Editor: Here is a clear, common sense treatise on why the Hebrew Calculated Calendar should be used to determine the Holy Days. It is not a documentary on why it is the best way or even the only calendar method to use, just a reasonable argument as to which it is likely the best choice of them all.

By Pam Dewey

ALLEGAN, Mich.–Every year since 1996, shortly after the Feast of Tabernacles ends and long before Passover comes, the perennial topic of the so-called sacred calendar appears on the Internet forums frequented by former WCG members.

Long discussion threads form on issues such as whether the month begins with the first sighted crescent of the moon over Israel or perhaps with the calculated “conjunction” of the earth and moon or some other possibility.

Some invariably insist that believers should contact representatives of the Karaite Jews near Jerusalem and inquire about the state of the development of barley in the area in spring before they decide to declare that the first month of a new year has begun.

Others will insist the barley is irrelevant and one need only to accept the first new moon after the vernal equinox as the beginning of the year.

Still others will insist that considering the vernal equinox as part of determining a calendar is a pagan practice to be avoided.

Nary a resolution

I have participated on several such forums since early 1996. I watch the discussions, dialogues and debates on the forums year after year and have come to see that there never is any resolution to any of these matters.

After the first couple of years, the same people seem to periodically bring out the same arguments from storage and post them one more time.
The same people seem to pull out their same rebuttals in response.
I have seen nothing new as part of the mix since 1997.

New participants may come along who have only recently become aware of the issues. Such people may wish to gather input from others on the forum on aspects of the topic.

I can understand that. But again it doesn’t seem to end with each side posting its best information and then letting the buyer sort it through. Once again endless point-counterpoint threads develop that end up going only in circles.

Sincere question, sincere answer

After the first couple of years I decided to bow out of such dialogues most of the time. I had stated my position, and most regulars on the forums knew what that was. I saw no profit in trying to rephrase my few points over and over.

But on the Likeminds forum recently a participant asked a pointed question of some of us who do happen to use the modern Hebrew calendar to decide when to observe the holy days.

I believed his question to be sincere and not just looking to pick a fight. I knew he had come to different conclusions from mine on these matters long ago, but I respect his diligence and zeal as he attempted to understand how best to serve God.

I also appreciate his attempt not to let his calendar convictions separate him from brethren who look at matters differently.

So I decided to post an answer to his question.

Here’s why I follow the calendar

After I posted my comment on Likeminds, a friend wrote me to note that my words echoed his reasons perhaps even more clearly than he could have expressed them himself. He suggested I put the post on Ron Dart’s Christian Educational Ministries forum and submit a version of the material to The Journal.

I posted it on CEM, and Ron Dart, the CEM’s founder, immediately responded that I had expressed his own perspective on the matter and suggested I submit a version of it to The Journal.

Others noted to me publicly and privately that they share my perspective and found my explanation helpful. One fellow in Australia asked permission to print out what I wrote and take it to his fellowship group as the basis for a discussion on the issues.

I therefore share in this article the original information similar to the way it appeared on the forums: why I follow the calculated Jewish calendar.

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