The new moon for the 13th or 1st biblical month is due this weekend. MoonConnection.com (the site that provides my sidebar real- time moon info and which I have found to be accurate) shows the first sliver appearing on Sunday evening Mar 6th. The graphic from Sky and Telescope magazine shows the first sliver appearing on Saturday evening Mar 5th, however, it is so faint and so low on the horizon, it will most likely only be visible with binoculars. The new moon, to mark the 1st day of the new month, must be visible with the naked eye. They did not have binoculars when God was leading Israel out of Egypt!
I say it is the 13th or 1st biblical month, because the 1st month is always marked by the barley ripening in its head, or aviv. (See when we celebrate passover for the complete explanation.) So this weekend there will be a search throughout Israel to see if the barley is aviv or not. If it is, the next new moon will mark the 1st day of the 1st biblical month, and passover will fall 14 days later. If it is not, then the following month’s new moon will mark the 1st biblical month. We have to watch and wait for the LORD’s appointed times!
They will be looking for aviv barley and the new moon in Israel, and I will receive an email regardless of what they find, and I will post it here.
Friday 04 March 2011 Update: I received this email from Israel this morning:
No Aviv in Northern Negev
On Friday March 4, 2011 the barley in the northern Negev was nowhere near Aviv. The northern Negev is one of the main locations the barley is known from previous years to ripen earliest. The barley was mostly in the vegetative state but we also found some barley that had just flowered (cotton-stage). We will look again on Sunday March 6, however, the barley was nowhere near Aviv in that area last week so it is unlikely we will find any Aviv there. We won’t know for sure until we look.
Sunday 06 March 2011 Update: I received this email from Israel this afternoon:
No Aviv Barley, New Moon of Thirteenth Month Sighted
On March 6, 2011 the barley we examined in the Judean Desert and Jordan Valley was nowhere near Aviv. These are locations the barley is known from previous years to ripen earliest. The barley was mostly in the vegetative state but we also found large amounts of barley that had just flowered (cotton-stage). This is consistent with our findings on Friday March 4, 2011 in the northern Negev. The lack of Aviv barley means the new moon on April 4, 2011 will be the beginning of the Hebrew year and Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread) will begin at sunset on April 18, 2011.
The new moon of the Thirteenth Biblical Month was sighted on March 6, 2011. It was first sighted from Kefar Eldad by Bruce Brill at 6:03pm and then from Jerusalem at 6:11pm by David Cachicas followed shortly thereafter by Willie Ondricek, Keith Johnson, Nehemia Gordon, Devorah Gordon, Daniella Cachicas, Yoel Halevi, Pat Skewes, and Miri Burgin.