Rosh Chodesh Iyar and Pesach Katan
Karaite Korner Newsletter #461
New Moon Report
Second Biblical Month
On Thursday April 15, 2010 the new moon was sighted from Israel. The moon was sighted:
*from Tel Aviv by David, Gabriel, and Daniela Cachicas at19:25;
*from near Yavniel by Yotam Marcus at 19:27;
*from Kfar Tavor by Chad and Barbara Peterson at 19:28;
*from Korazim by Joshua and Alex Saralvarez and Avi and Dina Marcus at 19:30;
*from Ariel by Amanda Boyd at 19:30 and Abby Boll at 19:35;
*from Jerusalem (Old City walls) by Rick Busenbark, Joanna Celewicz, Terry Telligman, Matthias Mousa, Willie Ondricek, and Tina Ondricek at 19:39;
*from Jerusalem (city center) by Miri Burgin at 19:40;
*from Jerusalem (Talpiot) by Devorah Gordon at 19:45;
*from Kefar Eldad by Bruce Brill at 19:46.
Rosh Chodesh Sameach!
Happy New Moon!
Reporting from Westville, South Africa
Pesach is the only holiday so important to Elohim that a make-up test is given – the “Little Passover” or Pesach Katan takes place on Iyar the 14th. Like the original Passover in Nisan, Pesach Katan itself is not a shabbat, but nonetheless must be observed according to all the regular rules of Passover. No uncircumcized person may participate. You must be circumcized by Iyar on or by Iyar the 13th to observe Pesach Katan. Participants should practice the footwashing ceremony as recorded in the Gospel of John prior to beginning the seder. Bitter herbs and matzah must be eaten. In other words, those who wish to or need to observe Pesach Katan must treat it as if it were the actual Passover of Nisan in every respect – being circumcized, ritually clean, and having a full seder and reading the liturgy in its entirety. Pesach Katan was originally intended for people who for whatever reason could not make it to the Temple Mount in time for Passover in Nisan, or were ritually unclean due to disease or contact with a corpse during that time in Nisan.
However, there is no requirement to make up the 7 days of unleavened bread that follow. The reason for this is quite simple – the Passover sacrifice itself must be offered by circumcized, clean persons at the Temple Mount on Nisan 14th. Unleavened Bread, however (Nisan 15-21) is observed by everyone, everywhere, regardless of their ritual status and it is done “in all your dwellings” – not at the Temple.
This fact and the very commandment to observe Pesach Katan but not a “matzah katan” proves that Passover and Unleavened Bread are entirely separate observances held on different days. Even the commentary and footnotes of the Hagaddah mention this – there is certainly no dispute about it among the sages. Only “modern” (that is, post Temple) Judaism conflates the two observances, and that likely for the express purpose of not having their Passover on the same day the Nazarenes and Ebionites (early Jewish followers of Yeshua) were observing theirs. [Also, of course, for this reason they changed the day they observe Firstfruits from the First Day of the Week following Passover (as scripture describes it) to a fixed date of Nisan 16th - which not only ignores scriptural instructions but also completely negates the point of the Counting of the Omer in the first place, since a fixed date Firstfruits necessarily ends in a fixed date for Shavu'ot, which is clearly not the intent of the commandment to count!]
This year, Iyar 14th – Pesach Katan – should begin at sundown on Wednesday, April 28th and end at sundown on Thursday, April 29th. If you were not circumcized by Nisan 13th or were ritually unclean beginning on any day from Nisan 7th to Nisan the 14th due to menstruation, various contagious diseases, eating or touching unclean carcasses (pork, shellfish, etc), or attended any funerals during the week prior to Nisan’s Passover, you should observe Pesach Katan. You should immerse in a miqvah prior to your seder to make sure you are ritually clean. At the end of the Seder, you should take the Elijah cup and the half-matzah left in the center pouch of the Pesach matzah cover and re-enact the establishment of the Renewed Covenant that Yeshua made with this bread and wine, body and blood with Yeshua’s words as recorded in the Gospels – Do This In Remembrance of Me!