Highlighting the permanent Jewish presence and the relevance of Jewish contributions in Eretz Israel as well as the continuous connection between Diaspora Jews and Eretz Israel throughout the centuries between the Destruction of the Second Temple and the onset of modern Zionism, through a series of one-page notes distributed weekly.
DID YOU KNOW THAT... in 359 CE, the Great Sanhedrin adopted a Hebrew Calendar based on mathematical calculations? Until that time, the calendar was declared monthly by the Great Sanhedrin, the supreme institution of the Jewish People in the Land of Israel, based on eyewitness reports of the New Moon, an ancient and biblically based procedure. This practice was now virtually impossible to follow. In fact, the adoption of Christianity by the Roman Empire and the fact that the now Christianized Romans had to rely on the Sanhedrin on calendar matters fueled an enormous resentment against the Sanhedrin itself. In addition, it led to frequent hostile efforts to sabotage the spread of calendar information among the Jewish communities and in particular the information sent to the Jewish diaspora. To make matters more delicate, in 351 CE a Jewish Revolt, arguably the last major Jewish revolt against Roman rule, was ruthlessly crushed. In this context, a mathematically based calendar was developed by Hillel II, a descendent of the great sage Hillel, the Elder, who between 320 and 365 acted as the Nasi, i.e., the Head of the Great Sanhedrin. The introduction of a mathematically-based calendar marked a dramatic procedural departure, a change which was enacted a time when the power of the Great Sanhedrin was fast dwindling and that its very existence was clearly under threat. In fact, the adoption by the Sanhedrin of this mathematically based Hebrew Calendar, in a clandestine meeting which was likely its last meeting, marks the last decision of the Great Sanhedrin to be universally accepted in the Jewish world. This is the Hebrew Calendar as we know it, as it continues to be universally used in the Jewish world to this day. The authoritative nature of this Hebrew Calendar resides exactly in the fact that it was enacted by the Great Sanhedrin in the Land of Israel, as prescribed by the Torah.