[Avodah] What date was the Torah given?

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Mon Jan 7 14:22:45 PST 2013

On Mon, Jan 07, 2013 at 10:20:48PM +1100, Joe Slater wrote:
: The reason we are unsure of the date of Matan Torah is that everyone other
: than Moshe was unsure of it. The mitzva of kiddush hachodesh was given in
: Egypt, but subsequent new moons fell when the Jews were protected by the
: ananei hakavod ("clouds of glory")....
:                 but what would kiddush hachodesh mean at that point in
: time? There was no Sanhedrin and therefore no need for a vote; there was no
: Mishkan at the time in which to offer the musafin...

I suggested something similar, that because there was no nafqa mina yet
to knowing the calendar, the masses didn't know the date beshe'as maaseh.
It's not that we forgot the date of Maamud Har Sinai, but that we never
recorded it.

Certainly if the OP feels that "Kuzari Proof" type reasoning is involved,
reducing the number of observers from the millions to a small number
would be sufficient. (I won't comment further; y'all should know by now
my skepticism about that particular "proof".)

But I think there was a Sanhedrin (pardon the anachronistic language).
The 70 zeqeinim stood out even back in Mitzrayim. They were allowed to
approach Har Sinai further than the rest of Benei Yisrael, and in fact
they (and not the rest of BY) had a Merkavah-like vision. So there /was/
a well-defined Sanhedrin.

And a mitzvah that would obligate them to send two people (perhaps two
of their number) beyond the ananim long enough to check for the molad.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Every second is a totally new world,
micha at aishdas.org        and no moment is like any other.
http://www.aishdas.org           - Rabbi Chaim Vital
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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