The Sanhedrin English The Sanhedrin English

Psak 5769 Shevat 3

Information about the visual sighting of the new moon is given below. No psak was issued. Informal translation from Hebrew of the 3 Shevat, 5769 (26 February 2009) statement:

Committee concerning the fixing of the Calendar
Secretary: Rabbi Amnon Hever Tel: 054-9400909

The Beit Din Regarding the Acceptance of the Testimony of the New Moon of Shevat 5769

The Moon as seen from Givat Ram, Jerusalem, Israel on Tuesday 27th January 2009 at 17:38
The Moon as seen from Mt. Adar, Israel at 18:13

3 Shvat 5769 (According to the accepted calendar of Hillel II) 28 January 2009

The Meeting of the Beit Din regarding the testimony of the new moon (as one we were)

The witness: Dr. Immanuel Ezekiel ben Abraham Hoffman

His testimony: I saw the moon yesterday in the Givat Ram neighborhood of Jerusalem at 17:27 with binoculars. And at 17:28, I saw it with the naked eye. I followed it until 17:46, after which I stopped as its sight was still clear. The weather was clear. I have a certified statement that I arranged in which it describes what I saw. The moon appeared as a crescent whose rim was directed downwards by a deviation of 7 degrees north. At fixed times, I observe the new moon from the same place. The thickness of the crescent that I saw was approximately 2% of a full moon.

It was above the horizon at an altitude of 10 degrees, and at the end of the observation, it was at an altitude of 3-4 degrees. The sun set north of the location wherein the moon appeared. I did not exactly determine when the sun set. It was however prior to 17:05.

The witness included documents designated 1, 2, and 3.

The witness: Prof. Daniel Jackson

His testimony: I stood on Mt. Adar. The witness gave a photograph of the setting sun that he observed in the same place prior to seeing the moon. Photograph #1 was taken at 17:14. I saw the sun at azimuth 250 degrees at its setting. The witness included a photograph that was taken of the moon when it appeared as a thin band. Photograph #2 I saw the moon as it appeared in the photo as it appeared both to the naked eye and the telescope. The photo was taken with a 120mm zoom lens by means of HDR+ -2 (High Dynamic Range) from Mt. Adar whose elevation is 890 meters above sea level, which according to my estimation was approximately 10 degrees during the setting. The sun set north of the setting moon.

The moon rose to approximately 25-30 degrees over the horizon where the relative center of the crescent to the perpendicular was 5-10 degrees north. The view was exquisite.

The moon set at approximately 18:13. Its setting was photographed, which was included and designated as 3 gimel. The area of the moon that was illumined was approximately 1-2 degrees of the entire area of the moon that could possibly be illumined. The photograph was taken with a 5 second opening of the shutter, and therefore the appearance seems slightly thicker than the actual view.

Hillel Weiss
Yonatan Lions
Dov Stein

Click here to see the Hebrew version