March 27th, 2015

Friday afternoon

Coming up this evening is Shabbat ha-Gadol, "the Great Sabbath", i.e. the Sabbath before Passover. Passover marks the "beginning" of the Jewish year - even though it's not at the beginning of the calendar - because the calendar is calibrated from the date of Passover. It's the full moon following the (northern) spring equinox.

That's important because it reconciles the solar and lunar cycles, which is a key feature of the Jewish calendar. And the Sabbath is counted every seven days, which is a function of the human mind and of the community - that's the third element of the Hebrew calendar. So Shabbat ha-Gadol is "big" because it ties together these three elements and anchors the whole yearly cycle.

We've got beautiful weather here in Portland and I'm just taking it easy today. Sunday I'll get back to my spring cleaning.