Re: Hebrew Date Question - ViewMate 12923 #hungary

David Rubin

On Sun, 14 Jun 2009 21:13:40 EDT posted the
following question

I have posted on ViewMate an image of a tombstone bearing the Hebrew date
of passing of 8 Adar 5689, which is ambiguous, as the year 5689 contained
the months of Adar Aleph and Adar Bet.
How can one determine the correct date (Adar Aleph or Bet) of passing of
the deceased, given that neither month is clearly indicated?

This situation is a Talmudic dispute in Tractate Nedarim (oath/vows) Daf
It relates to do when Adar (unqualified) is written in a document during a
year, which Adar does it mean. This stringency carries forward to also
Yartzeit is observed in a Leap Year when the person died in Adar, regardless
if the death indeed occurred in a Leap Year.

We will try to leave out all the details, and additional commentaries.
(which is a book in itself). But, Rabbi Yehudah says an unqualified Adar
means Adar I, while Rabbi Meir says it is Adar II, since Adar I, is the
added month, and Adar II is the real month. And in most cases, the
observance of Jewish Law in Adar, occurs in Adar II, including the
observance of Yartzeit.

However, the majority today favor Rabbi Yehudah's view, most likely because
in Talmudic disputes between Rabbi Yehudah and Rabbi Meir, the opinion
follows Rabbi Meir. But, there are still those like RAMBAM that follow the
other opinion that Adar left unqualified is Adar II. So today it is
dependent on
local custom.

In order to resolve this, you need to be able to find out what the custom
at the time where the person was buried. This may be as simple as
comparing other tombstones during leap years and see which Adar
is qualified. Robert Klein already mentioned this and did some checking.
Or if the Synagogue still exists controlled the cemetery, you could possibly
get someone to contact them. Possibly there are still some residents around
from the 1920s or early 1930s.
Good Luck and let us know what you find out,
David Rubin and Mrs. Rubin
OK in U.S.A.

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