these are not my own photographs, and I wasn’t even there! Klara, who lives outside Jerusalem, emailed me these lovely photos of a new moon sighting from Mount Radar. In days of old, every time there was a new month, people were required to sight the new moon and then report it to others. This was especially important in determining when the holidays occurred during the month. At some point Jews stopped relying on these sightings and switched to a calendar. It seems, however, that the calendar does not currently match with the sightings of the moon. Here’s a website of the Israeli New Moon Society that explains more.

Anyway, getting back to the pics, I thought they were just gorgeous. They were photographed and sent to Klara by Rabbi Daniel Jackson, who gave me kind permission to post them on my blog. He writes in his note (I didn’t include all the pics in this post, and I’m not sure which one is which):


Attached are the four images presented at the Re-enactment yesterday of the new moon sighting yesterday. I have also included a cropping of the moon without the arty field (about 15cm by 10cm) as well as an image of my first siting (which turns out to have been taken at 1958 hrs–earlier than reported at the Beit Din).

Offficially, I reported the sun setting into the cloud bank at 1938 hrs and the first image of the new moon presented at 2007 hrs. I knew that I had seen the crescent before this–but forgot about this image.






17 thoughts on “Nature Notes: New Moon

  • Hey everybody, that’s my neighborhood!!! If the sun had set a little more to the left, you would have seen my house. You’re all invited, anytime, now that you see how beautiful an area it is :>)

    And G-d willing, if you come in a few months, my Hokkaido Stella Blue Squash will be rambling all over the area. I just now planted 25 seeds, and praying for them to sprout and grow and be delicious.

  • Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos! I love the idea of everyone watching for the new moon and sharing the news. Too bad that isn’t done anymore.

  • I’m late posting my Nature Notes and getting around but I have to say these images are well worth waiting for. Please thank Rabbi Jackson for such beautiful photos and for letting you share – I just want to keep staring at them. The colors are gorgeous.

    • I never see any sky scenes like these here in New Jersey. Maybe if I lived at the shore I’d get something close. But I think where Klara lives is real “sky country.” And Rabbi Daniel Jackson is clearly talented with the camera.

  • These are spectacular, Leora! I’m so glad Rabbi Jackson allowed you to share them with us. I never knew that there is a discrepancy between the moon sightings and the calendar! But I guess there’d almost have to be if you take into consideration how much in advance we modern-worlders need to have our calendars and plans in place. 🙂

  • I wanted to let you know that I finally tracked down the problem I was having with some of the web sites…the router..but I am back and running now. Beautiful post for Nature Notes..glad I could finally see it….

    • Hurray! I was actually quite sad that you couldn’t visit my blog. You see how addicted I am? To your wonderful visits? Thanks, Michelle.

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