Advanced Search

Two Day Festivals in the Diaspora


Question:
Why in our day and age do we still need to keep two days of Festivals in the Diaspora while in Israel only one day is kept? It provides great hardship and seems antiquated now that we have a fixed calendar and no doubts as to the correct date.
 


AskTheRabbi.org answered:
It's an interesting and very pertinent question! In Jewish tradition the calendar is determined by eyewitness sightings of the full moon, and then declared by the Jewish Supreme Court, the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. In the days of the Temple people outside of Israel, simply would not know if the previous month was twenty nine or thirty days and therefore would be in doubt as to which is the correct night (for example) of the Passover Seder and other festivals as well. Since it generally took more than two weeks to get to the Diaspora from Jerusalem, messengers would not arrive and the Diaspora Jews would have to keep two Seders out of doubt.
 
Nowadays, we calculate the months based on a fixed calendar, but nevertheless the Talmud decreed that outside of Israel, Festivals be kept as they were in ancient times as two days, as though there was a doubt. So today in Israel, the community has only one Seder, whereas outside they have two. The reason for the decree, is just in case calculations and communications collapse for some reason, people will be "safe", and mainly to maintain outside of Israel a feeling of connection and dependence on the "word of God, coming from Zion and Jerusalem".
 
The most obvious way of removing the problem all together is if we, the Jewish People can collectively bring about the coming of the Messiah - at that point all the of the Jewish communities will be brought to Israel and we all keep one day. May it happen speedily in our days!

Similar Questions
Holidays > Pesach
Women and Pesach
Counting Jewishly
Molasses on Passover
Exile in Egypt
Cleaning Can Opener
Grape Juice for Four Cups
Nuts and Corn on Passover
Exodus - Reality vs. Holywood
Festivals on Shabbat
Advice for Pesach Cleaning
Egg-Matza
Passover: Four for Freedom
I Came Out of Egypt
Shabbat HaGadol
Special Clothing at the Seder
Should the Hagadah be Recited in Hebrew?
When Erev Pesach Occurs on Shabbat
An Insight into the Meaning of Dayenu
Selling Chametz
The Passover Haggadah
Reclining at the Passover Meal
Yizkor on Joyous Holidays
Kosher Dog Food
Middle Matzah for Afikomen
Meaning of the "Four Cups"
Which Sea Did the Israelites Cross?
Four in the Haggadah
Refilling Wine Cups After Mentioning the Ten Plagues
Memorizing the Ten Plagues
Why Isn't Moshe's Mentioned in the Haggadah?
Number of Jews in Exodus
600,000 Jewish Souls
Passover
Plagues
Matza
Substitute for Shank Bone
Helping the Needy Celebrate Passover
Passover Inspiration
Starting the Pesach Seder Early
Refund for Shabbat and Yom Tov Expenses
Chametz After Pesach
Storing Pesach and Chametz Utensils
Delivering Pizza
Is Brewer's Yeast Chametz?
Pesach Menu - Then and Now
Kosher Wine
Afikomen
The Name of Passover
The Mouth Speaks
Readings on Pesach
The Seder and the Fifteen Steps
Pesach Appetizer
Four Cups of Freedom
Leaning on Pesach
Why All the Questions?
Pesach Q&A
Potato Starch Cakes
Who Knows Thirteen?
Riding a Tricycle
Tefillin on Chol Hamoed
Pesach Matza vs. Regular Matza
The First Month of the Year
Shabbat HaGadol – “The Great Shabbat”
“Diaspora Day”
Four Types of Freedom
Counting the “Omer”
A One Day Festival?
Passover–Questions & Answers
Counting the Omer
A Second Day of Yom Tov
Focusing on Our Children
Beans, Hummus on Passover
Passover Flour for the Needy
Disposal of Extra Haggadahs
Red, White and Not Blue
Splitting the Sea: Waves of Destiny
“Count Up”: From Pesach to Shavuot
Shabbat before Pesach - Shabbat HaGadol
Four Children — Four Generations
Yom Tov Candles
Passover With My Friend and Fido
Elijah at the Seder
Order of the Seder
The Thirteenth Month
Elijah
Have a question?
 
Gateways - Your Key to Jewish Continuity

AskTheRabbi.org is a service of the Gateways Organization © 2022
Technical problems? Please contact the AskTheRabbi Support team