Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Astro Round Up

There are so many older pertinent posts to this week and its Parsha that I have decided to link them all below.

Well, some people were certainly shown quite a display this week with the lunar eclipse that happened on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, I am one of the many who could not view it since here in Baltimore it was daytime. Many find it philosophically disturbing that Chazal discuss eclipses as being ominous signs and nowadays we are able to calculate when they occur. This premise is based on a complete falsehood that Chazal were unable to predict eclipses. The truth is they were able to, for more details click here.

Similar to eclipses are events in which the Moon appears to cover a star or planet. Last year we mentioned (and illustrated with a computer simulation) one such fantastic event that occurred during the Meraglim's (spies mentioned in this week's Parsha) departure. The significance of such an event, as recorded by the Ibn Ezra, is too similar to the events that were happening to chalk up to coincidence. For more on this please click here.

Another fascinating idea from last year was an astronomical approach to resolving an old problem. Rashi in Beshalach teaches that there were seven days between the Exodus and the splitting of the sea. Yet, in the end of this week's Parsha he maintains there were eight. For this post click here.

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