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Re: The lunar or the solar?

On Wed, 18 Sep 1996 PWEGNER@BROWNVM.brown.edu wrote:

> >Dear David et al,
> I personally like the idea of sins fouling up nature.<
> Yes indeed! and of course this theme (that sin offends against the inherent
> order of the cosmos) is present in virtually all religions -- so it's an
> obviously short step to the notion that sin will result in specific,
> observable disruptions of nature and ultimately the disruptions of the Endtime.
> >On Sabbath the conclusion varies "who sanctifies the Sabbath,
> Israel, and the appointed times".  The implication of these two blessings
> is that God does not determine when a holiday will actually occur because
> the new moon and new month were declared by the court.  The Sabbath on
> the other hand was determined by the natural order from the time of
> creation. <
> Isn't it rather, that the order (l) Sabbath (2) Israel (3) Zemannim
> reflects what was understood  as  the chronological order of these three
> phenomena.  (3) follows (2) not because the Israelites determined when the
> holiday would occur but because the miqra'ei qodesh were instituted by God
> after he had created the nation of Israel.  After all, the basic text is
> Lev. 23:2, which states:
>       *mo'adei Y-H--, asher tiqre'u otam miqra'ei qodesh; elleh hem mo'adai*
> Thus the text specifically identifies the miqra'ei qodesh as being ordained
> by God, the task of Isra'el (the 2nd plural pronoun in tiqre'u) is merely to
> *proclaim* them (not to determine them).  Like the Sabbath, God instituted
> these too - but in terms of actual chronology, he does so only  AFTER Israel
> has come into being, whereas he instituted the Sabbath  at the outset, BEFORE
> Israel came into being.   So this is the reason (or at least the primary
> reason) for the order in which they are mentioned in that blessing.
> Judith Romney Wegner, Connecticut College
True, God ordained the festivals, but it is Israel who ultimately 
determines their calendrical date, and this is done by determining when 
rosh hodesh occurs. Sabbath, on the other hand, is set forever from the 
time of creation.
By the way, the explanation I offered is not original.  Unfortunately I 
can't remember from whom I heard it or where I read it.
One more point.  Although in the canonical form of Leviticus 23, Shabbat 
is called a miqra qodesh and a mo'ed as are the other appointed times 
mentioned in that chapter, the reference to the Sabbath may be 
secondary.  Israel Knohl, i his book "Sanctuary of Silence" and in his 
revious articles found two sources in this chapter- P and H (in that 
chronological order, and not H and P as previously held).  TO the best of 
my recollection, the sabbath passage here 23:1-3 is from H, as are the 
ending verses 23:39-44.  The P passage which is the earlier part of this 
collection ends in 23:37-38 with a summarizing colophonic statement 
"These are YHWH's appointed times which you shall proclaim as miqr'ey 
qodesh... APART from (millebad) YHWH's Sabbaths etc." This 
colophonclearly distinguishes between miqra'ey qodesh and Sabbaths.  The 
misch-verse which you point to and which is the introduction to Qiddush on 
Holiday mornings (23:37a + 2b and cf. 4a) contains part of P's colophon and 
part of a secondary, editorial introductory statement. In fact, 23:2 
which precedes the H sabbath command uses miqra'ey qodesh inexactly, and 
its purpose is to turn the Sabbath into a miqra qodesh.  In other words, 
the P colophon distinguishes Sabbath from the other Moadim which are 
miqra'ey qodesh, and in fact has no sabbath command.  H added the sabbath 
command by prefacing it with a Wideraunahmen (cf 23:2//4) which had not 
only the literary purpose of incorporating the addition, but also served 
to give a new characteristic to the Sabbath, i.e. naming it too as a 
miqra qodesh.