When Jews first started establishing communities south of the equator, they must have noticed that the holidays fell completely at the wrong times of the year. (For example, Pesach, referred to as hag ha-aviv, would be in the fall in the southern hemisphere). While they obviously kept the holidays where they are now, I feel that there must have been some discussion of this fact. Anyone know of anything?

Update/Clarification: I know there are many possible answers to the puzzle of what Jews should so in the southern hemisphere. I'm interested in the reasoning of rabbinic authorities at the times when these communities were first established. Especially if you have sources I can read.

  • 3
    Pesach didn't fall in the spring in northern Russia either. There was still snow on the ground!
    – Double AA
    Sep 7, 2014 at 22:05
  • 1
    The Jews of Australia also had to decide what day shabbat is on.
    – Jake
    Sep 8, 2014 at 8:15
  • 1
    @Jake, that's a different issue.
    – Isaac Moses
    Sep 8, 2014 at 13:56
  • 1
    @DoubleAA Yeah, I thought of that, but as long as you're staying in the northern hemisphere everything is only off by matters of degree. This causes serious halachic issues around the issues of Hadash/Yoshon, but that's another story. Once you cross the equator it's not a matter of degree anymore, but a complete inversion. While certainly someone could have used an argument from the "Pesach in winter in Russia" case when Jewish communities were set up in SA, I'm curious if they actually did. Sep 8, 2014 at 21:22
  • @Bachrach44 I don't know what the difference is. The point is the weather doesn't matter except in Israel.
    – Double AA
    Sep 8, 2014 at 21:24


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