Wednesday, September 16, 2020

תשפ"א or תתקמ"ו?


5781 or 5946?
ה,תשפ"א או ה,תתקמ"ו

According to our calendar, we will be ushering in this Rosh Hashana the year 5781. There are approximately 165 years missing from the cheshbon and the correct year should be 5946 (since בריאת העולם).

Harav Hagaon R. Shimon Schwab zt"l wrote, that Chazal had a reason to cover up and eliminate 165 years from our history based on a פסוק in ספר דניאל

My nephew R. Ari  Shlita wrote: 

"The cheshbon is as follows: 

חורבן בית ראשון happened in 587 BCE - this much is indisputable, as it is corroborated by Babylonian, Egyptian, and Greek inscriptions which match very closely to the accounts in מלכים, ירמיהו & דברי הימים.

חורבן בית שני is commonly taken to be 70 CE by secular historians, but it could be off by a year or two, so may have been 68 or 69.

There is a מחלוקת between רש"י and תוספות about whether the Bais Hamikdash was destroyed in the 420th year, or after 420 years
(Avodah Zarah 9b).

This מחלוקת is based on the fact that it was a מוצאי שמיטה year. Based on this, the חורבן should have been 68 or 69. However, we are not so concerned with one year, compared to the bigger problem of 165 years described below.

This(587 + 70) puts 656 between חורבן בית ראשון and חורבן בית שניi. The chronologies of these years are very well known, and we know exactly who were the Persian and Greek Kings during these years and how many years each of them reigned, based on multiple corroborating sources. We know exactly when Alexander conquered Israel (329 BCE), and this means there were at least about 400 years from him to the חורבן. And the Persian kings from Cyrus to Alexander take up about 200 years. So there are about 600 years - 587 to be somewhat precise, that the בית שני lasted.

But according to סדר עולם, there should have been 70 + 420 = 490 years between חורבן בית ראשון and שני. This means there are about 166 years missing from our current Jewish date of 5781.
Of course, it could be off by a couple of years here or there due to kings starting their reign in the middle of a year, and the year being counted for both, and other such inaccuracies, but 5781 is definitely too low. In general, you need to add about 166 (or 164)."

This subject was addressed by many. It was first addressed by Azariah min Ha'edumim in his Sefer Meor Einayim written in the 1500s. Harav Shimon Schwab zt"l in 1961-2  5722 wrote a lengthy article on this subject. I cut out part of it. The full article can be downloaded ( download.cfm?materialID=526681  ).



1 comment:

  1. The YU Link doesnt work for me. can you please repost it.


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