And I think that melech explained it once.... but.... still ignorant.... why are we doing the changeover in tefillah on this strange date?
The strange date is just a coincidence. It's not davka December 4 or 5. It just so happens to be December 4 or 5 for a couple of centuries.
The way it works is the changeover is on the 60th day after what rabbis think is the beginning of Autumn. That's just a rule. The 60th day after the halachic equinox, you start asking for rain. And you start at maariv of the sixtieth day, regardless if the equinox was at 6 PM or 6 AM or 12 noon.
if you know the equinox of any particular year, you will know the equinox if all previous and subsquent years ... you just substract or add 365.25 days back or forward, an integer number of times depending how many years back or forward. If you know the equinox is sep 8 this year, then you know it's 365.25 days ahead next year, which again will be sep. 8, or maybe sep 9 depending how the leap years work out. 60 days later is either dec. 4 or 5.
The reason why it works out to a particular date on the goyish calendar is just the coincidence that the goyish calendar is APPROXIMATELY 365.25 days, and chazal determined the equinox to be every EXACTLY 365.25 days, which obviously isn't really a complete coincidence ... both are based on an approximation of how long the solar year is, so they aren't really entirely unrelated.
So every 365.25 days you do a shmoneh esrei switchover. Well and good, except that you always start at maariv. So it's really today, and in another 365 days, and in another 365 days, and in another 366 days, b/c by then the quarter days accumulated. So the pattern looks like this: 365, 365, 365, 366, 365, 365, 365, 366...
Now the thing is, the goyish calendar also looks very familiar to that pattern. The years also follow the same pattern 365, 365, 365, 366, 365, 365, 365, 366...
So in theory, but not in practice, the switchover would actually be on the same goyish date each and every year. Except for two complications:
First of all, the pattern looks similar, but they are off. That's why the Jewish years accumulate in the year before a leap year, so it's december 5 in years before leap years.
But the second complication is what Gabbe was referring to above. Because the goyim don't actually follow an exact pattern of a leap year every 4 years. Not since the 16th century when the aberrationist pope messed with the julian calendar. So every four years is a leap year. Except centuries like 1900, or 2100. But centuries divisible by 400 are indeed leap years. So 2000 was a leap year, even though it shouldn't have been.
That means 1904 to 2096 follows the exact pattern of 365, 365, 365, 366, 365, 365, 365, 366... just like the jewish equinox pattern.
But 2100 will NOT be a leap year. So the pattern breaks, and there will be 7 days of 365 in a row. That means the goyish calendar will be off a day in the 22nd century. it won't be december 4 and 5. It will be december 5 and 6 (or 3 and 4...I don't know, i haven't calculated it, but i'm sure someone on the internet has)
But what this all means is what Gabbe said above, that you stall a day when the switchover falls on shabbat. Which is another way of saying the year before a leap year has december 5 on a saturday. that's not hard to figure out from those perpetual calendars.
How come we don't say trei kalei la mishtaei when multiple kohanim duchen? Because the berachah is really from God anyway? (On the topic of duchening I observe that while the halachah is a killer can't duchen, pinchas the killer is the prime kohen)
you know that gemara about the six questions after you die.
I have a vort. Asakta in pru urvu? So there is a view that you are not yotzei in pru urvu if your kids arent observant. So laasok in pru urvu means you actively engaged in the chinuch and guidance of your kids. throughout your life.
On shabbat I saw a guy with a parshah booklet Techeilet Mordechai on Ki Teitzei by R. Mordechai Elon.
What is the correct action:
A. Ask him how would he like his boys sodomized?
B. Inform him of the controversy and of the machloket acharonim regarding studying the torah of sinners
C engage him in a discusion of the parshah
D. Live and let live. Ignore it and focus on my own davening and remind myself that a lot of people in shul find what I read to be abhorent and heretical.
It bothers me that the security forces have to divert precious resources from protecting us against arabs and arab terrorists to guarding against charedi stone throwers and charedi murderers at parades and religious zionist hill hugging murderers and sephardi murderers and other assorted and sundry jewish zealots and self appointed guardians of jewish purity.