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The word Moadim (מועדים), Moadei (מועדי) or singular Mo'ed (מועד) is most often translated as a appointed (fixed) time (or season).

From the visual look of it these words seem to have a connection with the word for 'witness' ed (עד). My question is how the word mo'ed got it's meaning of 'a appointed, designated, or fixed time' when looking at this possible connection (even though they may not be related or connected at all).

Can one expand the meaning of Mo'ed to something like a time to bear witness (give testimony)?

P.s. it also reminded me of the Ohel description in Bamidbar 17 אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד in comparingson to the Ohel mentioned a few verses later: אֹהֶל, הָעֵדֻת often translated as the Tent of meeting and the Tent of testimony.

  • The best I can find after a cursory look is the frequent connection between "mo'adim" (in Gen 1:14) and the lunar cycle, as in Rashi's resstatement of Gen R. 6:1 "This is written with a view to the future when Israel would receive command regarding the festivals which would be calculated from the time of the lunar conjunction " Since the new moon is attested to via witnesses, these times can be traced to their edut I guess. – rosends Oct 2 '17 at 10:48
  • I think it is more closely related to the word edut meaning "testimony". It is closely related to what you suggest, but has a different nuance. I think you're on the right track. I have to research this further. – DanF Oct 2 '17 at 15:48
  • @DanF I also thought of that but used the root ed instead, but edut was the main reason why I asked if a Mo'ed is a moment, or time which has to do with giving testimony. To give testimony could be done by witnesses testifying. – Levi Oct 2 '17 at 16:50
  • Note that Shabbat is also called a Mo'ed. It is relatively easy for me to find something that explains the testimony of Shabbat. I'm having a harder time finding something about Yom Tov. Offhand, I think the testimony of Yom Tov may be related to the testimony involved in Kiddush Hachodesh, with witnesses coming to Sanhedrin. The time ofr Yom Tov is decided by B'nai Yisra'el by "altering" the calendar. Remember that originally, no one knew in advance how long each month would be. – DanF Oct 2 '17 at 22:34
  • Found this maybe it helps; A concept of time is the word מועד, mo‘ed [which denotes a “set time”, and, through the other Hebrew words built from the letters of its root, עד, ‘ed, connotes witnessing, attesting, communing, meeting (Tr.)], which relates to a sanctified time that originates in a command from heaven addressed to the community (עדה, ‘edah) and a public that testifies or attests (מעידה, m‘eidah) about or to this command in the cycle of its life. – Levi Oct 3 '17 at 18:10

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