The ‘Pink’ supermoon

April 26, 2021 | 14 Iyar 5781 | Phoenix, Arizona

This full moon is called by some the Pink Moon — probably for pink flowers that bloom at this time of year. The moon itself doesn’t appear pink. CNN has an article about this Pink supermoon.

It is called a “supermoon” because it appears larger in the nighttime sky than other months. Its larger appearance is because it is closer to Earth than in other months.

This year, the Muslim holiday Ramadan began at sunset April 12th with the sighting of the first new moon after the spring equinox. Fasting begins at sunrise every day since then. This full moon of Ramadan is the second one after the spring equinox this year.

The Jewish holiday Passover fell on the previous full moon, the first after the spring equinox. I don’t have pictures of that full moon as I do for previous full moons because it’s forbidden to take pictures on the holiday.

Ramadan this year corresponds to the Jewish month Iyar. I write “this year” because next year it will begin about 11 days earlier than this year on the civil calendar. That could be in Nisan, the month before Iyar. The Muslim year is an unchanging twelve-month lunar year. Since it is shorter than the solar year, the Muslim months fall back relative to the seasons.

The Jewish lunar year would also fall back if not for an extra month that is added every two or three years. The rules for determining each year’s calendar are complicated but fixed. The rules appear in Maimonides’ Code of Jewish Law, the Mishneh Torah.

Here are two pictures from this morning, well before dawn. By dawn the moon had set. I’ll try to be out and about tomorrow before the moon sets.

About two hours before sunrise
Framed by palm trees about one hour before sunrise

Jewish Boot Hill Graveyard

Jewish Boot Hill Graveyard | Jewish Pioneers Memorial | Tombstone, Arizona

Early in 2018, I visited Tombstone, Arizona. There, I visited the legendary and infamous Boot Hill Graveyard. I was especially intrigued by the sign that indicated that it had a Jewish Memorial. I stopped and looked around.

I published a post about a year ago about the Jewish memorial. I’ve just determined the source of most of the pictures. I’m repeating the pictures with proper attribution. The text is new.

I’ve cropped and enhanced most of these pictures using Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

DrStew82, Creative Commons. Cropped by Nesanel Segal.

Tombstone’s Boot Hill Graveyard in Tombstone, Arizona.
Gabriel Millos, Creative Commons. Cropped and enhanced by Nesanel Segal.

“The small, segregated Jewish portion of the historic Boothill Graveyard in Tombstone, Arizona,” Carol M. Highsmith, Library of Congress

The Jewish custom when visiting a grave is to leave behind one’s own stone marker.

I don’t now know where I found this picture. The meta-data doesn’t indicate that I took the picture. I’ve cropped and enhanced the original.

David Conway, “Jewish Pioneers
.” Find A Grave. Cropped and enhanced by Nesanel Segal.

The Star of David is on one side. The menorah on top reads Shalom — peace. The three rings with figures inside are an Indian symbol — from the past Hohokam culture. It’s not clear to me whether any Indians were actually buried in this cemetery.

“The work on the 100-year-old burial ground was carried out in large part by [Judge C. Lawrence] Huerta, a [full-blooded] Yaqui Indian, who has served as a judge, community college chancellor and member of the state’s industrial commission,” according to The New York Times. “Ceremonial items were sealed into a burnished safe adorned with Jewish and Indian symbols atop the pedestal…. Huerta donated a Yaqui bowl containing items ‘which symbolize the harmony between the Jewish pioneers and the Indians.’”

Said Huerta, “A burial place is sacred to my people, and I wanted this place to be treated with the respect it once had. In honoring my Jewish brothers I feel I am also honoring the lost and forgotten bones of my own people who lay where they fell when the west was being settled” (Southwest Jewish Archives of the University of Arizona).

“When the west was being settled” was uttered by an Indian in 1983 (or so). I would not say such a thing in the third decade of the 21st century in light of what I know. The west was already settled — by Indians — before the Europeans came. I would say, “When the west was being resettled by Europeans.”

AJM, “Jewish Pioneers
.” Find A Grave. Cropped and enhanced by Nesanel Segal.

This picture (above) looks like it was taken before the wrought iron fence was installed and before landscaping.

AJM, “Jewish Pioneers
.” Find A Grave. Cropped and enhanced by Nesanel Segal.

You’ll see how two Chinese were buried segregated off to the side of the main cemetery — the “white” section.

Gravemarker from Boot Hill Graveyard, Tombstone, Arizona. Jan Kronsell,
Public Domain. Cropped and enhanced by Nesanel Segal.

See the Southwest Jewish Archives of the University of Arizona:

The New York Times reported: “An Old West Cemetery for Jews Is Rededicated in Tombstone,” February 29, 1984.

Eileen R. Warshaw, “What became of the Jews of Tombstone?,” Arizona Jewish Life, September 1, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2021.

So you’re planning to take a trip by plane

You’re vaccinated, and the CDC says that it’s safe for you to travel by plane when wearing a mask.

Vaccinated travelers should still avoid eating and drinking on planes, experts say. Robert M. Wachter, chair of the department of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, says that when passengers are allowed to take their masks off for meal services, his comfort with air travel goes away, as reported in The Washington Post.

I’m not comfortable either eating or drinking anywhere indoors. You simply have to take off your mask to eat and drink. But the advice from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is for vaccinated people to continue to wear masks indoors and to physically distance six feet.

I’ve been vaccinated, but no vaccine is fully effective. Experts agree, though, that vaccines also prevent serious cases of COVID in the off chance someone is exposed and succumbs. One reason that I wear a mask is to keep other people’s aerosol droplets out of my respiratory system. I’m insulating myself from such aerosols and doing my best to keep from becoming infected.

So no cup of hot tea with sugar on my next flight.

See: “Vaccinated travelers should still avoid eating and drinking on planes, experts say,” The Washington Post, Natalie B. Compton, April 16, 2021. Retrieved April 18, 2021.

Am I obsessed with Prickly Pears?

Mid-April 2021 | Phoenix, Arizona

Frankly, I’m obsessed with Prickly Pear cactuses. I live with an obsessive personality, so shouldn’t I find myself obsessed with something?

This is only the second Prickly Pear clump that I’ve seen that has red flowers:

While I’m at it, here are photos of the yellow-flowered Prickly:

Sunrise over the Four Peaks

April 15, 2021 | Phoenix, Arizona

Astronomical sunrise was at 5:57 AM Mountain Standard Time. (Arizona doesn’t go on daylight savings time.) The sun became visible over the Four Peaks at about 6:11.

Clouds are barely illuminated.

A distant cloud appears like a streak between two lower peaks.

Two birds appear in this picture.

The last moment before the sun appeared. A bird appears in the upper right corner of the frame.

6:11 AM; a bird appears to the right not far above the horizon.

A few moments later

Pictures were taken with a point-and-shoot camera without filters or a tripod.

Bad religion according to Benjamin Franklin

Concerning religion and the state, American Founder and statesman Benjamin Franklin said:

“When a religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and, when it cannot support itself, and G-d does not take care to support [it], so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.”

In Jon Meacham, American Gospel: G-d, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation (New York: Random House, 2006) p. 60.

Franklin said it all. Now check out America’s denominations.