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12

Generally (without considering many other factors which may be involved) the closer the latitude is to the poles [i.e. the absolute value of the latitude is greater], the longer the sunset. (see table at this pdf (last page) and this piece of mail for more factors) Therefore: Latitude at NY, NY = 40.7 Latitude at Jerusalem, IL = 31.78 NY, NY is closer to ...


12

First, it may not be valid to assume that creation was bound by the laws of science as we now understand them. Why should we assume that the very first plants grew by photosynthesis in the same way that plants do now? Or if we do, why not assume that the primordial light created on the first day was enough to produce this effect? But setting all that ...


10

I think I remember learning in elementary school that the Moon and the Sun had, as they have now, the same angular diameter when viewed from the Earth, and they also had coronas of equal size, so their total sizes, including coronas, were equal. When the Moon complained about their equality, literally in terms of a "crown" (which a corona resembles and which ...


9

Orchot Rabbeinu 1 p 93 quotes the Steipler that no bracha is said on a solar eclipse because it is a Siman Ra', a bad omen as outlined on Sukkah 29a and in this question. In the book Shaar HaAyin (7:6 footnote 13), the author quotes the Shevet HaLevi as leaving the issue in doubt.


9

The Shulchan Aruch (OC in the 220's) lists a bunch of natural phenomenon that get special blessings including: Strong rains after an extended drought Blossoming fruit trees Meteors Comets Earthquakes Lightning Thunder Strong winds Seas Rivers (possibly only the four mentioned in Genesis 2) Uniquely tall mountains Uniquely tall cliffs Deserts Rainbows The ...


8

Rambam, Hilchos Yesodei Hatorah Chapter 3. From Chabad.org Halacha 1 The spheres are called the heavens, the firmament, the habitation, the skies. There are nine spheres. The closest sphere is the sphere of the moon. The second sphere, which is above it, is the sphere which contains the planet Kochav (Mercury). The third sphere, which is above ...


8

The explanation referenced in my answer here (I'm still looking for the underlying source - it must be in some maamar or sicha) seems to indicate that the "diminishment" is closer to your second possibility - though focusing not so much on the moon's waxing and waning, but on the fact that it is not self-luminous but receives its light from the sun. (Is ...


7

For question 1: The blessing is addressed to Hashem ("Who created the heavens with His word... Blessed are You, G-d, Who renews the months"), not to the moon. Where's the avodah zarah there? It's no different than the blessings on other natural phenomena, such as rainbows, notable mountains, etc, where we look at the object while praising Hashem. [That ...


7

This might simply have been a confusion of units. Sizes.com claims that a Russian verst is equal to 500 sazheni, but a Moscovy verst is 1000 sazheni. The sazhen was fixed at 7 English feet (2.134m) in both systems way back during the 1700s in Peter the Great's rule. In 397:1, the Aruch HaShulchan says that specifically, he is talking about the Russian ...


6

The MA holds that we split up the 12 hours of a day from Alot HaShachar (the beginning of day) to Tzeit HaKochavim (the end of the day). The Gra holds that the 12 hours are split from sunrise to sunset independent of what is considered day or night. All agree that noon must be when the sun is highest in the sky. (This can be proven from the gemara that says ...


6

I wonder if maybe they misinterpreted the source from which they got the times. Suppose that the original said "ליל שני" or the like; that would properly mean "the night leading into Monday" (i.e., Sunday night), but the printers of your chumash may have misunderstood that to mean Monday night. Out of curiosity, then, can you post several months' worth of ...


6

YDK's answer perpetuates the common misconception that it is the ellipticity of the Earth's orbit that causes the latest sunset not to fall on the longest day. But this is not true. The primary cause of the phenomenon is the obliquity of the Earth's axis, that is, the fact that the Earth is tilted with respect to its orbit around the sun. The ellipticity ...


5

2) We say Just as I can not touch you so should my enemies not be able to touch me. ... and (b)We debunked the idea that we can't touch the moon in 1969. It's poetry, not a statement of technological capability. If you stand outside looking at the moon, hundreds of thousands of miles away and yet a distinct object, with the possibility of enemy attack ...


5

Per Torah.org Contemporary poskim debate whether taking a photograph of the sun or the moon is similar to drawing a flat image. Several rule stringently on this issue. There is an Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 5 - 9:6 that discusses this, however I am not able to find it online. Minchas Yitzchok 10:72 seems to prohibit it, however says it may be ...


5

A quick search of discussions on the web seems to point to there being no particular bracha and that Oseh Ma'aseh B'reishit is not called for, for a solar eclipse. As a kal vachomer, I would say that if there is nothing said for the still infrequent but more spectacular solar eclipse, then for the transit, why would there be? This site suggests other textual ...


5

While researching another answer, I came across a comment by R' Yonasan Eibeschutz (in Yaaros Devash), that the Gemara's expression ליקוי חמה isn't referring to eclipses at all, but to sunspots. (He doesn't seem to say what ליקוי לבנה might mean in this context. But I guess, according to his explanation, that it would also mean some kind of short-term ...


