The Calendar Court
The Hillelic system for determining the New Moon Day and how to intercalate the year operated through a court panel of three judges.25 In the time of the Temple, these judges represented the Court of Elders and, after the Temple’s destruction in 70 C.E., the Great Sanhedrin of Pharisees.
The Mishnah reports:
The intercalating of the month and the intercalating of the year (are decided upon) by three (judges). So (says) Rabbi Meir. But Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel says: The matter is begun by three, discussed by five, and decided upon by seven; but if it is decided upon by three the intercalation is valid.26
Later, the number of the assembly of participating members was changed to 10 judges.27 The leading judge was the Nasi. New Moon Days were sanctified by at least two of the three members of the court.28 Continue reading “The Pharisaic Calendar and Court – Pt. 2”