Paul Wilson (14 March 2013)
"New Moon sighted - Chodesh Ha-Aviv - New Moon of the Aviv"

Karaite Korner Newsletter #586

New Moon Report
Chodesh Ha-Aviv
New Moon of the Aviv

On Wednesday March 13, 2013 the new moon was sighted from Israel. The moon was first sighted:
*from Jerusalem by Devorah Burnett at 5:41pm and shortly thereafter by Devorah Daniel, Jono Vandor, Jeremy Childs, and Nehemia Gordon;
*from another location in Jerusalem by Willie Ondricek at 5:50pm;
*from Kefar Eldad by Yoel Halevi at 5:52pm;
*from Tel Aviv by David Cachicas, Daniela Cachicas, and Gabriel Cachicas at 6:30pm.

Wednesday's sighting marked the beginning of the First Month of the Hebrew year. Chag HaMatzot, the Feast of Unleavened Bread will begin at sunset on March 27 and will continue until sunset on April 3, 2013.

I posted photos of the new moon from Jerusalem on Wednesday March 13, 2013 at:

A photograph has been widely circulating around the internet, which some have claimed is the new moon from Jerusalem on Tuesday March 12, 2013. The new moon is clearly visible in the photo. I contacted the man who took the photo, William Sanford, and he clarified that he snapped this shot from Gulfport, Mississippi, not from Jerusalem! Of course, the moon was easily visible from many parts of the Western Hemisphere on March 12 where it was seen 7-10 hours after sunset in Israel.

I have received definitive confirmation that the new moon was not visible on Tuesday night March 12, 2013 from Israel. Dr. Roy Hoffman attempted to sight the moon from Givat Ram in Jerusalem with the naked eye and with binoculars but was unable to see it. However, he managed to capture an image of the moon in a photograph. The moon is visible in two of Dr. Hoffman's photographs, but only using "strong contrast enhancement." This proves that the moon was not visible to the naked eye on Tuesday March 12. Please note that Dr. Hoffman is an Orthodox Jew and a long-time activist in the Israeli New Moon Society. You can learn more about his organization and why they study the new moon here:

Shanah Tovah!
Happy New Year!

Nehemia Gordon
The Wandering Jew in Jerusalem