5

Tikkunei Zohar (introduction, 4b, passim) associates these with the verse (Ex. 3:15, זה שמי לעלם וזה זכרי לדר דר - "This is My name forever, and this is My remembrance for all generations." The reference there is to the Four-Lettered Name of Hashem, י-ה-ו-ה. Each of the terms in that verse ("My Name" and "My remembrance"), then, relates to one half of that ...


5

Aish pathways says the blessing Oseh Ma’aseh Veraishit is said upon seeing spectacular mountains, deserts, lightning, earthquakes, hurricanes, astronomical phenomena, and impressive bodies of water. The Wikipedia entry for Aurora is titled “Aurora (astronomy)”. Thus the bracha Oseh Ma’aseh Veraishit seems right. But CYLOR. Edit: In the light of ...


5

R' Gil Student cites the Ibn Ezra “[T]he beginning of each individual’s year is from the moment he was born, and when the sun returns to the same point at which it was earlier, the person completes one full year” (['Iggeret HaShabbat, chapter 1]p. 21). Nevertheless, insofar as there are halachic implications, R' Student understood the Bar Mitzvah to ...


4

Rashi in Bereishis, chapter 1, Verse 14 on "והיו לאתת" mentions this issue of a bad omen from the eclipse. He says: והיו לאותות: כשהמאורות לוקין סימן רע הוא לעולם, שנאמר (ירמיה י ב) מאותות השמים אל תחתו, בעשותכם רצון הקב"ה אין אתם צריכין לדאג מן הפורענות: When there is an eclipse of the luminaries it is a bad sign for the world, as it is said: "Do ...


4

When Tzivos Hashem was founded, the Lubavitcher Rebbe asked Michel Shwartz to draw a logo for it. In its first draft, he included a picture of the sun and the moon (I've seen a copy a while ago. The sun was (IIRC) a full circle inside the red part of the Tzaddik and a (waxing/waning crescent) moon inside the blue part). The Rebbe told him to remove the moon ...


4

The Rambam ruled in Hilkhos A.Z. 3:18 אסור לצור דמות חמה ולבנה כוכבים ומזלות ומלאכים, שנאמר "לא תעשון, איתי" (שמות כ,יט)--לא תעשון כדמות שמשין המשמשין לפניי במרום, ואפילו על הלוח. it is forbidden to fashion the likeness of the sun, the moon, the stars, the constellations, or the angels, as it is said (Ex. 20:19): "Do not make with Me [gods of ...


4

The verse immediately following Joshua's miracle states: וְלֹא הָיָה כַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, לְפָנָיו וְאַחֲרָיו, לִשְׁמֹעַ יְהוָה, בְּקוֹל אִישׁ: כִּי יְהוָה, נִלְחָם לְיִשְׂרָאֵל.‏ And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel. (Joshua 10:14) So it would seem it ...


4

Just an idea that comes to mind, the idea of kiddush ha'chodesh and the holidays in general is that we establish and sanctify time. This is reflected in the wording of the bracha of shmoneh esrai on holidays and rosh chodesh of "מקדש ישראל והזמנים - ...who sanctifies the Jewish people and the times" ie. God sanctifies us and we sanctify the times. This ...


4

When they landed a man on the moon, one great rabbi (R' Yaakov Kamenetsky, I think?) observed: "well Rambam was quoting Aristotelian philosophy and thought the moon had an intellect; Ramban was a kabbalist and said it's a ball of mineral. Looks like Kabbala just beat Aristotelian philosophy."


4

To solar cycle represents continuity and consistency. The lunar cycle represents rise and fall, והחיות רצוא ושוב. The two cycles don't inherently mesh, and it takes the actions of people (as represented by Beis Din which sets the leap year) to combine the two. See here for a similar expression of this idea. In terms of lessons in Avodas Hashem, there are ...


3

This is because the sun doesn't use a timex, it has its own path which is not as "precise" as our timepieces. The Earth doesn't go in a nice circle around the sun, it travels in an ellipse (Kepler's 1st law of Planetary Motion). When the Earth is closer to the sun (in our winter) it travels faster. When it is farther away (in our summer) it travels ...


3

The Magen Avraham (OC 526 sk 8) quotes the Shelah (here) that one should not look at the moon during kiddush levana but rather glance at it in the beginning and look down. The Shelah referneces what he wrote earlier (here) where he quotes the book Shushan Sodot (bio?) that one should not look at the moon seemingly ever. The Shushan Sodot himself (here) ...


3

from here, quoting R. Isaac of Homil (a hebrew biography can be found here): The moon, when she was first created, was a glistening jewel. She did not merely reflect light, but rather transformed it and brought out its inner beauty, much as a precious stone glistens with a secret, hidden light all its own. In her own way, the moon was greater than the ...



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