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    Dates of Rosh HaShanah – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Two days of Rosh HaShanah coming on Thursday and Friday make it a three-day festival this year since it is immediately followed by Shabbat. Why doesn’t the Chief Rabbi make it easier for us by fixing the dates on Shabbat and Sunday?

    A. I don’t know which Chief Rabbi you have in mind, but in any case the dates of the festivals are not up to the Chief Rabbis (whether of Israel or elsewhere), nor any other rabbi, chief or otherwise.

    The dates of the festivals are laid down in the Torah, though there is a method of calculation that prevents the first day of Rosh HaShanah falling on Sunday, Wednesday or Friday. This ensures that Yom Kippur will never come just before or just after Shabbat.

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