The Jewish people has long been obsessed with the measurement of time. As a result, over the centuries Jews have developed a calendar whose complexity can stagger even the most ardent of students. This talk will describe some highlights in the development of that calendar from the ancient solar and lunar calendars of the Middle East to the high-tech digitized ones of today. It will look at how Christopher Columbus turned to the Jewish calendar as a survival tool on his final voyage west, how a tenth-century controversy over a 13-minute window of time almost tore the Jewish people apart, how Jews in the death camps of Nazi Europe managed to continue measuring the Jewish year, and much more. Along the way, it will help clarify how Jews measure time, and, in so doing, connect themselves with the great, cosmic rhythms of the universe.
Sponsor: Temple B'nai Tikvah and the Calgary Council of Christians and Jews (CCCJ)