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I noticed that the only times that parshat Matot and Mas'ei are read separately outside Israel is during a leap year when the first day of the previous Rosh Hashannah occurred on Thursday. This would mean that the 1st day of Pesach was on either Sunday or Tuesday.

This year and the previous 3 leap years (5765, 5768 and 5771) all had Matot and Mas'ei separate. So including this year, there were 4 consecutive leap years when this occurred.

Has this pattern ever occurred previously since the current Judaic calendar was established? Is there any forseeable repeat of this pattern?

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This is the only occurrence of that phenomenon in the 247-year cycle. Source: the table in the Tur, hilchos rosh chodesh.

  • Thanks - This is a nice useful consolidated table for me. One area, that you may be able to help me out, perhaps. I understand everything in the small squares. But I don't understand the larger rectangles near the bottom of the page that seem to list specific years which are labeled "machzor hashanim". What do these years mean? – DanF Jul 4 '14 at 18:23
  • @DanF, the top line of each of those boxes is the number of the 19-year cycle (the 267th 19-year cycle, etc.) and the bottom line is the year number of the first year in that 19-year cycle. – msh210 Jul 4 '14 at 18:57

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