Paul Wilson (4 Apr 2011)
"Aviv Found in the Jordan Valley!"

Karaite Korner Newsletter #505

Aviv Found in the Jordan Valley!

On Wednesday March 30, 2011 Aviv was found in the Jordan Valley at Tel Malkoach south of Beth Shean. A search in the Northern Negev on Thursday March 31, 2011 only turned up cotton stage to worm stage barley but no Aviv. The Aviv in the Jordan Valley is enough for the wave-sheaf to be brought during Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread) beginning April 18 at sunset. Pictures of the Aviv barley in the Jordan Valley and the non-Aviv in the Northern Negev are posted at:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=293928&id=371892568628&l=117d55c868

Reports have been going around that Passover was supposed to be in mid-March and 30% of the wheat was already harvested by the end of March. I went down to the Northern Negev to investigate this and found that there was not a single field of harvest-ripe wheat. Many fields were cut for silage (cow-feed) before the wheat was fully ripe. We spoke to a dairy-farmer overseeing the harvest of unripe wheat. He explained that due to a drought the farmers expected low yields of seed and decided to sell off the unripe empty-headed grain as cow-feed. A video with the (admittedly obnoxious) title "Wheat Harvest in Israel. Oh, Really?" showing these fields and a brief interview with the cow-dude is posted at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Hmku0d6bv8

My thanks to Israeli state-licensed tour guide Avinoam Marcus of http://ComingHome.co.il

We'll be looking for the new moon on Monday night at sunset.

Nehemia Gordon
Jerusalem, Israel
for editing the video and accompanying me on the followup Aviv Search to the Northern Negev. My thanks to Yoel Halevi for accompanying me on the followup Aviv Search to the Jordan Valley.