The Jewish calendar is more than a technical, timekeeping device. It is a critical element of Jewish identity, rich in symbolism and history. It governs the cycles of Shabbat, the months, the feasts, and the Shmita (sabbatical year). It has incorporated elements of the ancient Persian and Babylonian calendars, all the time retaining its distinct Jewish character. To this day, its use remains an important part of what it means to be Jewish. This talk discusses the mechanics of the Jewish calendar, its components, eras, origin, relationship to other calendars, history, and relevance to Jewish identity.
Bert Hayden works as a navigation systems engineering specialist for the Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo CA, where he analyzes the performance of GPS and other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). He has over twenty years of experience in the Defense industry, working on navigation systems, satellite communications, and space-based remote sensing. He served in the US Air Force for eight years, four of them working on the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS). His interest in the Jewish calendar (and calendars in general) is tied to a life-long interest in both history and astronomy. It is also tied to his work on navigation systems, which must address many of the same timing and earth orientation phenomena that also affect calendar design. In addition to his engineering work and studies, Bert has studied biblical Hebrew and Aramaic at a graduate level, and is an active student of the Hebrew Bible and Jewish history. He holds both a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Arts in Theology.
8:30PM Nosh & Teen Discussion
After Bert’s talk, teens will grab nosh and join together in the Youth Lounge for a Selichot discussion while adults schmooze and nosh in the Social Hall.9:00PM Selichot Service
Selichot sets the stage for the High Holidays, a late night service that begins to instill in us the feelings of awe and introspection that infuse the beginning of our religious year. The Selichot service invites us into the Yamim Nora’im—the Days of Awe. The musical motifs and spiritual themes of the service are the perfect beginning to the High Holy Day season.