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They had the assistance of scholars like the political philosopher Michael Walzer, who traces Zionism to the bible itself. Religion is a human endeavor, and like so many other such endeavors has an ethnic component; it can be used to justify a people’s claim to self-determination.Many religious figures sanctify political violence (just look at the role of preachers in the American revolution). The American Jewish Committee is saying that the Jewish religion commands Jews to support the occupation of Palestinian lands and persecution of Palestinians, and oppose equal rights for Palestinians (ideas embedded in BDS).

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When the Sanhedrin heard testimony from two independent, reliable eyewitnesses that the new moon occurred on a certain date, they would declare the rosh chodesh (first of the month) and send out messengers to tell people when the month began.

The problem with strictly lunar calendars is that there are approximately 12.4 lunar months in every solar year, so a 12-month lunar calendar is about 11 days shorter than a solar year and a 13-month lunar is about 19 longer than a solar year.

The Jewish calendar, however, coordinates all three of these astronomical phenomena.

Months are either 29 or 30 days, corresponding to the 29½-day lunar cycle.

No other country has experienced as much international demonization as Israel.

And no other organization is better positioned than AJC to combat it.

The months drift around the seasons on such a calendar: on a 12-month lunar calendar, the month of Nissan, which is supposed to occur in the Spring, would occur 11 days earlier in the season each year, eventually occurring in the Winter, the Fall, the Summer, and then the Spring again.

On a 13-month lunar calendar, the same thing would happen in the other direction, and faster.

A few years ago, I was in a synagogue, and I overheard one man ask another, "When is Chanukkah this year?

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