[Avodah] A New Mitzvah at the Seder

Danny Schoemann doniels at gmail.com
Tue Apr 6 06:58:19 PDT 2021

R' Allan Engel wrote:
> I have often contended that, in the era of the Korban Pesach, an average
> person would not have the expertise or equipment to calculate Chatzos
> Layla, and that therefore the people must have been careful to finish
> eating the Korban early in the night, so as not to transgress the D'oraysa
> (in the same way as we stop eating Chametz long before Chatzos Yom on the
> 14th Nissan).

Well, since it's the middle of the month, at midnight the moon would be
overhead at the zenith at midnight.

But even if they were off by a day (e.g. kidush levono fiddling), it's also
not unreasonable to assume that they used some (no longer known?)
instrument to calculate midnight and then announce it city-wide close to
the actual time. or they used the starts as per this -

But even if it were a cloudy night they probably had tricks - like candles
of certain lengths - to help them gauge the passage of time.

So they probably added a margin of error - but they did not have to be
careful to finish eating the Korban early in the night, even of Chatzos is

- Danny
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